Perhaps it's time to change the name of newscasts to hoaxcasts.
Today's hoax-as-news event occurred in Washington where someone pretending to be from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced the organization was endorsing climate change legislation.
The event at the National Press Club ended when a real spokesman for the Chamber burst into the room.
"Whoops," says The Guardian:
In today's instant news era, that wasn't quite soon enough. Several green organisations tweeted or blogged on the about-face. Reuters news agency put out a straight news story about the Chamber's apparent U-turn, and the Washington Post and New York Times put the story on their news sites (both later removed the stories from their websites). CNBC actually sought - and got - comment from analysts. It also broke its programming to have a reporter read out the fake press release.
There once was a saying in newsrooms, "if your mother says she loves you, check it out." It might be time to bring that baby back.
Coincidentally, the New York Times announced today it's cutting 100 newsroom jobs. No word yet if one of the positions affected is the one that determines if a story is real.
(Update 4:55 p.m.) - The Chamber rattles the legal sabers.
When I heard the President had won the Nobel Peace Prize, my first thought was that it was a hoax.
Here's the thing: in the news-as-entertainment world, people don't care if its real or not. We just want to be amused.
I see what's going on here....
It's all part of the Fun Theory!!
Over in the Area at Politico.com, there are a lot of pundits wearing a deep red complexion.
Today, the topic is - "Is Fox a legitimate news organization?"
A simple question answer that - Who checks their facts?
Speaking from experience, as a blogger who caught the New York Times environmental writer, William Yardley, in a stupid lie (here) - it is an easy thing to do.
If the topic is Climate Change, faith always trumps reason and they never check their facts
To be fair to the other networks, FOX began to break the story before their call to The Chamber was completed.
Their business reporter got about 15 seconds into the hoax report before catching the error in mid-report.
Well... at least they beat Rueters.
So would that make FOX a more legitimate news organization than Rueters of CNN?