Acting like it actually was news, an Omaha TV station reported on a cab driver who — like others during the holidays — dressed up like Santa Claus.
He had lost his pet dog, during work hours, and was looking for it. He asked passersby for help.
This prompted the principal of a nearby school to send out a mass phone call scaring parents about a guy dressed up like Santa, saying he’s looking for a lost dog.
Turned out it was, well, a guy dressed up as Santa who had lost his pet. Not at all a threat to kids, or anyone else. The story did not make even the tiniest squeak about how this was an unbelievable over-reaction by the principal.
If you’re thinking it just makes sense to be safe, think again, about the boy who cried “wolf” too often.
This is news? Unreasoning fear — firmly rooted in the newsroom.