Media coverage of the death of Robin Williams is still being debated for good reason: It was filled with ignorance and wretched excess. And the more time you have to reflect on it, the worse it seems.
From Shepard Smith characterizing Williams as a "coward" on Fox News, to widespread misinformation about the comedian's finances, the coverage was pathetic -- especially on cable news channels where most viewers turned for information initially.
- Appreciation: Robin Williams elevated TV with his manic, soaring energy and fearless improv
- Robin Williams on NBC's 'Homicide' -- Here's my 1994 Sun review
- Robin Williams: 'The Crazy Ones' was his last hurrah
- Robin Williams dies: Celebrity reaction [Pictures]
- Notable deaths from 2014 [Pictures]
- Robin Williams career in pictures
- VIDEOS: Robin Williams dead at 63
If cable news would follow the simple dictate of publishing only what is known to be true, we would be a much smarter and less addled nation.
The one thing I will defend the media on is publishing details of the suicide. You don't censor public information, because it might have a negative impact on someone. You get into that business, and you wind up printing nothing except what so-called "authorities" tell you that you can publish.
Here's a conversation I had with Howard Kurtz on Fox News Sunday about the coverage on "Media Buzz."