The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Journalism
The Montgomery County Bulletin Plagiarism Scandal
Posted by The Curator on Sun Aug 10, 2008
The story of the Montgomery County (Texas) Bulletin Plagiarism scandal, so far: 1) A reader pointed out to Slate.com writer Jody Rosen that an article he had written about Jimmy Buffett had been plagiarized by Mark Williams, a writer for a small weekly Texas paper, the Montgomery County Bulletin. 2) Rosen contacted the editor of the Bulletin, Mike Ladyman, who pretty much blew him off. 3) Rosen did some more investigating and realized that Mark Williams had plagiarized almost EVERYTHING he wrote for the Bulletin. And a substantial amount of the rest of the content of the Bulletin also came from plagiarized sources. 4) Rosen published
Categories: Journalism Comments (8)
Fly Derrie-Air
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jun 06, 2008
Derrie-Air claims to be the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline. From its website: Welcome to Derrie-Air, the world's only carbon-neutral luxury airline, where you don't have to choose between living the high life and saving the planet. Nine out of ten scientists agree—we need to reduce our carbon emissions or perish from the face of the earth. Air travel is one of the biggest sources of carbon emissions and global warming. Derrie-Air will be the only airline that plants trees to offset every pound of carbon that our planes release into…
Unwinding and Rewinding Toilet Paper
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jun 03, 2008
An article about "tornado oddities" on Yahoo! News leads off with this one: As residents in Hugo begin to move on from last week's tornado, some say they noticed a few bizarre things amid all the damage. Jason Akins said the twister unwound a roll of toilet paper in his bathroom — draped it across the countertop, then rewound it in the sink. The toilet paper didn't even rip. "All I could say was, 'You have got to be kidding me,'" Akins recalled. 'You've gotta be kidding me' is my reaction also. An article on
Categories: Journalism Comments (10)
Punishing linkbaiters?
Posted by The Curator on Sat May 24, 2008
On May 9, money.co.uk published a story alleging that a 13-year-old kid in Texas had stolen his dad's credit card and used it to rent a motel room and some prostitutes. The cute/quirky part of the story was that the kids simply played Xbox with the "$1,000 a night girls." The story quickly spread throughout the media, appearing in The Sun, The Daily Telegraph, and Fox News, among others. But a few days later it was exposed as a hoax, since the police had no record of such an incident. David B posted about it here in the forum. Online marketer Lyndon Antcliff admitted he had posted the story on…
Categories: Journalism Comments (16)
Hitler Doll
Posted by The Curator on Mon May 05, 2008
About two weeks ago a story started going around alleging that an Adolf Hitler doll, marketed to children, was being sold in the Ukraine. From the Daily Mail: One saleswoman said: "It is like Barbie. Kids can undress fuhrer, pin on medals and there's a spare head in the kit to give him a kinder expression on his face. "He has glasses that are round, in the manner of pacifist Jon Lennon". The doll will also come with accessories like a miniature Blondi, Hitler's faithful Alsatian who died alongside the Nazi in…
Categories: Journalism Comments (10)
Wrong Hillary
Posted by The Curator on Sun Mar 23, 2008
From the March 19th edition of the Mahoning Valley Tribune Chronicle: It was incorrectly reported in Tuesday’s Tribune Chronicle that Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton answered questions from voters in a local congressman’s office. Reporter John Goodall, who was assigned to the story, spoke by telephone with Hillary Wicai Viers, who is a communications director in U.S. Rep. Charlie Wilson’s staff. According to the reporter, when Viers answered the phone with ‘‘This is Hillary,’’ he believed he was speaking with the Democratic presidential candidate, who had made several previous visits to the Mahoning Valley. The quotes from Viers were…
Is Blue the new Green?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jan 25, 2008
In what is one of the most absurd articles I've read in a while, Chicago Tribune reporter Nara Schoenberg tries to argue that "blue" is the new "green". In other words, green (as a symbol of environmentalism) is old hat. So people are now starting to say "blue" instead of "green". Her main evidence is that Mercedes-Benz calls its new clean-diesel technology BLUETEC. And a few environmental websites have blue pages. I refer to this journalistic technique in Hippo Eats Dwarf as the "Generalization from a Single Example": "A reporter makes a sweeping statement, but backs it up with only one or two examples... [leading] audiences to believe they represent a larger…
Categories: Journalism Comments (7)
Twins get married… or maybe not
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Last week this story was EVERYWHERE. A pair of twins in Britain, who had been adopted into different families, met and fell in love... without realizing they were twins. They then got married, only to discover the terrible secret they shared. Their marriage was promptly annulled. When I first read about this, it sounded pretty fishy to me -- very much like an urban legend being reported as news -- but on a cursory reading of the story I also got the impression that there were officials involved who knew about the case but couldn't disclose the identity of the twins. So I accepted the news as true. I think the paragraph in the BBC…
