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I Got Bad News For You: The Story's Bunk

Remember that great murder story in the Miami Herald yesterday? You know, the one about Covie Smith getting killed while he was on the cell phone with his girlfriend? The one where I said it was the best deadline reporting I'd seen in a while. The one with this passage:

Covie Smith's girlfriend said she was on the phone with him when he was shot Monday night.

''He was telling me to bring him down his food,'' said Lacquette Monique Wiggins, adding she is three weeks pregnant with Smith's baby. 'Next thing you know, he got quiet. I heard somebody yelling, 'Call the police! Call the police!' ''

As Wiggins shouted into the receiver, someone picked up Smith's phone and said, ''I got bad news for you: He is dead,'' Wiggins remembered.

Well, it was bunk.

Yes, Covie Smith was killed. And Wiggins was probably actually on a cell phone with her boyfriend at about the time he was killed. But the twain never met. In other words, Wiggins was actually on the phone with another dude named Covie. Her boyfriend was fine. To read the Herald correction -- er, I mean "staff report" -- about it, click here.

Two Kenneths who both go by "Covie"? What are the odds? Hard to blame the reporters too much. Just shows how screwed up this little thing called reporting can become.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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