Reading the first lines of Margaret Talbot’s piece on lie detection in this month’s New Yorker–in which she reminisces at length about being duped by Stephen Glass at The New Republic, my gut reaction was that this reference is simply irrelevant for 2007. Glass? We’ve heard and seen enough about that little liar by now, and quite frankly, that kind of thing just wouldn’t happen today. As aware and careful and technologically advanced as we are now, we would never be in a position where one wiley journalist could fudge the facts to a major news corporation with such ease.
Maybe not. On Monday I posted about a shocking Beijing TV investigative report from ABCnews.com that busted Chinese street vendors for putting chemically-softened carboard in their baozi buns. I was blown away, appalled, disappointed in our Beijing streets.
Until, of course, I read on CNN.com that the entire investigative report had been produced and fabricated by one very wiley Chinese journalist.
Beijing authorities said investigations had found that an employee surnamed Zi had fabricated the report to garner “higher audience ratings”, the China Daily said on Thursday.
“Zi had provided all the cardboard and asked the vendor to soak it. It’s all cheating,” the paper quoted a government notice as saying.
I must say, I’m frustrated by Zi’s actions, but the real disgrace is that we all fell for his sham. This isn’t the first time the Internet successfully spread a fake news story about Crazy Asian Behavior without much question–of course the slant-eyes are capable of this shit! Why doubt it?
I suppose that little liar isn’t so irrelevant after all. Don’t tell him I said that.
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