Non-Smokers Not Fired
Posted by The Curator on Tue Jan 15, 2008
Last week quite a few papers ran this story: NON-SMOKERS NEED NOT APPLY BERLIN -- The owner of a small German computer company has fired three non-smoking workers because they were threatening to push demands for a smoke-free environment. The manager of the 10-member IT company in Buesum, named Thomas J., told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper he had fired the trio because their non-smoking was causing disruptions. "I can't be bothered with trouble-makers," Thomas said. "We're on the phone all the time and it's just easier to work while smoking. Everyone picks on smokers these days. It's time…
Categories: Journalism Comments (5)
Hippo Goes For A Swim
Posted by The Curator on Thu Nov 29, 2007
Here's a story I missed last month, even though it occurred right here in my backyard (figuratively speaking). FoxSports.com took the lead in disseminating it, but versions of it, such as the one below (from the Seattle Times) appeared in many papers: The San Diego Chargers moved their practice operations to Arizona during last week's devastating fires in Southern California, depriving special-teams coach Steve Crosby of a genuine Kodak moment back home. As Jay Glazer reported at FoxSports.com: "Crosby received a call from his wife informing him that she walked outside to assess the damage and get this she found…
Categories: Animals, Journalism Comments (1)
The Sound of Quintuplets Crying
Posted by The Curator on Sun Nov 18, 2007
When a Russian woman recently gave birth to quintuplets, it made news around the world. But BBC viewers who watched the footage of the babies might have thought something was a little odd. Why were the babies crying, even though they had respirators in their mouths? It turns out the cries were dubbed in: The BBC has admitted that it added the sound of crying to a report yesterday on the birth of a set of quintuplets. It is the latest in a series of rows over fakery to hit the corporation in recent months... Footage of the infants was…
Categories: Birth/Babies, Journalism Comments (7)
How to cure internet addiction
Posted by The Curator on Mon Sep 10, 2007
Here's a news story that's been making the rounds recently. This case is said to have occurred in Chengdu city, China: Jiang Ming promised his wife, He Ling, that he would not go on the internet any more and would spend more time at home. But he started to sneak into internet cafes again to have video chats with girls. "I was on the internet, and suddenly the arrow on the screen stopped moving, " says Jiang Ming. "Then I found that my right hand was on the mouse pad, and blood was shooting out." In court, the husband pleaded…
Vicious attacks by girls increasing or decreasing?
Posted by The Curator on Fri Sep 07, 2007
Joe Littrell alerted me to an amusing piece on slate.com which takes the air out of a Boston Globe story about the disturbing trend of "Vicious Attacks By Girl Cliques Seen Increasing." Jack Shafer points out that the article contradicts its premise in its own subtitle, where it admits, "Despite Police Statistics, Violence Causing Worries." In other words, police statistics show that girl-on-girl violence is decreasing, but the article tries to spin it the other way, presumably because a rise in girls fighting each other sounds more intriguing, especially when you can lead off with vivid descriptions of girls fighting such as this one:
Fake Al Sharpton Fools MSNBC
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 27, 2007
Newsgroper is a parody site full of fake celebrity blogs. To make sure that no one confuses its content with real news, it posts the warning "Fake Parody Blogs, Political Humor, Celebrity Satire, Funny Commentary" in the title bar of every page. Apparently, this warning wasn't enough for MSNBC's Alex Johnson. In a piece about Michael Vick, he quoted from Newsgroper's fake Al Sharpton blog, presenting the following quotation as if it were something Sharpton really had said:"If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring…
Categories: Journalism, Sports, Websites Comments (7)
Reuters Searches for the Titanic beneath North Pole
Posted by The Curator on Sat Aug 11, 2007
Last week two Russian submersibles descended to the seabed beneath the North Pole and planted a flag, as a symbolic gesture of staking a claim to much of the Arctic Sea. When Reuters ran the story it seemed to have scooped all of its rivals by obtaining an actual photo of the Russian submarines beneath the North Pole. It ran a picture with the caption: "Russian miniature submarines are seen under water in the Arctic Ocean in this image taken from a television broadcast yesterday." The image was subsequently reproduced by many newspapers around the world. But a 13-year-old Finnish schoolboy who saw the picture thought there was something strange about it. He had seen it before.…
Categories: Journalism, Photos/Videos Comments (5)
Page 3 of 8 pages  < 1 2 3 4 5 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.