Oh boy, and they say Internet news sources can't be trusted.
Bolivian news channel PAT was either egregiously stupid or criminally hoaxed when it ran a couple still photos from "Lost" last week as "exclusive" final moments from the doomed Air France Flight 447, according to a report from The Telegraph. Running the images of pandemonium in the cabin over breathless reporting from the anchor, the viewer was intended to think they were looking in on the doomed passengers in the last seconds before tragedy.
(But some of us simply spent an extra second or two looking for Evangeline Lilly. Sigh.)
Anyway, there's a reasonable explanation for the spectacular blunder: The photos came via the Internet. Or so says the station's hopefully now ex-news director. He also says he's sorry:
"On Thursday, two photographs were aired on our prime time news report and on Friday we apologized," said Eddy Luis Franco, PAT's news director.
"These two photos were apparently taken by one of the passengers on the airliner the instant before the collision and after the aircraft crashed," the anchor "reported" while the images aired in background, claiming they came from the recovered digital camera of actor Paulo Muller
But wait, we've seen this sort of nonsense before. Remember the famous shot of the smiling tourist at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and a jet hurdled toward the tower? It was everywhere via e-mail forward bomb, most people sniffed out the rat and it stayed out of the media as a moment of fact.
Perhaps the first clue on the "Lost" images should have been that they were shot in HD widescreen. Just sayin'.