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November 30, 2007

Times of India runs phony Victoria’s Secret story

Jack Yan/23.17

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Spotted at the Times of India on December 1:

Australian model Miranda Kerr has revealed Hilton acted like a princess backstage at a lingerie range fashion show and stole her gorgeous runway out?t.
   The 24-year-old model has revealed the whole incident on a blog, which ultimately left the hotel heiress humiliated when she had an embarrassing naked moment.
   Kerr reveals Hilton showed up 10 minutes before the show opened at a theatre in Hollywood on November 15 and decided she wanted to close the catwalk show.

   I have contacted the newspaper, to no avail: the story still stands online, despite Miranda having never revealed the matter on a blog, the incident never having taken place on November 15, 2007, and that it never happened at a Victoria’s Secret show.
   To say that Paris Hilton wanted to close a show is a nice stretch of the imagination considering she never attempted to do any such thing: no wonder the famous get sick of tabloid journalism (that even broadsheets engage in now). I can’t even place the world’s presently most photographed woman at the show, but Paris-watchers will be able to say for sure.
   I know the Victoria’s Secret show is in the Zeitgeist at the moment and all of this is great for the telecast, but does the Times really need the extra ad revenue from this piece when it does the newspaper little credit?
   In India, the item may have been misreported initially by Kiran Pahwa at Top News: there is an item from November 28 at topnews.in. There, it details the wrong venue, date and how Miranda revealed the matter to Sassybella (which in fact only posted a Pedestrian.tv video).
   You would think a colleague’s tip-off would have been treated with more astuteness and immediacy: the San Francisco Chronicle knew when to take a story of?ine when it found out the facts were wrong. Yahoo! News recently had to publish a correction on another Paris Hilton story after the Associated Press got some info wrong, and the AP alerted those carrying its stories. 
   A correction would be a good thing to do: we all eat humble pie from time to time.
   Hopefully this is the last post tracking how this item of fake news is propagated.

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On the blogs: a real story about the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

Lucire staff/23.01

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Spotted on Stevie Wilson’s LA-Story site: a video on the casting of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. Yes, really: it’s from the show, rather than Heatherette two years ago (I see even the respectable Times of India has reported the Miranda Kerr–Paris Hilton non-incident with the wrong year and venue now).
   The show is telecast December 4 on CBS.

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Personalities in antipodean fashion

Jack Yan/10.34

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New on Lucire: one interview, one pro?le. Earlier this year, I did a “?ve years on” follow-up on Murray Bevan, whom I ?rst interviewed when he started Showroom 22 in 2002. Back in ’02, I had a feeling Murray would do incredibly well with his PR company–high fashion showroom (we always did have a record of identifying the successes early). The article, from our print edition, is online now.
   And on the eve of his move to Australia, we pro?le Douglas Rimington, one of our regular photographers. (One of his photos is above, shot in Dunedin during Vodafone ID Dunedin Fashion Week.) While we’ll continue to collaborate, he does leave a bit of a void here in our home of?ce in Wellington.
   Doug actually attended his ?rst professional shoot after posting on the Lucire forum, back in its original incarnation before hackers shut it down. I remember replying to him and inviting him to that shoot. Back then, he was a gifted amateur; today, he is a consummate professional with a highly respected business.
   We can’t take any credit for Doug’s rise and his securing clients, but I am glad we acted as a catalyst of sorts.
   Coincidentally, his elder sister, Sakura, is a good friend of Lucire UK editor Simone Knol, though on my visits to the Rimington household when we were much younger, I never ran in to Doug. It was a huge surprise when we discovered the link.
   As we witness the end of one stage of Doug’s career, we await his next grander stage with anticipation. Good luck, my friend: we know you will blow ’em away.

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The Delta Goodrem–Brian McFadden about-face

Jack Yan/5.18

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[Cross-posted] I spotted the below on Ninemsn today and thought, ‘Poor Brian.’

Delta Goodrem news 1

   I clicked on the ?rst link and found quite the opposite:

Delta Goodrem news 2

   It’s not as embarrassing as the network, and the Murdoch Press, reporting on the Miranda Kerr incident two years late and getting the venue wrong, but it’s still an about-face.
   Netizens will be able to work out that the ?rst link came about because the Ninemsn website reported that Delta Goodrem turned down boyfriend Brian McFadden’s marriage proposal. Then, the site’s staff found out more and had to instantly change the piece, but due to caching or the way the Ninemsn site is structured, the headline link on another page had not changed.
   This is not abnormal and at least the link goes to an accurate item of news.
   And Ninemsn was not alone, as Murdochs did the same thing:

Delta Goodrem news 3

   It all makes me wonder about the wisdom of such immediacy when it comes to the gossip press. Usually, the items are of little signi?cance. They are disposable news, so what harm is there with a brief delay to get the facts right? The contrary argument is that since these items are inconsequential, then why should the facts need to be dead right?
   I realize that’s not the way celeb-based factoid-reporting works, and on the web, even more rules get chucked out in the quest to be the ?rst on to Google News with the headline.
   But we are representatives of the media. We are, supposedly, journalists and editors and publishers. And as the fourth estate, we have a duty to the public.
   Call me a traditionalist, but I would prefer to get everything straight before committing to press in any medium, even if it means a delay.
   After the Miranda Kerr embarrassment, propagated by Sky, news.com.au and The Daily Telegraph (Australia) newspaper, I have had to conclude that I can’t trust Murdoch Press items at all. Before this week I took only The Sun and News of the World items with a grain of salt (remember all the speculation about who the next James Bond would be?), but am saddened to have to apply the same doubts across more of the Murdoch Press. Especially since the chief himself, Mr Keith Rupert Murdoch, has (thank goodness) vowed to up the journalistic standards at papers such as The Wall Street Journal.
   Maybe I should not lecture since I have never been on dailies, but my feeling is that the damage to goodwill across a group is too great when this sort of misreporting starts happening regularly.

