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Category: Politics
More news from Iran — Catching up on all the stuff coming out of Iran in the wake of the election: The Minister's Secret Letter Photocopies of a letter allegedly from the Iranian minister of interior to Iran's Supreme Leader have been circulating throughout Iran. The letter discusses "your orders for Mr Ahmadinejad to be elected president," and states "for your information only, I am telling you the actual results." Supposedly, the actual results show that Ahmadinejad lost badly, getting only 5,698,417…
Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009.   Comments (2)

Suspicious Number Counts in Iran’s Election — Cognitive psychologists have found that people have trouble inventing truly random numbers. Invariably their numbers will have more of some digits than others. Armed with this observation, a couple of political scientists examined the numbers from Iran's election and found that they aren't random. They found too many 7s and not enough 5s in the last digit. Also, people have a tendency to prefer adjacent digits when creating strings of numbers (i.e. they prefer 123 to 926). Sure enough,…
Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2009.   Comments (0)

Lil’ Kim for Mayor — Someone circulated a bogus press release claiming that rap star Lil' Kim was running for mayor of Hoboken. Local media in New York duly reported it as fact. But in a world where Ronald Reagan became president and Arnold Schwarzenegger is Governor of California, I can understand why they took it seriously. [NY Daily News]
Posted: Mon Apr 13, 2009.   Comments (0)

No NASCAR — Car and Driver's April Fool's Day hoax claiming that President Obama had ordered that Chevrolet and Dodge withdraw from NASCAR seems to have been one of the few AF hoaxes this year that actually fooled a significant number of people. [USA Today]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (1)


Missing Women — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the rest of his new government posed for an official photo in Jerusalem on April 1. But when the photo appeared in the ultra-orthodox newspaper Yated Neeman, all the women had been digitally removed from the photo. Apparently ultra-orthodox Jews don't like the idea of women in politics and seem to believe that if they can't see them, then they don't exist. [Suomen Kuvalehti]
Posted: Mon Apr 06, 2009.   Comments (4)

Bush and the Turkey — I received the following email about the photo in the Hoax Photo Database of Pres. Bush holding a "Trophy Turkey" during his 2003 Thanksgiving trip to Iraq: you claim that the turkey George Bush is holding is plastic. This urban myth has been debunked a thousand times and yet still keeps resurfacing. Even the New York Times was forced to print a retraction of this myth back in 2004... If you want to maintain a reputation for accuracy I suggest you amend the caption accordingly. The…
Posted: Mon Mar 02, 2009.   Comments (31)

Berlusconi’s Cuckoo Prank — I swear this is a real news story. It's not from The Onion: Silvio Berlusconi, the flamboyant Italian Prime Minister, played a practical joke on the German Chancellor today by jumping out at her from behind a lamppost when they met for an Italo-German summit in Trieste. Slipping away from the welcoming committee, the Italian leader hid behind the lamppost and emerged with a cry of "Cucu!" when Angela Merkel stepped out of her official car to enter the regional council headquarters…
Posted: Fri Nov 21, 2008.   Comments (7)

Fictitious McCain Adviser Exposed — Martin Eisenstadt, who describes himself as a former campaign adviser to John McCain and a Senior Fellow of the Harding Institute, has been in the news a lot lately. First it was for outing himself as the guy who leaked the story about Palin not knowing Africa was a continent. Now it's for being non-existent. The NY Times has the details. Turns out that Eisenstadt is a fictitious character created by two filmmakers, Eitan Gorlin and Dan Mirvish. Media outlets fooled: MSNBC, The New…
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008.   Comments (8)

Ahmadinejad’s Wife — This photograph, which supposedly shows Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his wife, has been circulating online for a few months. It's often linked to with teasing, tongue-in-cheek phrases such as "Ahmadinejad's wife is a hottie!" or "Ahmadinejad's wife is hotter than Palin!" But is the image real? Is that really his wife? If so, why and when did Ahmadinejad pose for the photo? It hasn't been easy to find any answers to these questions. One source claims the image came from…
Posted: Tue Nov 11, 2008.   Comments (17)

Kim Jong-Il’s Shadow — A recently released photograph of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il was supposed to prove that he's alive and well. Instead, it's raising even more suspicions about his health because the photo seems to be doctored. As the Times Online notes: While the legs of his soldiers cast a shadow at a sharp angle, the shadow of the “Dear Leader” is dead straight. In addition, there is a black line running horizontally behind the soldiers’ legs, but it mysteriously disappears behind Mr Kim. The…
Posted: Fri Nov 07, 2008.   Comments (19)

