Since then, TMZ has retracted the report, noting that the poet is “alive and well in St. Louis.” The site blames event organizers for telling a photographer that the poet had been hospitalized. This is Angelou’s second bad experience with Twitter this year–in February she exposed a fake Angelou Twitter page with thousands of followers.
A Reuters‘ report gleefully listed all the celebrity missteps created by online journalists: “TMZ got the worldwide scoop on the death of Michael Jackson in June, but wrongly reported the following month that former UFC superstar Kimo Leopoldo had died. Last month, gossip columnist Perez Hilton claimed that former Charlie’s Angels star Jaclyn Smith had tried to commit suicide. It appeared to be a case of mistaken identity. Hilton also suggested in 2007 that Fidel Castro had died.”