By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Radar can’t be wrong

Radar Online has posted an anonymously sourced item claiming that U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts is “considering” stepping down. Well, consider this: There’s no way Radar can be wrong, is there? The item goes on to say that Roberts “could announce his decision at any time.” If Roberts retires in 2021, will Radar, if it’s still around, demand a Pulitzer?

That was quick: If you follow the link now (1:41 p.m.), you’ll see that Radar has retracted the item.

Discover more from Media Nation

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.


A few thoughts on China’s dwarfism theme park


Controlling the casino-gambling narrative


  1. Aaron Read

    Who would ever believe a report that a SCOTUS justice is stepping down? The power and perks of that office are so extreme that I can’t imagine ANYONE wanting to leave…no matter how big the scandal, once you’re on the bench it’s almost impossible to get rid of you.

    I mean, sure, if you’ve been on the bench for 20 years and you’re pushing ninety years of age…yeah, you might be ready to retire, period. But Roberts?!?! He’s still 10 years away from Medicare fer cryin’ out loud.

  2. L.K. Collisn

    Dan would!

    After all, he posted it!

  3. BP Myers

    @Aaron asked: Who would ever believe a report that a SCOTUS justice is stepping down?

    When I heard it was Roberts, I recalled his unexplained propensity for fits and fainting and assumed that if true, it was because of this thus far undisclosed health reason.

    It’s really not as far-fetched as it sounds.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @BP: What was hilarious about the item was that it didn’t say he was stepping down — it said he was considering stepping down. I’m not sure why Radar bothered to retract it, especially since the item said it could happen at “any time.” Uh, OK.

  4. BP Myers

    @Dan: Actually reminded me of our discussion of gossip columnists yesterday. Their stuff too is often couched in the same way, making it difficult at best to determine what — if anything — they say is true. Hard to hold those folks to journalistic standards at all.

  5. LFNeilson

    I consider it wrong even to report on what gossip columnists put up. No matter if you question or refute the report, you’re building the gossip’s cache. Pull back the rug, open the trap door, and sweep ’em down the hole. I’ve always had a rule that if someone told me gossip, I’d point blank ask them where they got it, then tell them to go back to their source and ask the same question. Of course they weren’t about to do that, but they got my message. Gossip is totally unprofessional. It usually tears someone down. It is evil. And sadly, the net has opened the floodgates.

    • Dan Kennedy

      @LF: With all due respect, closing your eyes and hoping it will go away is not a solution. Garbage sites like Radar need to be called out every time.

  6. Steve Stein

    There’s a hilarious, detailed post about this by MeteorBlades over at the Great Orange Satan, highlighting the role that the immediacy of Twitter played in this farce:

    If Twitter had been around in 1937, Orson Welles could probably have dispensed with the hassle of a radio production of War of the Worlds and just tweeted the nation into a panic.

  7. Steve Stein

    The blog “Above The Law” traces the rumor to a Georgetown first-year law class.

  8. All Things Considered had a good explainer on this Friday afternoon.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén