Is It Okay To Speculate On One’s Death?

Good morning all.

So, “Sean” a fellow reader posted an interesting comment here today. He ( I assume Sean is a he) posted an apparent review of a conversation he had with Barb DiGulio over her tweet (since deleted) about the possible death of the brother of Maple leafs players Colby Armstrong. Recall that DiGulio tweeted that she was hearing Riley Armstrong was on the plane that crashed.

Here are Barb’s apparent comments to Sean on Twitter:

1. “I was not stating it as fact, but as a report. My error was in my wording. ‘We are hearing’ should have been ‘CBC reports’.”

2. “The deciding factor is whether it is of interest to the listener. Speculation okay if it’s made clear that is what it is.”

3. ” Speculation is not irresponsible if based on relevant things like team rosters. As long as it’s stated that it’s speculation.”

Okay, so with respect to #1. Agreed, kind of. If she tweeted that CBC is reporting then it’s strictly commentary. The question is what was CBC reporting? If they were reporting Armstrong was definitely on the plane, then it’s one thing. In my mind if the CBC was reporting he MAY have been on the plane then it’s another.

With respect to #2. I completely disagree. The truth should be the deciding factor. Whom certain players may be sleeping with, drinking, etc. would, I am sure, be of significant interest to the listener and that isn’t reported as speculation either! I haven’t heard too many radio hosts talk about that stuff on the air even if it’s reported as speculation. This is speculating on whether someone died or not. The test should be much higher in that regard, in my opinion.

With respect to #3 Does this remind you of JP’s it’s not a lie if the teller knows the truth? Rogers Sportsnet The Fan 590 is a amongst other things a news company. They have a reputation. They are respected. DiGulio, despite what some of you may have said in your comments reports the news. There is a level of trust. Again, I don’t see how there isn’t a higher smell test for speculation on someone’s death. It’s one thing to report trade rumors. The reason people rip certain rumor sites is that they lack credibility. The Fan, in my mind anyway, is, or should be a reputable news outlet. They are, or should be above the National Inquirer.

In my mind, speculation on someone’s death is irresponsible if not confirmed. I could be crazy, but didn’t the relative of one of the players who died yesterday in the crash suffer a heart attack upon hearing the news? There is something called journalistic integrity (and make no mistake about it, I am not a journalist) and I would hope that this comes to play when speculating on one’s death.

There was an uproar when TMZ speculated on Michael Jackson’s death right?

TSM

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