Here's the backstory: Apparently, Morrissey blew off a concert at the Paramount in Oakland Saturday claiming illness -- a day after cutting short a concert at Coachella because the odor of cooking meat wafted his way -- but then was seen at the very same time he was supposed to be up on stage across the Bay, watching another show at the DNA Lounge in San Francisco.
None of which is all that interesting if you're not a Morrissey fan ((FTR: I am not. I refer to a friend who once characterized his music thus: "hide the knives -- I'm feeling depressed"). What IS interesting, however, is the source of the reporting -- tweets, blogs, and cell phone pix -- and the questions that arise because of it. WAS Morrissey at the ? DID he cut short his concert at Coachella because of burnt meat? Can you trust this reporting? Should reporters report on it? How do you verify it? Is any or all of it true?
If, as Gordie posits, the story illustrates the freakish and somewhat disturbing power of twitter, you have to wonder: why is it that, when reporters' credibility is often on the line, we are so quick to trust Susie from Ohio in 140 characters or fewer?
It's all true. There are youtube links showing him walk off the stage and making the meat comments. (There are also press reports covering the Coachella show). Kristeen Young, who was performing at DNA, has commented publicly on Morrissey's presence. And there are photos of Morrissey at DNA from the various Susie's. Now who knows exactly why he canceled the show. It was officially because of "illness."
I thought this was very interesting for the very reason you stated. By journalism standards, this is all strangely sourced. Can you trust a youtube video that says it's of Morrissey at Coachella? On the other hand, can you trust a reporter for the NY Times using unnamed sources, especially if it's ? I'm not endorsing either/or, but it is fascinating to see what a confusing time this is for journalists and the concept of the verifiable truth. And a blogger alerting fans via twitter and someone actually responding and going to DNA and confronting Morrissey is very weird.
I also think it would be interesting to speculate on how easy it would be to fake elements of this story. Then again, when newspapers dutifully reprint official statements from presidents that they know aren't true...well...that's fake news as well, right?
Again, not taking sides, but very interesting and confusing issues. Too bad this wasn't about a story that really mattered.