It was just too good of a story to actually have to check the facts, wasn't it? Plus, Selleck's politics are a bit conservative and he advocates for gun safety training, so he was deserving of a phony story based on an errant accusation. We live in ugly times.
I cannot tell you how often the importance of accuracy was drilled into us when I was a young reporter. As the old saying goes, "If your mother says she loves you, better check the facts."
Personally, I figured Higgins had something to do with it, or maybe it was one of T.C. and Rick's schemes.
[Yes, I have an odd fondness for Magnum P.I., perhaps because it was the first TV show to deal with post-Vietnam realities among veterans and to portray them in a positive light. Until that point, Vietnam vets on TV shows were beginning to be stereotyped as crazed, maladjusted sociopaths, which was how they were being regarded in the media and on college campuses. Oh, and in the Episcopal Church. Then again, maybe it was the house on the beach, I don't know.]