AUSTIN, TEXAS WOMAN STUNNED TO LEARN FROM NEWSPAPERS THAT SHE IS DEAD
I’ve heard of passive aggressive behavior, but this takes the very idea to a whole new level. 39-year-old Alicia Rowe is a physical therapist who lives and works in Austin, Texas. She was living her life and doing the normal things that entails for her when she decided to do a Google Search on her estranged parents. She hadn’t spoken to them in 6 years, and she was curious to see what the internet said about them. But what she read left her stunned. Not because of what it said about them. But rather what it said they said about her. She found several newspapers articles that said that she was dead!
NEWSPAPERS RAN WITH STORY THAT SHE WAS DEAD FROM INTERVIEW WITH HER PARENTS
Obviously, this wasn’t and isn’t true. Rowe was sure to realize this as she was alive reading about her death, though the details were sparse. But other details weren’t, like an entirely separate context involving her parents being sued by their homeowners association for feeding ducks. Fowl feeding frenzies are against their HOA rules. But this lawsuit hit the newspapers feeds. And her parents were interviewed, where they explained that feeding the ducks was the therapy they needed to cope with “losing” their only child and daughter, Alicia Rowe. Sure, her mother didn’t say she was dead. But that’s a whole new level of passive aggressive, and it went national as news.
NEWSPAPERS DON’T SEEM TO REMEMBER REPORTING 101: FACT CHECK ALL SOURCES
And by national, I do mean national newspapers. News of Rowe’s death as a reason to feed ducks against HOA rules as therapy for her parents was in The Washington Post, USA Today, The Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post and Business Insider. These major publications fell into the passive aggressive trap thoroughly, and all reported that Alicia Rowe had died. Alicia, of course, disagrees entirely, “the message is just that, like, I am alive.” Ah, newspapers today. It’s a shame not one of them thought to do any fact checking before doing their reporting.