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News Outlets Bamboozled by Fake Story of Lindsay Lohan Missing 'Speed-the-Plow' Rehearsals

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Jul 11, 2014 12:53 PM EDT | Jon Sobel (

Lindsay Lohan

Lindsay Lohan attends Gabrielle's Gala at Old Billingsgate Market on May 7, 2014 in London, England. (Photo : Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

A couple of weeks ago we reported confirmation of Lindsay Lohan's casting in an upcoming London production of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. That much, it seems safe to say, is true.

What isn't true is a story apparently concocted by Star magazine, and reported by other outlets, that Lohan was, as the Huffington Post put it, "causing all kinds of trouble, showing up to rehearsals late and unprepared after spending her evenings soaking up the London nightlife--when she's showed up at all, that is."

Given the Mean Girls actress's history of professional unreliability, troubles with the law and so forth, it's only natural to wonder if Lohan has changed her ways enough to bring an adequately professional attitude to the difficult process of preparing to perform every night on a major stage. I myself wrote that director Lindsay Posner "is experienced…in working with performers known primarily for their screen work…[so] if anyone can turn Lindsey Lohan, long known for unreliability and out-of-control behavior, into a creature of the stage, it might be he."

But it seems the Star was playing a joke--and the news outlets that picked up on the story were the out-of-control ones here.

Broadway World was taken in, publishing and then retracting the "news" that Lohan was "showing up late to rehearsals and arriving unprepared." The supposed source claimed Lohan had been issued an ultimatum: one more time and you're fired.

Celebrity gossipmonger Perez Hilton reported the story.

Apparently it wasn't just false, it was impossible. Rehearsals haven't even started yet.

Or so I've read. In news reports. Online.

How quick we are to succumb to confirmation bias! When we believe, based on reputation, that someone's unreliable, then when we hear a story that appears to confirm our belief we immediately assume it's true. It's a natural human foible. And as reporters, we need to watch out for it.

Speed-the-Plow is set to begin previews September 24.

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