The Washington Post

Theater shootings: Denver Post propagates a false plural

Media corruption is raging out in Colorado, and the Denver Post has the story. Here’s the headline:

Theater shooting: Media outlets covering Aurora paying for information

Go ahead, the filthy details are all right there on the Web, via the Denver Post. Just click right here for the paper’s laundry list of outlets that’ve unsheathed their checkbooks in pursuit of reportorial glory from Aurora. But just to save you some time, I’ll reconstruct the whole list for you, via fair use. Here comes the exhaustive roster of shame, in no particular order:

1) “Entertainment Tonight”

2) Umm, uh.....

Well, the Denver Post story titled “Theater shooting: Media outlets covering Aurora paying for information” doesn’t appear to offer a second example. Perhaps the headline “Theater shooting: Media outlet covering Aurora paying for information” or the headline “One single, solitary media outlet covering Aurora paying for information” doesn’t pull in readers quite like the false-plural headline that the Denver Post appears to have affixed to its story.

The story includes this revelation:

“Entertainment Tonight” is among those tapping sources in Colorado, and offering payments for information. Shooting eyewitness Torrence Brown Jr.’s father told a Denver Post reporter he couldn’t talk because the family had “an exclusive contract” with Entertainment Tonight.

From that point onward, though, the piece is example-free. It elides from the “Entertainment Tonight” case-in-point to a lengthy background discussion of pay-for-play journalism.

I’ve reached out to reporter Joanne Ostrow for a comment on why there was a plural headline over a singular story. No immediate reply. Also reaching out to “Entertainment Tonight” for its side of this story.

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
How to make Sean Brock's 'Heritage' cornbread
New limbs for Pakistani soldiers
The signature dish of Charleston, S.C.
Play Videos
Why seasonal allergies make you miserable
John Lewis, 'Marv the Barb' and the politics of barber shops
What you need to know about filming the police
Play Videos
The Post taste tests Pizza Hut's new hot dog pizza
5 tips for using your thermostat
Michael Bolton's cinematic serenade to Detroit
Play Videos
Full disclosure: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1 ghoul
Pandas, from birth to milk to mom
The signature drink of New Orleans