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Bug #38464 closed:unresolved

Fatal Error

 
This bug appeared in a news report published by CTV News on Jun 14, 2013 by Angela Mulholland. View the original news report.
Bug Type:  Other

“Eyeball licking trend in Japan leads to spike in infections,” screams a headline on Canada’s CTV News website. It sounds too weird to be true but CTV’s online health and medical reporter, Angela Mulholland, cites a post on the Japanese website, Naver Matome, to back up the claim. Never heard of Naver Matome? Well it’s not exactly the online version of the Canadian Medical Association Journal or anything like that but it is on the Internet so it’s got to be a reputable source. I mean they don’t just let anything run on the information highway without being thoroughly inspected. Do they?  

Well apparently they just might if you believe a recent account in the Number One Shimbun by journalist, Mark Schreiber. The Tokyo-based scribe puts a whole new spin on the Naver Matome tale. Lifting the lid on the now widespread tale of a Japanese eyeball licking-triggered epidemic, Schreiber reveals how Naver Matome originally picked it up from the not-exactly-mainstream website, Butch (Bucchi) News. Butch, he explains, is produced by Core Magazine, a less-than-reputable institution whose offices the Number One Shimbun article notes were recently “raided by police on suspicion of obscenity.” Besides that, Schreiber goes on to chronicle how in 2006 an editor of one of Core’s biggest magazines “had the distinction of becoming the first person in Japan arrested under new laws banning child pornography.”

These were all symptoms that something might be terribly wrong with this story that was being spread by CTV and a host of other media outlets across the globe. The warning signs were no doubt part of what prompted Schreiber to reach into his reporter’s bag for some state-of-the-art tools he could use to debunk this hoax heard round the world. It would seem he employed some kind of communications device (perhaps a telephone), which he used to consult a couple of Japanese ophthalmological associations, a school clinicians’ organization and other medical professionals. “None of them had the faintest idea of what I was talking about,” Schreiber says, which leads me to conclude there might be something fatally wrong with CTV’s story.

(Portions of this post have appeared in related MediaBugs reports filed by JT Cassidy)

 

 

“Eyeball licking trend in Japan leads to spike in infections,” screams a headline on Canada’s CTV News website. It sounds unbelievable but CTV’s online health and medical reporter, Angela Mulholland, cites the Japanese website, Naver Matome, to back up the claim. Never heard of Naver Matome? Well it’s not exactly the online version of the Canadian Medical Association Journal or anything like that but it is on the Internet so it’s got to be a reputable source. I mean they don’t just let anything run on the information highway without being thoroughly inspected. Do they?  

Well apparently they just might if you believe a recent account in the Number One Shimbun by journalist, Mark Schreiber. The Tokyo-based scribe puts a whole new spin on the Naver Matome tale. Lifting the lid on the now widespread tale of a Japanese eyeball licking epidemic, Schreiber reveals how Naver Matome originally picked it up from the not-exactly-mainstream website, Butch (Bucchi) News. Butch, he explains, is produced by Core Magazine, a less-than-reputable institution whose offices the Number One Shinbun article notes were recently “raided by police on suspicion of obscenity.” Besides that, Schreiber goes on to chronicle that in 2006 an editor of one of Core’s biggest magazines “had the distinction of becoming the first person in Japan arrested under new laws banning child pornography.”

These were all symptoms that something might be terribly wrong with this story that was being spread by CTV and a host of other media outlets across the globe. The warning signs were no doubt part of what prompted Schreiber to reach into his reporter’s bag for some state-of-the-art tools he could use to debunk this hoax heard round the world. It would seem he employed some kind of communications device (perhaps a telephone), which he used to consult a couple of Japanese ophthalmological associations, a school clinicians’ organization and other medical professionals. “None of them had the faintest idea of what I was talking about,” Schreiber says, which leads me to conclude there is something fatally wrong with CTV’s story.

 

 

 

Supporting Information:

If you want a real eye-opener, take a look at "Lick This!" by Mark Schreiber and read how the tale of a fake fad made in Japan made its way into online publications like MNT as well as the pages of newspapers, magazines, and more all around the world.

Also see: "In the Public Eye" on Snopes.com

 

Related MediaBugs reports:

Time to Correct? (Time Magazine); More Than Meets the Eye (New York Post); A Cock-eyed Story (New York Daily News); Faking It (Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard); Bucking the Trend That Wasn't (The Times of India); If You Can't Lick 'Em Join 'Em (Fox News); Not a Lick of Truth (The Telegraph); Eye Network Lacks Nose for Fishy Stories (CBS News); Calling Out the Daily Caller (The Daily Caller); Code Brown (Medical News Today); Gawk at This!  (Gawker);  Not a Thing (The San Francisco Chronicle);  Less Than Meets the Eye (The Guardian); A Blind Eye to the Truth (Huffington Post); Falling for a Fake Story... (The Washington Times)

 

 

Response

JT Cassidy has contacted CTV News

Bug History

Aug 12, 2013 5:54 am Open JT Cassidy
Aug 12, 2013 6:08 am Open: Under Discussion JT Cassidy
Oct 12, 2013 9:01 am Closed: Unresolved admin

Discussion Leave a comment

 

Sorry about the redundancy. I was unable to edit it out, even within the editing time allotted.

Aug 12, 2013 6:08 am
 

I don't know if this story was aired on TV or not but the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council recently deemed that on-air goof ups must be corrected on-air and not just on the broadcast company's website.

Aug 12, 2013 6:14 am