Over the weekend NBC’s Ann Curry was the keynote speaker during Wheaton College’s commencement ceremony. In an effort to personalize her address, Ann began her speech by listing some famous graduates from the college. Unfortunately, most of the people she listed graduated from the Wheaton College in Illinois, not the Wheaton College in Massachusetts (where she was speaking).
As a Wheaton College alumni I took particular interest in this story, as I received real-time updates from friends on Facebook that were in attendance.
The video and transcript of Curry’s speech were quickly edited so that they didn’t provide inaccurate information, but the damage was already done. Something that could have taken a fact-checker two minutes to do turned into a laughable story reported by USA Today, Boston Globe, various blogs such as Gawker, and other news outlets. If only the video was available, Curry could have had a real YouTube gem.
To her credit, Curry admitted to her mistake, saying that she was mortified by the mishap and was only trying to connect with the students.