The Museum of Hoaxes
hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive hoax archive
 
The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Journalism
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)
Cardboard Bun Caper
Posted by The Curator on Fri Jul 20, 2007
China's food industry, already reeling from reports of toxins in pet food originating in China, took another blow when Beijing TV recently reported that snack vendors in eastern Beijing were selling "steamed dumplings stuffed with cardboard soaked in caustic soda and seasoned with pork flavoring." Yuck! In this case, however, the accusation appears to have been unwarranted. CNN reports that: Beijing authorities said investigations had found that an employee surnamed Zi had fabricated the report to garner "higher audience ratings", the China Daily said on Thursday. "Zi had…
Categories: Food, Journalism Comments (3)
Elizabeth Albanese
Posted by Boo on Mon Jun 25, 2007
The Press Club of Dallas has been a much-respected institution for years, offering the annual Katie awards to journalists for high quality work. Recently, though, the organisation’s reputation has been dealt a crippling blow, with the news that their recent president, Elizabeth Albanese, has been falsifying the award results for at least the past two years. Albanese became involved with the Katies in 2003, the year she first won prizes, and has been reportedly tampering with the results every year since. For the 2003 awards, unlike following years, a list of judges for the awards was provided. However, it appears that Albanese…
Man Apologises to Internet
Posted by Boo on Thu Mar 22, 2007
10zenmonkeys.com has posted an article discussing the interesting law case surrounding Michael Crook. Inspired by the craigslist sex hoax by Jason Fortuny, Michael Crook started up a website to expose ‘perverts’ on the Craigslist site. He’d copied Fortuny’s prank, then posted his results on his webpage. When 10 Zen Monkeys posted a screen shot of Crook taken from a Fox news report on his previous ‘Forsake our Troops’ hoax, Crook responded with an email falsely claiming that he owned the copyright for his own image. Crook hadn’t just…
Computer Programme Debunks Pianist
Posted by Boo on Tue Feb 20, 2007
English pianist Joyce Hatto had risen to some prominence over the year preceding her death. Whilst she never played in public, recordings of her performances of works by artists such as Liszt, Schubert, Rachmaninov and Dukas, produced by her husband from a private studio, had her hailed as an unknown genius. However, an iTunes programme that compares recordings with an online database has thrown her abilities into doubt. A critic for the classical music magazine Gramophone was surprised to find that, when he loaded into his computer a recording of the pianist playing Liszt, the programme identified it as the work of the pianist Laszlo Simon on…
Quick Links: Chicken Born With Duck Feet, etc.
Posted by Boo on Sun Feb 11, 2007
Chicken Born With Duck Feet A chicken in Columbia has surprised everyone by being born with webbed feet and legs like a duck. Vetinary experts say that the chicken is not a result of cross-species breeding, and is just a genetic mishap. (Thanks, Adam.) Divine Or Delusional? wcbstv.com has a gallery of images showing items on which religious icons have allegedly been found. We've covered a few of them here, but some of the images were new to me. I found I could generally make out the figure or face…
Quick Links: Square Watermelon, etc.
Posted by The Curator on Mon Aug 07, 2006
Flora and I have decided on a more efficient way to post links that really don't need (or don't deserve) an entire post of their own. We'll just dump them together in a "quick links" post whenever we accumulate a bunch of them. Should mean more stuff gets posted. Here's the first such set of links: Square Watermelon Soon to be on sale in Britain. Really. "Boxes are placed around the growing fuit which naturally swells to fill the shape." Buy two and get a bonsai kitten free! (Thanks, Lou) Reuters admits altering…
Page 4 of 8 pages ‹ First  < 2 3 4 5 6 >  Last ›
All text Copyright © 2014 by Alex Boese, except where otherwise indicated. All rights reserved.