In the first few minutes of the year 2000, planes were supposed to fall from the sky, nuclear generators were supposed to explode, elevators were supposed to stop dead, and clocks were supposed to spin around wildly. At least that's what the media told us might happen.
Despite the dire warnings of mass computer meltdowns that came to be known as "Y2K," New Year's Eve 2000 came and went fairly uneventfully. But in hindsight, that set the tone for a decade in which the media, through either exaggeration or negligence, trifled with the public's trust time and again.
From the run-up to war over nonexistent weapons of mass destruction to the blatant fraudulence of Ken Lay, Bernie Madoff, John Edwards, Tiger Woods and many others, why were we so often misinformed? Closer to home, the same could be asked about plenty of public officials (including two disgraced governors), financial swindlers and media tycoons. To paraphrase the New York Times' Frank Rich, we've all been played for suckers.
Maybe the next 10 years will be better. For now, here's a look back at the 10 biggest Chicago media stories of the decade: