WBBM in Chicago wasn’t the only station to lead its 10 o’clock newscast last night with the “breaking news” that Jesse Jackson Jr. had reported to prison earlier that day. Others jumped the gun based on inaccurate information, too.
But as Robert Feder says the CBS-owned station’s version included especially vivid detail of the former congressman’s ordeal that veered toward the sensational.
In his report on what he called “today’s simple, quiet surrender,” CBS 2 chief correspondent Jay Levine interviewed the station’s legal analyst, Irv Miller, who said: “[Jackson] was given his sheets, he was given his clothes, he was searched, and he was forced to do a body cavity search, which is the most demeaning thing that could happen to an individual.”
Well, it appears that the only cavity in this story, was the hole in WBBM's report.
Jackson did not go to prison last night, he was turned away when he tried to surrender, and wasn’t able to begin his 30-month sentence at Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina until this morning.
So was the description of the “body cavity search” a fabrication? Or was Miller speaking hypothetically to Levine, who failed to provide context for the statement?
So far, WBBM isn't talking.
Update: The station had video of the report on their website, but pulled it from the Internet