Putting the Mercy back in Mercenary

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Filed under: Media Pranks, Satire

From ChicagoIndyMedia.org, October 31, 2007:

New York – With all of the news about Blackwater USA’s problems, it wasn’t a surprise that a fake story about the company creating a “Department of Corporate Integrity” would make it on to several valid news sites.

CBS News and Politico.com were among the victims of the fraud, reportedly perpetuated by Code Pink, according to Politico, which posted a correction today. CBS reprinted a Politico story on its site.

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“In this business, you sometimes come across news items and think, ‘You couldn’t make that stuff up.’ Well, sometimes you can,” Politico reported in its note. “Code Pink today pulled off a hoax that pulled in Politico and a number of other news outlets when it ginned up a fake release, saying that Blackwater USA was creating a new ‘Department of Corporate Integrity’ that would put the ‘mercy back in mercenary.’ That should have been a tip off.” “We do some silly things, but we didn’t do that,” Anne Tyrrell, a spokesperson for Blackwater USA, told Politico.

“We got a lot of international press,” said Code Pink’s Desiree Fairooz, most recently in the news for confronting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice with fake blood on her hands. “It was a spoof.”