There's bad journalism, and then, there is bad online, show-biz journalism, which is in a class by itself when it comes to laziness, lack of fact-checking and flatout hack-ocity (I know that's not a word, but it speaks to my anger at the moment).
Huffington Post put a report up Thursday with the headline, "'House of Cards' Season 2 Likely to Be its Last, Producer Says."
That could be of some interest not only to fans of the Netflix series, but also folks in Baltimore where the series in filmed.
But what's it based on?
It's based on a second-hand report of a statement allegedly made a week ago at a film festival in Canada by Rick Cleveland, a co-executive producer on the show. The first report five days ago was at the Gold Derby website.
Here's how it is now being "reported":
Under the headline at Huffington Post is a video from Huff Post TV featuring a correspondent identified as Mike Sacks, who says, "According to an article posted by Gold Derby, it seems the show starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright will conclude after its second season."
After saying, "Apparently, Netflix only ordered two 13-episode seasons," Sacks quotes Cleveland saying, "'House of Cards' is only going to a second season and I think that's it."
He says Cleveland "revealed" that information "today at the Vancouver Film Festival."
The Huffington Post report under the Huff Post TV video says Cleveland told Gold Derby, "Kevin Spacey likes to do movies and Robin Wright likes to do movies," which is why the series will allegedly end after two seasons.
Where to start in deconstructing this quasi-journalistic hot mess?
The Gold Derby post is dated Oct. 6, and it says that Cleveland made his remarks on Oct. 4 at the film festival.
So, it's not clear if Gold Derby ever talked to Cleveland or is reporting second hand what he reportedly said at a film festival two days earlier.
And if the Oct. 10 date at Huffington Post is correct, why is Sacks saying Cleveland "revealed" the alleged news "today"?
And why is Sacks saying, "Apparently Netflix only ordered two 13-episode seasons"?
There is nothing apparent about it. The order of 26 episodes has been a confirmed and widely reported fact for 18 months.
And why is Sacks saying "only"?
Two 13-episode seasons without a pilot is a huge and unprecedented order for a TV series -- and that was widely-reported as well.
You get the idea: What you have here are buzzards feeding off the entrails of second-hand information -- and correspondents who don't even have basic knowledge of the subject on which they are reporting.
And what kind of authority is Cleveland anyway to be speaking for the future of "House of Cards"?