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November 29, 2007

San Francisco Chronicle reports Miranda Kerr–Paris Hilton incident

Jack Yan/12.11

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Fascinating: after our post exposing the Miranda Kerr v. Paris Hilton incident at Victoria’s Secret to be false—or at least ridiculously inaccurate, with media outlets getting the year and the venue wrong—the Chronicle’s SFGate.com still reported it. It has taken the post down now, but not before Google News found it:

Paris Hilton fake news clip 

   Yes, we are feeling smug, but only because the error was so great that we can’t believe how it propagated. Even the source site, Pedestrian.tv, is amazed, having A Current Affair contact it this week over two-year-old news.
   It stresses the importance for traditional media outlets to be careful. We’re not perfect ourselves, so it’s a lesson we need to take heed of, too.

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November 28, 2007

The Miranda Kerr v. Paris Hilton incident actually happened in 2005

Jack Yan/12.56

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Quite a few people will have caught the gossip that Miranda Kerr, the Australian model, was upset when Paris Hilton waltzed in to a Heatherette show in 2005 and chose a pink dress that Kerr was scheduled to wear on the catwalk. The organizers obliged and Kerr decided she would leave the matter to karma. Karma delivered in the form of Naomi Campbell, who wanted the same outfit, and Hilton was given the same treatment as it was reassigned to the supermodel.
   I caught the item on Channel 9 (Australia) this morning, two years after the incident (this is news?). And according to one report, the source was not the Murdoch Press or even Reuter, but Kerr’s own blog.
   In fact, nearly everyone is reporting this as an incident that happened at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show earlier this month.
   If Kerr’s blog had been the source, I was all prepared to note how blogs can be the source of news for the MSM. This presupposes that the news itself is reasonably trivial—I have noticed through experience that some “journalists” (and vain bloggers) cannot handle irony or humour more sophisticated than a fart gag. Good manners prevent me from naming them publicly.
   But as I read about Kerr posting in the ’sphere, could I find links to her official blog to double-check the article? No. Not even the places that say she blogged the item linked it.
   The reason is that I don’t think Miranda Kerr has a personal blog, at least not one that can be readily found.
   So rather than this post being about the growth of the blogosphere as a news source, it’s turning into one about gross misreporting.
   The only place that seemed to have cited and linked the correct source is Sassybella, naming Pedestrian.tv:

   I applaud Helen at Sassybella for getting her facts right and for being the only journalist (that I have found) to point out that this was a two-year-old incident—something lost on a lot of (re-)reporters this week, including the Murdoch Press.
   I also applaud my friends at Heatherette. Richie and co. could have gotten publicity out of the incident but they chose to stay mum about such matters.
   Conclusion: the blogosphere and MSM are becoming closer and closer. The good bloggers getting their facts right are few and far between, and there seem to be fewer journalists upholding traditional standards among the mainstream media. This has become a news item that has been broadcast on TV and appeared online, with everyone but Sassybella (based on my searches) getting the show and date wrong. And getting the time and place wrong is just plain negligent for a journalist.

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Claudia Schiffer holds off writing autobiography

Lucire staff/10.04

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Claudia Schiffer says she will continue to hold off writing an autobiography, citing that at 37 she is too young to write about her life. She is also not prepared to divulge personal details, guarding her private life closely.
   â€˜I’ve had a lot of offers but I just don’t feel ready yet,’ she told Celia Walden of The Daily Telegraph.
   In 1994, Schiffer did pen a book, Memories, claimed to be an autobiography by some websites, but which was mainly a pictorial concentrating on her modelling career.

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It’s not ‘Volante’, but I still read it

Jack Yan/3.49

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T&L Australia December 2007I spotted the Australian Travel & Leisure when in Sydney and I’ve noticed now the word Australia has become the words Australia & New Zealand very quietly. And being an American Express card member here (wank factor time: Platinum) I am going to be getting these babies free for the next year.
   The funny thing is, being a big (American) T&L fan, I can’t bring myself to like the localized edition as much. Maybe my travel habits are more American—I have been checking out some places long before they were fashionable among my peers here. The other issue is that the best articles are re-runs from the original. I like the mixture in the American Travel & Leisure, the tips, the awards, the top 500—stuff like that.
   I feel like a tosser writing this because what is localized and brought to you by John Fairfax in Aussie T&L is actually really good, and I am on good terms with many folks at Fairfax on both sides of the Tasman. However, I’ll still be supplementing my freebie Aussie editions with the American ones.
   The big winner is American Express Publishing in the States and all the advertisers as I have been suckered into twice as many ads.

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