The spaghetti tree hoax is a famous 3-minute hoax report broadcast on April Fools' Day 1957 by the BBC current affairs program Panorama. It told a tale of a family in southern Switzerland harvesting spaghetti from the fictitious spaghetti tree, broadcast at a time when this Italian dish was not widely eaten in the UK and some Britons were unaware spaghetti is a pasta made from wheat flour and water. Hundreds of viewers phoned into the BBC, either to say the story was not true, or wondering about it, with some even asking how to grow their own spaghetti trees. Decades later CNN called this broadcast "the biggest hoax that any reputable news establishment ever pulled."
Tag Archives | Hoaxes
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A pro-government Georgian television station sparked widespread panic in the Caucasian country when it ran a spoof documentary claiming the Russians had invaded again. The half-hour show — which aired Saturday night — brought chaos to the country after it claimed Russian troops were already in the capital Tbilisi and aired “unconfirmed reports” that pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili had been assassinated.
Mobile telephone networks crashed, cinemas emptied as parents called their children home and people spilled out on to the street of towns and cities across the country to seek safety. But the report on Imedi-TV — once Georgia’s leading independent station until Saakashvili took it off air following the death of its owner, opposition figure Badri Patarkatsishvili in 2008 — was nothing but a hoax, apparently aired by a pro-government station in an attempt to discredit the opposition before key municipal elections in May.
Georgia Media Production Holdings, which now owns the station, claims the broadcast was designed to show the “real threat” of how events in a fresh Russian invasion might unfold.
A new book about the atomic destruction of Hiroshima has won critical acclaim with its heartbreaking portrayals of the bomb’s survivors and is set to be made into a movie by James Cameron. “The Last Train from Hiroshima,” published in January by Henry Holt, also claims to reveal a secret accident with the atom bomb that killed one American and irradiated others and greatly reduced the weapon’s destructive power. There is just one problem. That section of the book and other technical details of the mission are based on the recollections of Joseph Fuoco, who is described as a last-minute substitute on one of the two observation planes that escorted the Enola Gay. But Mr. Fuoco, who died in 2008 at age 84 and lived in Westbury, N.Y., never flew on the bombing run, and he never substituted for James R. Corliss, the plane’s regular flight engineer, Mr. Corliss’s family says. They, along with angry ranks of scientists, historians and veterans, are denouncing the book and calling Mr. Fuoco an impostor...
Jason Linkins in Huffington Post:
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Okay, let’s get you up to speed on the incredibly true story about how a bunch of right-wingers got taken in by some satiric blog post on Barack Obama’s college thesis, written ages ago, and frantically presented it as real.
Months ago, some blogger crafted a fake news story about how Time Magazine’s Joe Klein had obtained ten pages of a thesis written by Barack Obama, in which he wrote about how the Constitution was “inherently flawed.”
In the paper, in which only the first ten pages were given to the general media, Obama decries the plight of the poor: “I see poverty in every place I walk. In Los Angeles and New York, the poor reach to me with bleary eyes and all I can do is sigh.”
In part, the future President blames this on the current economic system: “There are many who will defend the ‘free market.’ But who will defend the single mother of four working three jobs.
From the NME:
‘RIP Kanye West’ has become the top trending topic on the site and the top Google search term in the USA just hours after someone falsely posted that the rapper was dead.
“This RIPKanyeWest topic is not funny and it’s NOT TRUE!” she wrote. “He has people like myself and his family that love him very much.
And don’t forget what Kanye did to disinfo!