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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Politics
No, the EU is not banning kettles
Posted by The Curator on Thu Sep 04, 2014
The headline of today's Daily Express warned that the EU may ban kettles. Which sounds like something that would strike right at the heart of British culture. The reality, however, (as pointed out by fullfact.org) is a bit less sensational. An EU commission is investigating the energy consumption of kettles and may, in the future, suggest regulations that would make kettles more energy efficient and improve their impact on the environment. "Euromyths" (i.e. misleading stories about regulations supposedly dreamed up by overzealous EU bureaucrats) are very popular with the British tabloid press. Some fake Euromyths circulated in the past include that the EU was reclassifying kilts…
Categories: Journalism, Politics Comments (1)
Clone Candidates
Posted by The Curator on Tue May 06, 2014
Channel NewsAsia reports on a form of electoral trickery popular in India. In an attempt to confuse voters, rival parties are fielding multiple candidates who have the same name as a more well-known candidate. For instance, "in central Chhatisgarh, incumbent MP Chandulal Sahu of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is running against no less than seven competitors who share his name." So when election day arrives, the voters may not be sure which is the correct Chandulal Sahu to vote for. Apparently this is a perfectly legal thing to do.
Categories: Politics Comments (1)
Miscegenation Hoax Anniversary
Posted by The Curator on Sun Feb 16, 2014
Philip Kadish, who's completing his Ph.D. in American Lit. at The City University of New York, notes that a 'neglected anniversary' recently passed by: the 150th anniversary of the Miscegenation Hoax of 1864, which, as he notes, was "one of the greatest and least remembered political media hoaxes in American history." The old hoax is certainly evidence that bigotry has always been a part of American politics. As Kadish notes, the hoax foreshadowed modern political hoaxes that play to bigotry, such as the claim that Obama is a Muslim. The race-mixing hoax that dogged Lincoln By Philip Kadish This year is the 150th anniversary…
Dave Wilson—Not Black
Posted by The Curator on Wed Nov 13, 2013
Dave Wilson insists he didn't get elected to the Houston Community College System Board of Trustees by "pretending to be black," though many people are now accusing him of doing exactly that. He says he merely ran a smart campaign and used "targeted marketing" to appeal to voters in the majority black neighborhood where he was running. Yes, he avoided putting a photo of his own white face in his campaign literature, but included lots of stock photos of smiling black people. But there's nothing illegal in that. And yes, he did prominently claim to be endorsed by Ron Wilson. People might have assumed…
Azerbaijan declares election winner, before election takes place
Posted by The Curator on Thu Oct 10, 2013
The Washington Post reports that the Azerbaijan Central Election Commission accidentally released, via a smartphone app, the results of the country's presidential election a day before the election took place. Oops. The commission is saying that the app's developer accidentally sent out the 2008 election results as a test. But no one is believing this since a) the results show candidates from this year, not 2008; and b) it's Azerbaijan, and everyone assumes the election there is totally rigged. This seems to deserve a place in the annals of outrageous election fraud, alongside such classics as the 1927 election in Liberia, in which Charles King was elected president with 240,000 votes cast for him, in a…
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Too Much Hot Air
Posted by The Curator on Tue Oct 01, 2013
With the government shutting down today, I was reminded of this 1933 April 1st article in the Madison Capitol-Times about their state capitol building exploding because of a buildup of "large quantities of gas, generated through many weeks of verbose debate in the senate and assembly chambers" I don't think any newspaper would publish a joke like this today, in the post-9/11 era, but it still seems appropriate.
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Hoax Caller Imitates Sonia Gandhi
Posted by The Curator on Tue Sep 24, 2013
Indian papers are reporting that the attorney general of India, Goolam Vahanvati, recently received a series of calls from someone claiming to be Sonia Gandhi (President of the Congress), urging him to resign. But it wasn't actually Gandhi on the phone. It was a woman imitating her voice. Usually it's radio stations that are behind this kind of prank. But in this case, a senior member of the Indian congress is suspected to be the mastermind behind it. Hoax caller imitates Sonia Gandhi, government in a tizzy Times of India A hoax call from a PSU woman officer who convincingly sounded like Sonia Gandhi, an agitated attorney…
Categories: Politics Comments (0)
Are the Bush bathroom paintings a hoax?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 14, 2013
A week ago, news broke that a hacker (calling himself 'Guccifer') had broken into George W. Bush's email account. The hacker sent some of the emails and photos he found there to the Smoking Gun, which promptly published them. Three of the leaked photos showed works of art, apparently by Bush. Two of the works were self-portraits in the bathroom — Bush taking a shower and a bath. The third showed Bush working on a more traditional scene of a seaside chapel. It's the bathroom self-portraits that attracted all the attention. Understandably, since they were so odd. Art…
Categories: Art, Politics Comments (0)
Did President Taft once get stuck in a bathtub?
