CNN earned itself another black eye after wrongly reporting that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded with three feet of water following the worst of Hurricane Sandy.
“There has been no damage to our building or systems, and we will conduct tests with the industry today with the aim of reopening U.S. markets on Wednesday,” NYSE spokesman Ray Pellecchia said in a statement.
During a live segment on Piers Morgan’s show Monday night, the anchor spoke with the network’s meteorologist who based the sensational claim solely on a comment left in a chat room.
“You have an update on the stock exchange situation. Do we still think that three feet of water got into the exchange? There seem to be conflicting reports now,” Piers Morgan asked meteorologist Chad Myers.
“Oh, is that right? You know, I got that from the National Weather Service chat bulletin board. It was right on there; it said three feet of water on the floor. I don’t know if there’s conflicting reports or not,” Chad Myers said.
The claim instantly went viral, spreading quickly on social networks and circulating as fact.
An NYSE official quickly tried to thwart the rumor, saying that the infrastructure of the landmark Wall Street building was “fine”.
A spokesman for the network issued a vague apology, purposefully avoiding the point of the fact that their sources were as murky as the alleged sea water that covered much of lower Manhattan.
“Chad referenced a National Weather Service report that turned out to be incorrect. We quickly made an on air correction. We regret the error,” CNN spokesman Bridget Leininger said.