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Sierra Daily

Apr 21, 2011

Fakes and Liars

Here are three stories from the past week. See if you can guess what they have in common:

1. GE issues a "press release" saying that "the company will be gifting its entire 2010 tax refund, worth $3.2 Billion, to the US Treasury on April 18, Tax Day, and will furthermore adopt a host of new policies that secure its position as a leader in corporate social responsibility."

2. Mother Jones magazine posts a picture of the world's scariest jellyfish on Tumblr:


3. Some guy tweets the following:

Paul Rauber @paulrauber Japan ends its "scientific" whaling program: http://sc.org/fQcvFo

What's the unifying principle here? They're all fake.
1. The GE press release was a hoax by a group called the Yes Men. The Associated Press reported it as news, and then had to issue a retraction.
2. The jellyfish picture is a product of Photoshop. Scroll down to see the original image here.
3. The press release was also a hoax--a more careful reporter might have noted that the name of the service was "Completely BS Breaking News."
Moral: A single source is good for nothing anymore.
--Paul Rauber

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