1:57 PM PDT, May 18, 2022
Walker was on assignment, broadcasting from the horrific massacre of 10 people at a Buffalo supermarket. The journalist for KPRC-TV in Houston was mistakenly identified as Walker Graham in the banner of a CBS affiliate in Florida.
Apparently, the story was labelled with the reporter’s last name and Graham Media Group, which owns the Orlando station.
And thus, a conspiracy theory was born.
A Twitter user posted frame-grabs from the two TV stations, complete with side-by-side banners showing different names for the same reporter. The poster said, “So he just got two different names depending on the news station? One day people, one day you’ll realize why people like me question EVERYTHING.”
The online missive garnered 60,000 likes, 10,000 retweets, and many, many replies.
The brouhaha got so big, the TV journalist weighed in.
“Ha! Wow. Missed this,” Walker wrote in response. “Yeah — seems my colleagues at a sister station don’t know my name. Brandon Walker, it is. I work for a station in Houston, KPRC2; however, I’ve filed reports for our sister stations in other cities.”
Brandi Smith, an anchorwoman for KHOU-TV in Houston, helped clarify the situation as well as reminding news employees to pay attention to the small stuff.
“Houston viewers know @KPRC2Brandon, who works for KPRC 2, which is owned by @grahammediagrp,” Smith tweeted. “Guessing a producer at the Graham station in Orlando didn’t double-check supers before throwing this one up and triggered a whole conspiracy as a result. Details matter.”
Another user questioned why something nefarious was presumed instead of humor error.
“Like why was that her first thought rather than an editing mistake?” the poster wrote.