Before yesterday, I didn’t know who the fastest man alive was, nor what he looked like. It was just never something I really needed to know or cared about.
But despite never seeing his picture, I know that the fastest man alive is definitely not Kevin Hart.
The folks at NBC, however, clearly aren’t as up to speed (pun intended).
Usain Bolt, the fastest man alive, recently tested positive for COVID-19, and when reporting on the story, NBC used a picture of Kevin Hart as the cover photo. It honestly provided some much-needed humor in this awful year.
The comedy, however, isn’t just that they used the wrong photo, but that, as my brother pointed out, people look to NBC to see who to vote for and get their news.
The irony is beautiful.
I’ve been immersed in the field of journalism since my freshman year of college. I had an incredible opportunity to be a part of a book and the editor for my section turned out to be the editor for a news outlet.
My journey into journalism began there. But in the past 3.5 years that I’ve grown as a journalist, I’ve seen over and over again the importance of reviewing an article before publishing and making sure the photo with it is appropriate and accurate.
A company as large as NBC should know this. As reporters on Twitter pointed out, a journalists’ credibility is everything.
Unfortunately, there are so many people in the world that don’t think for themselves. This is why it is important for reporters to be honest and unbiased so people aren’t led astray.
They also need to be accurate as you can print an update or say it’s a mistake, but once the error is published, it’s out there for good. Many people won’t see the update or care.
NBC, like many news outlets all over the world, is known for its liberal bias. People turn to them for their news to find out what is going on in the world and to be told what to think. Though mistakes happen, reporters have to work much harder than most people to ensure that they are above reproach.
Mixing up 5’4” comedian Kevin Hart with 6’5” runner and Olympian Usain Bolt is a massive error.
Not only is this unprofessional, but it takes away from the main story. At this point, the fact that Usain Bolt has COVID is pretty much not being talked about at all. I’m not saying that it’s a huge story anyway, as it’s interesting, but not the end of the world.
However, if that’s the story NBC is going to run (the puns just keep coming), they should work to make sure that they don’t mess it up so that what people are talking about is the subject of the story, not the massive mistake they made.
Hart took to his social media to call the mistake disrespectful, but laughed at the incident, joking, “I must have gotten really fast and really tall overnight. I want to take advantage of this moment and race anybody in the world.”
It’s a humorous story for sure. But I agree with Hart. Bolt and the story about his having COVID is now completely overshadowed.
NBC called the error a technical mistake saying that there wasn’t a photo put in the slot in the system so the computer defaulted to a picture of Kevin Hart from a previous article.
Errors happen, yes, but an outlet as well known as NBC needs to do better. Someone should have caught this mistake before it went live.
It is yet another reminder to Americans that we can’t believe everything we read or see and need to be critical thinkers to make sure we aren’t being led astray.
Think for yourself, America. Don’t let news outlets be the ultimate source of what you believe and make sure to do your own research before you run with fake news.