One of our students yesterday was found dead in his room at the City Hall dormitory. The name of the male student has not been released. Fox News, however, caused a sensation by running an article tying the suicide to the arrival of President Obama on campus for his speech on debt reform. Fox later removed the article entitled GWU Suicide Tragically Coincides with Obama Speech from its website after objections from the school and public.
We remain in many respects a small university and these tragedies are felt deeply. For this family, there are no words that can truly offer solace in such a circumstance.
There was, of course, no connection between the acts. We saw yesterday how Forbes magazine sought to attack the chosen location for the speech in a specious article. The desire to make collateral attacks or associations appears irresistible.
The original article stated:
GWU officials tell Fox that police were notified about the incident around 2pm, which happens to be at the same time that President Obama was speaking. A source tells Fox that the incident may have occurred earlier, noting that police went knocking on the student’s door at 1:30pm. As of this writing, Fox has not been able to obtain reaction from the White House.
Fox later stated (after pulling the piece) that “We were contacted by the university and decided it would be best to take down the story, although nothing was factually inaccurate.”
Politico reports that “A Facebook group with almost 1,300 members and the name “HOLD CHERNENKOFF AND FOX NEWS ACCOUNTABLE” appeared shortly after the Fox News item ran, encouraging members to call the network and voice their displeasure with what the group called a ‘RIDICULOUS article.'”
Source: National Journal