^^^ Not cool, TMZ. Not cool at all. ^^^
We are always told not to believe everything we read online — but when it comes to celebrity deaths or celebrity near-deaths, the rule used to be: don’t believe it UNLESS you see it on TMZ. (Even CNN has been known to turn to them for confirmation.)
We expect false celeb-death stories from the National Enquirer, or MediaTakeOut.com, and other tabloid/gossip sources that aren’t deemed credible. However, TMZ has always been a breaking news leader in reporting high-profile deaths or illnesses first, and they’ve always been responsible and accurate on that subject… Until now.
Yesterday evening, TMZ claimed that Lil Wayne was comatose, in critical condition, and hooked up to breathing tubes after suffering multiple seizures. The scene was said to be “violent” as he was shaking uncontrollably and could not be stabilized. They also added that he had to have his stomach pumped of codeine three times — alleged evidence that he went on a sizzurp binge shortly before. Apparently, it didn’t “look good” for Weezy to pull through.
But the parts of TMZ’s report that really had fans freaking out and millions convinced the 30-year-old rapper was on his death bed, were:
- “We’re told Wayne is being given his last rites … with his family surrounding him to say their goodbyes.” (That specific sentence has since been removed from the website, but the rest of the article remains.)
- “Wayne’s mother is currently on a plane flying to Los Angeles — and we’re told all major decisions about Wayne’s health (including the decision to discontinue life support) will not be made until she arrives.”
The whole thing obviously kicked off a $#!%storm on Twitter with the story spreading like crazy, eventually forcing Weezy’s team to release the truth on his condition. While it’s correct that he did suffer a seizure, it seems as though everything else had been grossly exaggerated.
A rep for Young Money said in a statement (via GossipCop): “We can confirm Lil Wayne did have a seizure and that he is recovering.”
The co-founder of Cash Money Records, Birdman, also tweeted: “My son is feelin Good.will be home real soon.YMCMB.”
Plus, Mack Maine, the President of Cash Money Records, further shot down rumors on Twitter: “Wayne is alive and well! We watching the Syracuse game…thanks for the prayers and concern..he will update you all soon. #love,” adding, “dont believe the nonsense about comas and tubes to breathe…that’s false!!”
And then finally, a tweet appeared from Lil Wayne’s official account: “I’m good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.”
Even though TMZ did backtrack a little and retract the “last rites” comment, the website has still yet to offer an apology, or at least explain themselves. As of now, the story still appears online, with the most recent “update” in bold: “6:30 PM PT — Sources at the hospital tell us Wayne is still in critical condition in the ICU … but stabilizing. We’re told the prognosis is uncertain. Wayne is sleeping right now … which is odd, because he just tweeted saying he’s OK and thanking people for the prayers and love.”
Pfft… So, not only is TMZ not concerned with damage control at all — they’re also straight-up trying to pretend they weren’t completely OFF with this one. Sounds like someone can’t admit when they’re wrong.