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Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gordon Lightfoot LIVES

And I'm happy as hell to hear it.

Tho', if you were staking out Twitter feeds... oh, about 20 or so mins ago, you'd have probably gotten wind of Mr. Lightfoot's demise.

What was interesting is how quickly it spread. I noticed it first on @heywriterboy's feed -- who got it from @addthis.

Thing was, they weren't just spreading talk, they had real, credible news sources backing them up.

So I hit Google with a vengeance, looking for some sort of confirmation.

I found a Calgary Harold article (now removed) that appeared to back up the Ottawa Citizen article (also removed) making the rounds and so tweeted on to my friends the sad loss of a Canadian Musical Legend.

Then, in the span of what appears to be 3-5 mins time, @nowtoronto (apparently the only place able to actually verify a story) tweeted "Gordon Lightfoot is NOT dead. Manager just talked to him 30 mins ago. #Canwest fail."

Ahh yes, the joys of instant information transfer.

Though it looks like Macleans.ca has yet to get the message (the story's still up and linking to the now-defunct Ottawa Citizen article)

And while I apologize to Mr. Lightfoot for having a hand in spreading the misinformation of his passing, I feel infinitely more incensed that our established media would drop the ball in such an obvious and idiotic way.

I get it that as an institution you want to be the first with a story; News told 2nd place isn't news. But no one thought to call his manager?

Apparently someone thought to call Ronny Hawkins (a friend of Mr. Lightfoot's) and confirm with him but not the person who deals with him on a day to day basis?

Of course it's far easier to write a retraction and apologize than to miss out on a story, right?

Well, on the bright side, Mr. Lightfoot: Some free press, a brief moment of Canadian introspection and a few moments more to quickly announce a Canada-wide "come-back" tour.

I'd say it isn't a total wash.

Thanks to Now Magazine for being... uh, Journalists.

Now I'm off to buy some of his music on iTunes.

I figure, hey, you help fake his death, you can at least reward the man by spreading around some good tunes with the good news.


Update from The Globe And Mail here.

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