ABC News Literally Believes Events Do Not Happen Until They Are Reported

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Sept. 2 2010 9:42 AM

ABC News Literally Believes Events Do Not Happen Until They Are Reported

On its Web site, ABC News offers a peculiar timeline of yesterday's incident at the Discovery building:

The drama began when workers in the building got a bulletin from the building's security at around 1 p.m. 

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Really? It didn't begin when the guy walked into the building with a gun and homemade bombs? (ABC did produce a computer-mannequin "ABC News Virtual View" rendering of that moment, to accompany the story.) Maybe the word "drama" refers only to events as experienced by non-participants or indirect participants—that is, events that have attained a form that can be of use to ABC News. Nothing really happens until the network can perceive that it has happened. Object permanence! People used to say babies begin to understand object permanence around the age of 8 months, though there is some dispute about that now.

Tom Scocca is the managing editor of Deadspin and the author of Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.

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