Many would find it a bit of a curious testament to the late Tim Russert that a junior employee who broke the story of his death was fired for updating Russert’s Wikipedia site. When Russert died on June 13th, the first public word appeared on Wikipedia and NBC officials were irate — since they were still trying to reach family and control the story for their own coverage.
Russert collapsed around 2:23 and his death was announced on NBC at 3:39. However, the story was already running on the Internet due to an update on Wikipedia at 3:01 p.m.
Internet Broadcasting Services, a company in St. Paul, Minn., that provides Web services to local NBC TV stations. I.B.S. found the employee and fired him.
I can well understand the anger at NBC. They needed to be sure that the Russert family was told in a respectful and caring way. They also had an interest in controlling the story. However, firing this person seems a bit heavy handed since this was likely down with any harmful intent. It was always doubtful that such a story could remain under wraps for more than an hour.
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