This past June 14 Raw Story carried an article from the Guardian entitled, “Eyeball-licking: the fetish that is making Japanese teenagers sick.” The title kind of sums up the whole article. It’s a now familiar fable that has somehow crept across the pages of newspapers, magazines, and websites across the globe over the last few months.
Now everyone is taking a second look at this tale in light of the findings of Tokyo-based journalist, Mark Schreiber as well as Snopes.com. To date Gawker, the Huffington Post, Medical Daily, the Telegraph, and more have all provided some kind of fix to their versions of the story.
Viewed against this backdrop of a swelling tide of publications who have since changed their story, I wonder if Raw Story’s article is really just half-baked.
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 the pages of newspapers, magazines, and more all around the world.
Also see: "In the Public Eye" on Snopes.com
Related MediaBugs reports (the same error repeated over and over again):
Much A-Buzz about Nothing (BuzzFeed); Eye for Accuracy (The National Student); Eye of the Beholder (Mommyish); Look Twice! (Morning Journal); Less than Meets the Eye (Denver Post); Shangheyed (Business Insider); Exploding a Media Myth (TNT); Poke in the Eye (The New Age); Weird Science (Science World Report); A Funny Sounding Story (AOL News); Fox Takes Eye off Eyeball Story (Fox 29 News, Philadelphia) Eye Network Loses Sight of Facts (CBS Atlanta); In the Shadow of Doubt (Toronto Sun); The Hot Trend That's Not (PIX 11 News, New York); Houston We Have a Problem (KRIV-TV, Fox 26 in Houston, Texas); The Spread (Houston Chronicle); Seeing Eye to Eye (Huffington Post/UK edition); Eye Witless News Report (ABC News); UPI Out of Focus (United Press International); Another Code Brown! (Medical Daily); Entertaining... Licks Telling the News (ABC2 News, WMAR-TV, Baltimore); Didn't Get the Memo (New Zealand Herald); Here is the Thing (MSN News Canada) Fatal Error (CTV News Canada); 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)
Fixed/Updated (in abc order by news organization)
Shangheyed (Business Insider); Gawk at This! (Gawker); A Blind Eye to the Truth (Huffington Post); Another Code Brown! (Medical Daily); Code Brown (Medical News Today); Eye of the Beholder (Mommyish); Exploding a Media Myth (TNT); Not a Lick of Truth (The Telegraph)
Disappeared (story scrubbed clean off reporting news organization's website):
I sent an email to Raw Story publisher, Roxanne Cooper, telling her about this MediaBugs report citing claims by Tokyo-based writer, Mark Schreiber, that information in the article carried by Raw Story was factually incorrect.
Ms. Cooper replied saying: “This is a story the Guardian wrote and other news outlets syndicated. Mark Schreiber needs to be in contact with them.”
The Raw Story updated its story on August 25, 2013 as follows:
" In a strongly-worded piece, The Guardian’s Readers Editor repudiated the facts in this syndicated piece and said it would be taken offline by the newspaper. Raw Story awaits official notice from the paper and then remove it as well."