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Death of a president? Not so fast

Post by Cheryl Tucker on Dec. 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
December 28, 2012 2:23 pm

It didn’t look good Thursday for former President George H.W. Bush. News reports had him in intensive care with his family gathering and not talking to the media.

As per usual practice when a notable person might be near death, news organizations had their prepared obituaries ready. (Macabre, I know.) McClatchy’s Washington bureau sent out a wire message that its obit was “ready to move when the 41st president dies.” We were monitoring the updates on the theory that if Bush died, we’d want to write an editorial to appear Sunday or Monday.

Being ready to go with coverage of a VIP’s death is just good planning. But a Texas radio station accidentally jumped the gun and sent out a breaking news bulletin early Thursday afternoon to its email subscribers saying that Bush had passed away. Apparently a glitch in the station’s email dispatch system released the pre-prepared bulletin prematurely. Read about it here.

Today the news is that Bush is improving. The media will have to tuck his obit away – hopefully for a long time. As for our editorials, we’ll have some year-ender topics Sunday and Monday.


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