Articles about "Hoaxes"


White House Fence

White House tried to squash fainting-intern story

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. White House edits pool reports: The White House press office sometimes demands changes to pool reports before it “forwards them via e-mail to a database of thousands of recipients, including news outlets, federal agencies and congressional offices,” Paul Farhi reports. “This two-step process enables White House staffers to read the pool reports — and potentially object to them — before press aides send them to recipients.” HuffPost’s Jennifer Bendery tells Farhi the White House tried to squash her fainting-intern story. (WP)
  2. Pirates release journalist: Somali pirates released freelancer Michael Scott Moore, CNN reports. Michel Todd of Pacific Standard, for which Moore wrote a weekly column, said the magazine “had been encouraged by the FBI and State Department to (not) write about it because this would hurt his cause.” (CNN)
  3. Layoff season is upon us: The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal laid off 17 people yesterday, according to the Memphis Newspaper Guild.
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tbt-alligator-v-small

Florida newspaper runs photo of ‘two-headed alligator’

TBT, the tabloid publication of the Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times, may have been duped by a prankster. It ran a photo of a two-headed alligator on its front page Monday.

The image comes from Justin Arnold, who wrote on his Facebook page that he “was walking my dog yesterday and noticed a few people gathered by the Hillsborough river in Seminole Heights. When I went closer I was amazed to see this two headed alligator. According to Florida Fish and Game it has been reported by several people and they explained it as a failed separation of monozygotic twins and that it is common in reptiles. Please share this picture so others can keep their eyes out for it.”

Others in the region have picked up the story.… Read more

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Editor: Columnist pranked by ‘Breaking Bad’ plot ‘treats all letters as sincere’

Winnipeg Free Press advice columnist Miss Lonelyhearts was fooled by a letter that attributed plot points from “Breaking Bad” to a reader called “Stressed and Confused.”

In an email to Poynter that he also sent to The Huffington Post, Free Press Editor Paul Samyn said: “Readers write to Miss Lonelyhearts because she is widely seen as offering expert advice on relationships – not for her knowledge about pop culture or television (they write to her colleague Brad Oswald for that).”

He continues:

In this particular case, Miss L took the writer at face value and offered advice she thought best suited their problem — advice we are hearing her readers also thought was wise.

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Jimmy Kimmel: It’s ‘easy’ to fool the media

Re/Code

In an interview from Austin, Texas, Peter Kafka asked Jimmy Kimmel about his hoax videos, like the Sochi wolf and the twerking disaster video.

“I’ve heard people suggest that these will get harder for you to do, because people will catch on. But it seems like you can do them forever,” Kafka asks him. The TV host replies:

As long as people want to be the first one to post something, to get people to click through, it will be easy. If people start evaluating material, it will make it more difficult. [Laughs]. But I don’t see that happening. I don’t see us headed in that direction.

Kafka asks him if he’s “trying to comment on the media.” Kimmel replies: “I leave those comments for others to make.”

At the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner, Kimmel did in fact make some comments about the media, cracking jokes about Rupert Murdoch, CNN and Keith Olbermann.… Read more

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Justin Bieber hoax snares numerous outlets

iMediaEthics

CNN, Gawker and The Atlanta Journal Constitution were among the media outlets who fell for a radio station’s hoax about Justin Bieber moving to Atlanta, Sydney Smith reports. Smith counts more than 20 outlets that ran stories claiming residents of Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood were protesting a potential move by Bieber into the city. (In fairness, legitimate Bieber news can often be difficult to believe.)

Amazingly, the Daily Mail wasn’t on Smith’s early list, but she assured me in a tweet the Mail was, in fact, on this fake story. Phew!

Some lovely images of bogus news:… Read more

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Reporter falls for source with fake juvenile name, other Gannett properties print it

iMediaEthics

Fourteen Gannett properties ran a quote from “Howie Felterbush” about the George Zimmerman verdict, Rhonda Roland Shearer and Sydney Smith report. Most of the outlets deleted the quote. Some, like WTLV and USA Today, updated the story with a note saying “Earlier, this story included a comment from a source whose name could not be verified.”

WTLV executive producer for special projects Anne Schindler told the reporters she interviewed the person, whom she’d noticed not a lot of other reporters were interviewing. “Maybe I need a 7th grader to approve my copy — to pick up on the boner jokes,” she told iMediaEthics. “I missed it.”

Just to be safe, Shearer and Smith searched public records for a person with that name, coming up with a Peter Felterbush in Pennsylvania and a Howie Filterbush in Tennessee.… Read more

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Word on keyboard

Why Tablet paid an author who tried to hoax it

Tablet

The Hebrew sci-fi classic “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow” was fake and fake and fake, but Tablet published a piece about its “author” anyway, with a full accounting of why.

Israeli writer Shay Azoulay pitched the magazine a biography of Jacob Wallenstein, whom Azoulay claimed was the author of the first science fiction book in Hebrew, “Blueprint for the World in the Year 2050.”

One problem, though. There was never a Jacob Wallenstein.

Senior editor Matthew Fishbane preludes the faux biography on the faux opus by the faux Wallenstein with the story of how it came to Tablet and how, with a few fairly innocent questions thrown out over time to Azoulay and other colleagues, the folks at Tablet figured things out.

Azoulay quickly apologized, Tablet reports.… Read more

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Word on keyboard

Denver Fox affiliate, Examiner.com hoaxed by story of man being mistaken for a terrorist

TVSpy | Perazzi | KDVR | KUSA | Examiner.com

Denver TV station KDVR, a Fox affiliate, broadcast a story Saturday that claimed an Italian shotgun-company executive “was taken in for questioning by law enforcement” after a taxi driver mistook him for a terrorist. KDVR didn’t speak to the executive, Daniele Perazzi, but to his “U.S. attorney,” who “told FOX31 Denver that her client was scared during the incident because he’s not familiar with U.S. gun laws and thought he’d done something wrong.”

Daniele Perazzi died in 2012. The “incident is devoid of any foundation and the news is completely fabricated,” the company said in a statement.

And the woman who contacted the station wasn’t an attorney, KDVR now says. But she wasn’t the only one flogging the story, KDVR reports:

David Kopel, a nationally-recognized Second Amendment attorney with the Independence Institute in Denver, first told FOX31 Denver about the alleged incident Saturday.

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Prank call sends police to Wolf Blitzer’s house

The Washington Post | The New York Times

Montgomery County, Md., police arrived at CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer’s house Saturday evening after receiving a message claiming there had been a shooting there, Michael Laris reports.

After calling CNN, police learned that it was another case of “SWATing,” in which hoaxters send disguised emergency messages hoping for a big police response. A CNN spokesperson told Laris that Blitzer was “traveling and unavailable for comment.”

Security writer Brian Krebs had a dinner party interrupted by such a call in March. Adam Nagourney and Ian Lovett reported earlier this month that the problem has gotten so annoying in Southern California that police are responding more warily to distress calls from celebrities.

Previously: Hoax sends SWAT team to reporter’s houseRead more

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Bird words

‘Let Me Tweet That For You’ site raises concerns for journalists

This tweet looks pretty real, doesn’t it?

It’s not, though. I faked that tweet using a Web service named “Let Me Tweet That For You.” It’s pretty simple — you type in a Twitter username and a message, and it generates a realistic-looking image of a tweet from that person. It even adds fake retweet and favorite counts to lend some more credibility.

The site is a project of OKFocus, a New York-based marketing agency. It’s actually about a year old, but has been somehow rediscovered this week and is really taking off on Twitter.… Read more

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