Faux-pas of the Day: Thatcher Gaffes


A fan holds a poster reading 'We love Meryl Streep' over a poster promoting the European premiere of the film 'The Iron Lady' at BFI Southbank in London on January 4, 2012.



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Margaret Thatcher's death was the top story of the day yesterday.

As the news of the Iron Lady's passing broke, journalists, newscasters, and social media mavens the world over rushed to report it — but perhaps some should have taken more time to double check their facts.

Yes, it would appear that in their hurried attempts to nab some of the Thatcher spotlight, a few outlets didn't quite get the story right.

The first of our featured 'Thatcher gaffes' comes to us from the Taiwanese station CTi Cable, which aired footage of Queen Elizabeth II while reporting the death of the former British Prime Minister.

The newscaster said: "We've learned the breaking news that ex Prime Minister, the Iron Lady, Thatcher, died at home in London due to stroke today, the 8th, this morning, at the age of 88."

And while we're not entirely sure why the station reported her age as 88, as opposed to Thatcher's correct age, 87, it could either be a second unfortunate error or it could simply be chalked up to the Chinese custom of counting one's age as starting with one when you are born.

Here is a video of the newscast:

The second 'Thatcher gaffe' of the day comes to us from Thailand, where news producers for the country's army-owned Channel 5 made a similar error, using a photograph of actress Meryl Streep when they reported news of the former British Prime Minister's death.

According to the Daily Mail, for nearly two minutes, the Thai channel displayed Lady Thatcher's biography alongside a picture of Streep in character for the film The Iron Lady.

Later that day, the Channel 5 production team wrote on Facebook: 'We will improve and develop our work more carefully and are deeply sorry.'

At least in this case, they were a bit closer — Meryl Streep was, after all, playing the part of Margaret Thatcher in the semi-autobiographical film based on the life of the Iron Lady — but unfortunately for the Thai television channel, close only counts in horseshoes.

And last but not least, we can thank Mr. Harry Styles and his ever-impressive slew of One Directioners for the final 'Thatcher gaffe' of the day. 

After it was announced that the former PM had died, the British boyband star posted 'RIP Baroness Thatcher' on his twitter account.

However, although Harry's tweet was retweeted over 38,000 times, and favorited close to 35,000 times, many of the responses that he garnered suggested that his twitter fans didn't know the Iron Lady from the Tin Man.

More from GlobalPost: Thatcher’s death prompts sharply divided opinion over her legacy