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The rumor mill

Gazette staff March 28th, 2012

What’s the most powerful man in the world to do in Oklahoma City on a Wednesday night? No doubt the Basketball Fan-in-Chief would watch the OKC Thunder host the L.A. Clippers amid the legendary decibel levels of the Thunderdome, right?

Sadly, no. But spurred on by social media, that tidbit grew last week from idle speculation to Internet rumor to printable fact.

The day of President Barack Obama’s arrival in Oklahoma City, StateImpact Oklahoma (a collaboration of local NPR stations and OETA) posted a story that concluded, “Oklahomans who want to see the president in person themselves should start looking for tickets to the Thunder vs. Timberwolves [sic] game in Oklahoma City, which Obama is expected to attend.”

The story reported the wrong opponent, but at least used the word “expected” to hedge a bit. KFOR-TV Channel 4 went all in, noting on its website that “[Obama will] also attend a Thunder game during his stop here in Oklahoma.”

The White House never said Obama would attend the game. The prez’s official schedule — posted on the White House website and publicly available when both stories were online — had Obama arriving on Sooner soil at 9:50 p.m., a tad late for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

Perhaps other local media reported the going-to-a-game story, too. We heard rumors, after all.

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