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The Hoax Museum Blog
Category: Politics
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)

Arboleda’s Assassination Exhibit — Last week 28-year-old artist Yazmany Arboleda rented an empty storefront across the street from the New York Times building near Times Square to house his art exhibit. He then posted the title of the exhibit in the window: "The Assassination of Hillary Clinton / The Assassination of Barack Obama." It didn't take long for the secret service to show up and haul him in for questioning. Arboleda pleaded innocence, insisting he was referring to character assassination (by the media), not…
Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008.   Comments (1)

Wrong Hillary — 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…
Posted: Sun Mar 23, 2008.   Comments (8)

Animal Candidates — The "I Can Has Happy" blog has posted a list of animal candidates. That is, animals (and one plant) who have been nominated as political candidates. The list includes Tião, a "bad-tempered chimpanzee" who was a candidate for mayor of Rio de Janeiro in 1988; Junior Cochran, a black lab who is mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky; Bosco, a black Labrador-Rottweiler who was mayor of Sunol, California for ten years; Molly the Dog, who is currently running for President of the United States; and…
Posted: Wed Mar 12, 2008.   Comments (4)

Invisible Ink Pens — I did my civic duty and voted today in the California Primary. (I'm an Obama supporter.) I noticed that at my polling station they had gotten rid of the electronic voting machines used in previous elections and had returned to paper ballots. This meant I had to color in the bubbles with a bic pen that was given to me by a polling worker. I didn't get a chance to use one of those fancy new "invisible ink" pens that were seen in Chicago. KSLA reports: A Chicago Board of Elections…
Posted: Wed Feb 06, 2008.   Comments (8)

Quick Links: Jan. 29, 2008 — Russian election draws eccentric candidates Four empresses are running, as well as a tsar. Fake tickets offer strange message Police in Boulder are warning drivers to be on the lookout for fake parking tickets that bear this cryptic message: "The foregoing is falsely alleged upon personal initiative. This ticket hereby notes discredibility. Remember: Things could be worse. Get over yourself." I'm Not Dead Yet Polish resident Piotr Kucy is trying to convince officials that he isn't…
Posted: Wed Jan 30, 2008.   Comments (2)

Kitler Cat Controversy — A poster created by the German Green Party in Saxony and Hesse shows a cat that looks like Hitler with the tagline "you can't always recognize Nazis at first glance." The poster is meant to be a swipe at their extreme-right opponents. But the poster has provoked criticism from an unlikely source. Catsthatlooklikehitler.com has given it a paws down, complaining that it shows a photoshopped Hitler-resembling cat, instead of a real one. They write: the German Green Party have elected to…
Posted: Tue Jan 29, 2008.   Comments (3)

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