Filed under: Political Pranks, Prank News, Spin
The Eisenstadt Hoax: A Real-life Example of a “Fake Fake”
by Sheldon Rampton
Center for Media and Democracy, PRWatch.org
November 14, 2008
The hoax in this case is Eisenstadt’s claim that he was the source for Carl Cameron’s report on Fox News. Cameron never spoke to Eisenstadt and did not use Eisenstadt as the basis for his reporting.
There is a minor controversy bouncing around right now on the internet, and I’d like to do what I can to set the story straight. The controversy involves two incidents:
1. The day after the U.S. presidential election, Fox News reporter Carl Cameron gave an interview with Fox commentator Bill O’Reilly. During the interview, Cameron said that McCain’s advisors had told him about their unhappiness with Sarah Palin as a vice-presidential running mate. Citing anonymous sources within the McCain campaign, Cameron recited a litany of complaints, including their claim that Palin was so ignorant she didn’t know Africa was a continent.
2. A blogger who calls himself “Martin Eisenstadt” stated a few days ago that he was the anonymous source for Cameron’s story. Earlier today, however, the New York Times reported that “Martin Eisenstadt doesn’t exist. His blog does, but it’s a put-on. The think tank where he is a senior fellow — the Harding Institute for Freedom and Democracy — is just a Web site. The TV clips of him on YouTube are fakes. And the claim of credit for the Africa anecdote is just the latest ruse by Eisenstadt, who turns out to be a very elaborate hoax that has been going on for months.” (more…)