Satirical Candidates — I just finished writing a list of the Top 20 Satirical Candidates of All Time, which I've now added to the site. It seemed an appropriate time for it. I chose "Nobody" as the #1 satirical candidate. I thought it was an obvious choice. After all, how can Anyone top Nobody? But also on the list are the foot powder that won an election, Pat Paulsen, Stephen Colbert, Vermin Supreme, etc. What the list doesn't cover is mock political parties. The focus is entirely on candidates.
Posted: Thu Oct 16, 2008.   Comments (19)

Piper Palin gives one-finger salute — A picture (top) has been doing the rounds showing Piper Palin, Gov. Palin's six-year-old daughter, apparently giving a boy the finger. Yes, it's a hoax. In the original (bottom), which can be found on the Alaska state website, it's clear that Piper has two fingers raised.
Posted: Mon Oct 06, 2008.   Comments (84)

Iranian Interior Minister Admits Fake Degree — Iranian Interior Minister Ali Kordan has announced that he is shocked, shocked to learn that his honorary degree from Oxford University is fake. The dodgy circumstances by which he obtained it eight years ago (via "an agency in Tehran for English-language affairs that represents Oxford University") never raised any red flags with him. Nor did any of the spelling and grammatical mistakes in the document (misplaced commas, the word "entitle" is misspelled, etc.) Kordan is, appropriately,…
Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2008.   Comments (9)

McCain wins debate that hasn’t happened yet — Apparently John McCain's campaign has access to the same time machine used by the Chinese journalists at Xinhua News who reported the launch of the Shenzhou VII spacecraft (including the astronaut's dialogue) hours before it happened. (See previous post.) McCain's campaign has been running an ad in the Wall Street Journal's online edition declaring that "McCain Wins Debate," which is a bold assertion considering that the debate will only happen tonight. Link: Washington Post
Posted: Fri Sep 26, 2008.   Comments (6)

Adventures in Astroturf — Margriet Oostveen describes in Salon.com how she composed phony letters-to-the-editor on behalf of the McCain campaign: The assignment is simple: We are going to write letters to the editor and we are allowed to make up whatever we want -- as long as it adds to the campaign. After today we are supposed to use our free moments at home to create a flow of fictional fan mail for McCain. "Your letters," says Phil Tuchman, "will be sent to our campaign offices in battle states. Ohio.…
Posted: Thu Sep 25, 2008.   Comments (4)

Heart’s Letter to John McCain — The following cease-and-desist letter, supposedly written by Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart to John McCain, has started doing the rounds. Warning: NSFW language! Is it real? Well, the Wilsons did email out a statement asking the Republican campaign not to use their music, and in a phone interview, after the Republicans used their music anyway, Nancy Wilson said, "I feel completely f--ed over." However, the article above seems to be satire. It comes from Seattle's The Stranger…
Posted: Tue Sep 23, 2008.   Comments (5)

Bogus Crowd Estimates — It looks like the McCain campaign is playing the old political game of inventing inflated crowd estimates. They told reporters that 23,000 people attended a Sept. 10 rally. They attributed that estimate to a fire marshal. However, "Fairfax City Fire Marshal Andrew Wilson said his office did not supply that number to the campaign and could not confirm it." What's more, "Washington Post reporter Marc Fisher estimated the crowd to be 8,000, not the 23,000 cited by the campaign." But the…
Posted: Mon Sep 15, 2008.   Comments (10)

More photoshopped Palin pics — This one is titled "Caribou Barbie". I wouldn't label it fake based on the content (seems totally believable to me), but if you enlarge it you can see that Palin's head is far more pixellated than the rest of the picture, indicating it was cut-and-pasted in. This Vogue cover was created by "Ishmael Melville" of the Kodiak Konfidential blog back in Dec 2007. Palin really did appear in Vogue, but wasn't on the cover. However, apparently a couple of news sites believed this photoshop…
Posted: Wed Sep 03, 2008.   Comments (6)

Sarah Palin in a Miniskirt — McCain announced his decision yesterday (Friday) that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin will be his running mate, and already the photoshopped pics of Palin are starting to circulate. Actually, this picture of Palin in a miniskirt seems to predate Friday's announcement, but now that she's on the ticket with McCain it's begun to appear everywhere. It definitely is photoshopped -- a case of head transplantation. The real picture of Palin, from which her head was lifted, seems to be the one…
Posted: Sun Aug 31, 2008.   Comments (14)

Fosh Automotive — The website of Fosh Automotive appeared a few weeks ago, promising that the company was soon going to unveil an unlimited mileage electric car that would sell for under $25,000. A lot of people were skeptical. Fast forward to a few days ago, when Fosh unveiled something, but it wasn't an electric car. Instead, it was a bizarre anti-Obama, anti-abortion diatribe. Turns out the whole "electric car" thing was a bait-and-switch to lure eco-liberals to their site and then hit them with…
Posted: Wed Aug 27, 2008.   Comments (4)

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