By CCN Markets: It takes roughly five seconds to Google, “What is 4chan?” That was apparently too much work for the intrepid news anchors at Fox News, who instead decided to wing a description of the online imageboard during this morning’s broadcast of “Fox & Friends.”
Fox & Friends research concludes 4chan is “a site where you can write things on it.”
It didn’t go well.
“4chan, which is that site where you can write things on it” pic.twitter.com/r5ce4KhFp5
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) August 14, 2019
But here’s the upshot: It produced what is simultaneously the most painfully cringeworthy and hilarious 25 seconds of television you’ll see today as Ainsley Earhardt mumbled the following sentence: “4chan, which is that site where you can write things on it.”
The hosts were discussing a report that Jeffrey Epstein’s death had been revealed on 4chan more than half an hour before police announced it to the public.
CNN thought 4chan was a hacker
Started in 2003, 4chan is an anonymous online imageboard forum known as a haven for myriad controversies ranging from dumb conspiracy theories to troubling hate speech.
It’s frequently in the news, yet journalists repeatedly flub when attempting to explain it to the public. In the CNN clip above from 2013, the hosts refer to a 4chan as a person – specifically a male hacker.
The ridiculous mistake was crass that it gained meme status.
The Media’s Long & Painful History of Explaining Technology
However, it’s not all fun and games. The mainstream media’s complete lack of basic knowledge about technology often distorts rather than clarifies serious matters.
Such as that time when RT mistook a video game image of a child soldier, for an actual child soldier. Even more alarmingly, an Iranian state TV network aired alleged footage of an ISIS sniper killing six soldiers, in what turned out to be just footage from a video game.
Frequently, though, the product of this widespread ignorance is a laughing matter. Remember when the Today Show tried to explain the internet?
It seems Ainsley Earhardt and Fox News are in good company.