In the latest episode of “Salvation,” we had an example of how journalism is not supposed to be done but all too often is in the instant story culture of the Internet age. Amanda, the reporter for a webzine called Capital Eye, will do anything to get the big story that will make her career. She will betray friends, cut corners, and, not least of all, bring about the end of the world. Some spoilers follow.

How a yellow journalist almost destroyed the world

During the episode, Amanda got an envelope from a source so anonymous that she didn’t know who he or she was that detailed Atlas, the top secret government project that weaponized asteroids.

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Contrary to what the government has been telling people, the Chelyabinsk meteor was a deliberate act and not an accident. When confronted by her editor that her source was anonymous, Amanda retorted, “Yeah, like Watergate!” Cowed, the editor ran the story.

Just as an aside, Amanda clearly never read “All the President’s Men” or even saw the movie. The Washington Post had strict protocols where multiple sourcing was concerned. While no one else knew who Deep Throat was, Woodward and Bernstein did. Their reporting was solid.

So, the good news was that the Atlas story went viral, picking up a million hits and getting picked up by other news organizations. The bad news was that Amanda’s editor suddenly got second thoughts and demanded that she get a source after the White House issued a denial. The terrible news was that the story almost destroyed the world.

The Russians were seriously angry at the revelation

It turns out that the Russians and the Americans had agreed to launch a joint mission to divert the asteroid that is on its way to destroy the Earth.

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After Amanda posted her story, they pulled out of the mission and shot down the spacecraft when the United States tried to launch it anyway. To be sure both governments behaved stupidly, but Amanda, a 20-something entitlement-addled millennial, enabled them. Now seven and a half billion people will die.

Or the world’s population would have died if not for the fact that Darius, the aerospace entrepreneur who is managing the save the world project, had a backup plan available. He was able to launch the mission on one of his own rockets with the help of a group of hackers who made sure that the Russian radar system had been taken down. So, Amanda may have more time than just a month or so to go somewhere and think about her bad choices.