The Great Cookie Heist — That Wasn’t?

Yesterday’s post on this blog, “The Great Cookie Heist,” might be just one more example of “don’t believe everything you get from the Internet.” And a great reason why news organizations, and those touting/disguising themselves as such, should do original reporting instead of just playing the “telephone game,” or as some call it, “pass it on.”

I saw close to a dozen stories on the Web reporting O.J. Simpson’s great cookie caper, i.e. stuffing a dozen or so cookies — even giving the kind of cookies — in his shirt his sticky fingers had lifted from the Nevada prison cafeteria where he’s serving a lengthy sentence on armed robbery and kidnapping charges.

Now come reports saying it isn’t so. The Los Angeles Times, in a story headlined “Prison: O.J. Simpson not caught stealing cookies, oatmeal or otherwise“, went right to the source — or rather a source other than the one the National Enquirer quoted, which was an unnamed prison inmate and which the Enquirer‘s media parrots apparently took as gospel.

L.A. Times reporter Amy Hubbard got her info from a Nevada prison official, namely (OK, not the name of), “the public information officer for the Nevada Department of Corrections.”

“There is no validity to the reports that inmate Simpson was caught stealing cookies,” Hubbard reports the PIO as saying.

We’ll see if that puts an end to the story.

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