The Museum of Hoaxes
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The Great Electric Sugar Swindle, 1884
Did Paul McCartney die on Nov. 9, 1966?
Female thieves hide money in their bras, 1950
Vilcabamba, the town of very old people, 1978
Jernegan's Gold Accumulator Scam, 1898
The Society for Indecency to Naked Animals, 1959
September Morn, the painting that shocked the censor, 1913
The Cradle of the Deep, a literary hoax, 1929
Burger King's Left-Handed Whopper Hoax, 1998
'Solar Armor' freezes man in Nevada Desert, 1874
Taiwanese Political Fights
Taiwanese politics can get quite violent at times. According to a recent Reuters article:
In January, a brawl involving about 50 MPs who wanted to stop parliament speaker Wang Jin-pyng from accessing his podium lasted for four hours.
Shoes were thrown at the speaker, a microphone was ripped out and thrown across the chambers. MPs shoved and pulled one another's ties. Wang never made it to the podium.
Some of the brawling MPs turned to reporters and cameramen, yelling slogans to them and brandishing signs.
In 2005 one legislator needed stitches after he was struck by a mobile phone. Last year an MP used tear gas. Shouting exchanges occur almost every week on the parliament floor.
But according to the same article, these fights are all staged for the benefit of the media:
The brawling and histrionics in parliament that have put Taiwan politics on the world map for the past 20 years are staged acts, legislators and political observers say. They are planned in advance to generate media attention and garner favour with voters who like to see their representatives fight as hard as they can on tough issues. Lawmakers even call up allies to ask that they wear sports shoes ahead of the choreographed clashes. They have been known to meet up afterwards for drinks. "It's really a media event, staged for media coverage," said Nationalist Party (KMT) legislator Joanna Lei.
I guess this would be the Jerry-Springer-Show model of government.

Well, at least staged fights make political debates more interesting. It would certainly liven up American politics to put all the candidates in a ring and let them duke it out.

Of course, there have been some scuffles in Congress, such as when, in 1798, Roger Griswold attacked Matthew Lyon with a stick. And in 1856 Preston Brooks attacked Sen. Charles Sumner with a cane. But those fights weren't staged. (Thanks, Joe)
Categories: Politics
Posted by The Curator on Wed May 23, 2007
Comments (2)
Ah, TV what wonders you bring to government. How you improve human nature. Hey everybody, watch me be on TV! I can act like a child in front of millions!
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Wed May 23, 2007  at  06:33 PM
Well, you know the saying 'Sticks and stones may break my bones...'

Ok, sorry, that was uncalled for...I'll shut it now grin
Posted by Nettie  in  Perth, Western Australia  on  Wed May 23, 2007  at  08:03 PM
Commenting is no longer available for this post.
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