Posted by The Curator on Thu Feb 07, 2013
William Howard Taft, 27th President of the United States (1909-1913), was a large man. He reportedly weighed 355 pounds while in office, and according to rumor, he was so large that he once got stuck in the white house bathtub. The experience supposedly so rattled him that he ordered the installation of an extra-large tub big enough to hold four ordinary men. William Howard Taft The story of him getting stuck in a tub has been frequently repeated in books and newspapers, but is there any truth to the tale? Constitution Daily recently investigated the rumor, scouring through newspaper archives, documents from the National Archives, and Taft biographies, and concluded that "the…
Categories: Politics, Urban Legends Comments (1)
Mr. Corrupt Self-Serving Lying B’stard
Posted by The Curator on Fri May 11, 2012
Add this to the satirical candidates file: The guy in the picture was born Eric Mutch. But in 2010 he changed his name by deed poll to "Zero None Of The Above" and ran in the general election for Mayor of Bristol. But he only received 172 votes. He theorized that people didn't understand the point of his name, which was "to give a choice to people who wanted to vote but did not want to give their support to any of the candidates on their ballot paper." So he's changed his name again. It's now "Mr Corrupt Self-serving Lying B'stard." And he's running for Mayor of Bristol again. …
Categories: Politics Comments (3)
Romney’s family misspells their last name
Posted by The Curator on Thu Apr 26, 2012
This image has been circulating online since February with the caption: Romney's family misspell their last name in the greatest Freudian slip in history. The Hill reports that it's fake. However, I don't yet know any further details — such as where the picture was taken. Nor have I seen the original yet. But I've got to say, assuming this is a fake image, it's a really good one. Both because it's very believable (it's easy to imagine that two kids could momentarily stand in the wrong place), and because it makes its point very clearly: That Romney is incredibly rich, and that he seems to prioritize the interests…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (1)
Hungary’s president steps down after plagiarism scandal
Posted by The Curator on Tue Apr 03, 2012
Did he not intend to plagiarise, or did he not intend to get caught? Hungary's president steps down after plagiarism scandal telegraph.co.uk Last week Semmelweis University revoked Mr Schmitt's doctorate after a special committee concluded he had copied "word for word" large chunks of his 1992 thesis on Olympic history. In parliament the 69-year-old president reiterated claims he made on Friday that had not intended to plagiarise and that examiners should have raised any problems with his thesis at the time... (Thanks, Joe!)
Burnt Toast With Image Of Romney Shaking Hands With Satan
Posted by The Curator on Mon Mar 19, 2012
This auction managed to generate some attention from the internet — enough to get it pulled from eBay. Try as anyone might, no one could see the image the seller claimed was there. And the guy wanted $88.40 just for shipping. Apparently the auction was really just a thinly veiled anti-Mormon diatribe. Link: gawker.com.
Categories: Pareidolia, Politics, Religion Comments (1)
The 1% Tip Hoax
Posted by The Curator on Thu Mar 01, 2012
Last week an image showing the "tip" left by a rich banker who had dined at a Newport Beach restaurant spread around the internet. The financial tip was slightly less than 1%, on a bill of over $100, but the patron also left a life-advice tip: "GET A REAL JOB". Naturally, the image provoked the customary rage reaction from netizens. The image originally was posted on a blog called "Future Ex-Banker" run by an anonymous blogger who said he worked in the corporate office of a bank for a boss who represented "everything wrong with the financial industry." He further claimed of this boss: So proudly…
Categories: Photos/Videos, Politics Comments (5)
Mitt Romney and False Memory Syndrome
Posted by The Curator on Tue Feb 28, 2012
Mitt Romney recently displayed an example of what I termed "false memory syndrome" in Hippo Eats Dwarf. It's the tendency of politicians to have memories of events that never happened to them. In Romney's case, he recently told an audience how he remembered being at Detroit's Automotive Golden Jubilee, in which his dad served as grandmaster. The problem is, the Golden Jubilee took place on June 1, 1946, nine months before Mitt was born. (link: thestar.com) Other examples of the phenomenon include French president Nicolas Sarkozy claiming he was present in Berlin in November 1989 and helped knock down the Berlin Wall; Ronald Reagan claiming he witnessed the liberation of the…
Categories: Politics Comments (4)
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