There seemed to be a tone of mild amusement in some of the press coverage of the fake Chamber of Commerce press release and staged press conference earlier this week. Activist group Yes Men staged an elaborate hoax, with a fake press release, website, and press conference (but fake press conference held in the real National Press Club), with real reporters showing up and some apparently taken in by the stunt.
But it turns out that the hoax also included Yes Men members posing as reporters, and judging from this Greenwire story posted on the New York Times online site, at least some journalists are not finding that so funny. One unnamed media analyst called it a “a stunt that compromises the credibility of journalists,” and Kelly McBride of the Poyter Institute said, “It makes the public dubious of real reporters.”
Actually, what compromised the credibility of journalists were published reports saying the Chamber of Commerce had changed its position on climate change and the Senate bill by John Kerry and Barbara Boxer. Reuters and CNBC, among others, should be embarrassed.
And did I miss the newspaper story in which journalists lamented how the hoax compromised the credibility of lobbying groups in Washington, DC?
Ah … well, never mind.