Nicolas Cage recently spoke to a few of us media peeps personally about the National Enquirer story that claimed he hired a voodoo priestess to ward off evil vibes on the set of his latest movie The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, following two car accidents on or near its New York City sets. “I do want to make [something] clear,” Cage declared. “You may have seen [something] around on the Internet or in different magazines — who I see have no intention of checking their facts — I did not hire a voodoo priestess to break a hex on the movie. That is one hundred percent false, and I don’t know why tabloids don’t call up and ask before they print this gobbletygook.”
Yes, it would be nice, but tabloids don’t care about that sort of thing. It is embarrassing, however, that larger, legitimate news outlets ran with the story without fact-checking it. I’ve noticed in this era of Instant Internet Gratification that people race to get the latest news out there, but sometimes there’s a factual error or typo. Or two. Sadly that’s becoming more common.Many people never see the corrections made to a story after the fact, unless its online and they re-read it.
But really, who cares? The world’s going to hell, so why worry about such nonsense? And why are people drawn to such tabloid fodder? The whole situation reminds me of a funny quote from my last interview with John Landis for Playboy.com. “During the first three or four years of Saturday Night Live, when it was at its height, he [SNL producer Lorne Michaels] comes home one Sunday afternoon and on his doorstep is the New York Post,” recalled Landis. “He sees on the cover, ‘The truth about Lorne Michaels and Saturday Night Live.’ He opens up to this article that says Lorne Michaels buys drugs in Mexico and distributes them to the actors, keeping them in a constant drug-induced state. It is outrageously salacious, and it calls him a pusher and a pimp. Lorne goes nuts, and he calls his lawyer. He’s looking at the article and can’t get over it. Finally, after half an hour, he sits down and opens to an article: ‘The truth about Warren Beatty’s love life.’ He goes, ‘Really?’ And that’s the real story — we all believe it.”