Monday, April 10, 2006

What Hoaxes WOULDN'T Fool Reuters? 

The Alliance proposed a fun Precision Guided Humor Assignment that the Reuters bashing part of me couldn't pass up:

In their zeal to make it look like we're losing the War on Terror, what hoaxes will Reuters fall for?
The assignment was based on a recent incident:

In their eagerness to shout "Dismal failure!" about the war, the Reuters news service blindly swallowed claims by Iraqi terrorists that they had video footage of them capturing a downed helicopter.

Well, they DID have footage - unfortunately the time stamp on it was March 19, 2000, and it was probably of a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
At first I was going to take the assignment at face value, and started to draw up a list of other hoaxes Reuters would publish, each one crazier than the last. But it soon became clear the length of my growing list might soon overwhelm Blogspot's posting limits.

So, still in the spirit of the original assignment, I thought I'd instead flip it around and list only those very few hoaxes that even Reuters wouldn't fall for. There aren't nearly as many:
Indeed, these are the few hoaxes Reuters would not fall for. It appears that only CBS' 60 Minutes and Al Jazeera would run with these, and even then only after extra-super-double-rigorous fact checking.

If you really, really liked this -- or even really, really hated it -- there's lots more: