Scoop -- or gaffe -- of the year
L.A.-based Pajamas Media, a blog collective dedicated to stickin' it to the Mainstream Media (MSM), blared a shocker of a headline on Thursday: "Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei Reported Dead." The lead paragraph:
A source close to Pajamas Media has learned that Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has apparently succumbed to the cancer that hospitalized him last month, as exclusively reported by Pajamas Media, at age 67.
An incredible scoop, if true. But is it ?
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Iran's U.N. ambassador denied on Friday reports circulating on the Internet that Tehran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, had died.
"We checked last night and there is no truth to it," Javad Zarif, Iran's chief envoy to the United Nations, told Reuters about the reports, which first appeared on Web sites on Thursday.
The Internet rumors were circulating among traders in energy and other financial markets, but had not moved prices.
In Tehran, relatives of Khamenei dismissed the rumors, which they said had been circulating for several days, and said he was in good health. One Iranian source said Khamenei was expected to lead prayers during a religious holiday on Monday.
UPI reports basically the same thing. Response from the Pajamahdeen? The headline has been given the suffix "still unconfirmed," and rumor-originator Michael Ledeen writes:
The source still insists Khamenei is dead, but I cannot find any direct or indirect confirmation. To my knowledge only one person says Khamenei is dead. That said, the regime would have every reason to keep the fact secret, and Khamenei's physical condition has certainly been grave.
So, what do you think? Dead or alive? Scoop or stink-bomb? And after you vote, take a gander at a recent L.A. Times Op-Ed by Ambassador Zarif you might have missed over the holidays.