After two Minnesota news stations, KARE and KSTP, ran stories on a newly-designed designed cap to stop the oil leak in the Gulf, a reporter from the St. Paul Pioneer Press did a little further investigating and managed to find more than a few (yeah, we’re going there… brace yourselves) leaks in the story.
The man who supposedly designed this cap — and who was reported to potentially make millions off his design — was identified as Blake Mastin, a mechanic working for the National Guard. News stations interviewed his lawyer and ran follow-up stories on Mastin’s upcoming trip to DC to address Congress on the issue of the spill. Turns out that none of that was true.
Pioneer Press reporter Jessica Fleming spoke with a BP rep, who denied implementing Mastin’s design, as had the National Guard. Oh, and it turns out he lied about a felony conviction. And he goes by another name, Blake Sundvor, attached to a laundry list of crimes… all things that the stations could have found for themselves, easily, with a few phone calls and a Google search.
So how did the news shows deal with the revelation that their stories about Mastin were bunk? Well, a KSTP anchor announced were going to ask “more questions” after certain answers “did not add up.”
MinnPost.com gets to the root of how this was allowed to happen: “KSTP’s fundamental reporting error is obvious: not contacting BP.”