Brooklyn-based Newsgroper publishes fake celebrity blogs. That’s its business. That’s what it does. This was apparently news to the painstaking professionals at MSNBC who turned to “Al Sharpton’s Blog” for a real Al Sharpton quote:
“If the police caught Brett Favre (a white quarterback for the Green Bay Packers) running a dolphin-fighting ring out of his pool, where dolphins with spears attached to their heads fought each other, would they bust him? Of course not.”
MSNBC discovered its mistake eventually. But did it acknowledge that it had blown it? Heck no! That would undermine the theory that Big Media is a bastion of journalistic responsibility. Instead, MSNBC blamed the mistake on “a hoax”:
An earlier version of this article quoted from a blog entry purportedly by the Rev. Al Sharpton. MSNBC.com has determined that the blog is a hoax.
A “hoax” is a deliberate attempt to fool someone into thinking something is true when it isn’t. Except in MSNBC’s dictionary (where, apparently, The Daily Show is a “hoax.”) True, it is not instantly and screamingly obvious that “Al Sharpton’s Blog” is a parody–at least if you miss the browser header that says: “FAKE PARODY BLOGS.” Regardless, given that MSNBC holds itself out to be a serious news organisation, it should be eating a lor more crow.
Here’s what “Al Sharpton” has to say about the incident.