Fake News

By Kyle Drennen | March 11, 2014 | 11:32 AM EDT

On Tuesday, all three network morning shows dutifully touted a fake interview President Obama conducted with comedian Zach Galifianakis designed to help the commander-in-chief hock ObamaCare to young people. On NBC's Today, social media co-host Carson Daly gushed: "It's over six minutes long...all of it is really, really funny....You know, the First Lady's been everywhere showing her comedy chops and it's been great. But boy, the President, he is amazing in this. So check that out this morning if you have time." [Listen to the audio or watch the video after the jump]

Later in the show's 9 a.m. ET hour, weatherman Al Roker praised Obama's comedic genius: "It's about the delivery and the President shows he's got the comedy chops." Co-host Tamron Hall declared: "Yes, yes. Which he shows at the White House Correspondents' Dinner every year." Co-host Willie Geist explained: "It was part of a – this concerted effort to promote the Affordable Care Act. Because they get into that and the President's allowed to explain it."

By Tom Blumer | August 27, 2013 | 4:02 PM EDT

Based on a review of the archive at Media Bistro's Evening News Category, NBC's Nightly News has just turned in its lowest consecutive two weeks of ratings in over six years. You'd never know that from reading Chris Ariens's narrative at today's ratings post there.

The Big 3 networks combined also failed to break 20 million during both the week of August 12 (19,859,000) and August 19 (19,994,000). That's probably not unprecedented, but it's definitely a rarity.

By Tom Blumer | June 20, 2013 | 11:06 AM EDT

File this under: "She can dish it out but can't take it."

Tuesday, the Turkish newspaper Takvim published a fictional interview of CNN's Christiane Amanpour said to have taken place in Atlanta. As seen in a Google (less than perfect) Translate screen grab, it is clearly identified as sarcasm at its end. That didn't stop Amanpour from tweeting her anger at the fake interview while implicitly leading readers to believe that the paper was trying to pass it off as real:

By Tim Graham | February 12, 2013 | 8:31 AM EST

Obama fans in my neck of the woods in Northern Virginia received an e-mail from the Organizing for America team inviting them to a State of the Union watch party in suburban Centreville, Virginia.

A quick Google of the Centreville address shows that there’s a famous/infamous resident of the Obama watch-party house: Jayson Blair, the disgraced former New York Times reporter.

By Ryan Robertson | November 20, 2012 | 12:10 PM EST

The satirical newspaper The Onion is generally non-political and at times it has had some good conservatively-slanted humor pieces, like this gem from April 2009. But when it comes to the ongoing violence in Israel, The Onion has just proved it doesn't have many layers of complexity.

By Brad Wilmouth | November 19, 2012 | 8:34 AM EST

On Friday's Anderson Cooper 360 on CNN, as noted at HonestReporting.com, host Cooper devoted a one-minute segment to informing viewers that his show on Thursday had used footage of a Palestinian man in Gaza who was apparently faking injury for the benefit of cameras. Cooper began his retraction:

By Tom Blumer | November 18, 2012 | 9:43 PM EST

A video at CNN with reporting by Sara Sidner from Gaza tells us "how a small child became a symbol of civilian casualties." Some of her narrative: "A scene no parent should ever have to endure"; "Four year-old Mahmoud Sadallah lies dead in the arms of a neighbor, a child of Gaza, another victim of an airstrike"; "we saw no evidence here of military activity." There's even a scene where Ms. Sidner reports having to flee where she is currently reporting because "there are airstrikes" and "rockets." Since Hamas doesn't have an air force, we're supposed to assume that Israel's military is responsible for Mahmoud's death.

Except, as Joel Pollak at Breitbart noted this morning, others have shown that Sidner wants us to believe isn't the truth (bolds are mine throughout this post; links are in originals presented):

By Randy Hall | October 12, 2012 | 6:15 PM EDT

Liberals unwittingly bolstered the concept that they have no sense of humor on Wednesday, when several people responded angrily to a rumor that if he's elected to the White House, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney would outlaw the sale and use of tampons.

The incident began when a poster named Lexi Johnson stated on the Twitter website that the Republican official would ban the use of the medical device because "it is unnnatural for a woman to insert a foreign object into here body for the sake of stopping the menstrual flow."

By Mark Finkelstein | May 2, 2012 | 9:52 AM EDT

If this is how Dan Rather at peace looks like, wonder what he's like when angry and embittered . . .

On Morning Joe today, Rather emphatically alleged that he was "at peace" over the Memogate fiasco that led to the end of his career. But he couldn't help himself from suggesting that his reputation had been destroyed by anonymous partisans employing "lies."  View the video after the jump.

By Tim Graham | March 25, 2012 | 6:09 PM EDT

Mike Daisey shamelessly lied about Apple's abuse of factory workers in China on stage, which was then picked up by the trendy public-radio show "This American Life," which airs on many NPR stations. It caused a black eye for NPR (by their one-degree association), but The Washington Post has proclaimed Daisey's "voice" is too important to shame off the stage.

Post theatre critic Peter Marks announced Sunday that "after days of wrestling with what’s been found to be Daisey’s dysfunctional relationship with candor, when I have felt angry and a bit betrayed — you put your own reputation on the line when you embrace someone else’s in a review — I’ve settled on a sense of solidarity with Shalwitz." That's Howard Shalwitz, artistic director of Washington's Woolly Mammoth theater, which plans to put "dysfunctional" Daisey back in the spotlight.

By Tom Blumer | April 13, 2011 | 2:16 PM EDT

This is about as weak as it gets.

This morning as seen here (saved here at my web host for future reference), an unbylined 90-word Associated Press report at 9:57 a.m. told readers the following, in part:

By Clay Waters | March 15, 2011 | 3:10 PM EDT

The New York Times provided decent front-page coverage of the emerging scandal that took down top executives at National Public Radio, a hidden-camera sting that caught top fundraiser Ron Schiller making prejudicial remarks against Republicans in general and the Tea Party movement in particular. The backlash resulted in the resignation of Ron Schiller as well as NPR President and chief executive Vivian Schiller (no relation).

But Times media reporter Jeremy Peters took an incomplete look at the recent rash of hidden-camera hoaxes on Saturday under the strongly worded headline “Partisans Adopt Deceit As a Tactic for Reports.” Peters falsely implied that "gotcha" journalism had faded from view, ignoring two recent examples in the mainstream media, one from NPR itself.