Don’t hate on the TV media just because they helped the nation fall for the Balloon Boy Hoax. Back in the day, the print media were the obvious target.
On April 13, 1844, Edgar Allan Poe wrote an article in The New York
Sun, chronicling how Monck Mason, leaving England for Paris drifted off
course and had traveled across the Atlantic in three days, landing
safely on Sullivan’s Island near Charleston South Carolina, while
riding an “egg-shaped gas-filled balloon”, named the Victoria.
The story caused such a stir that an excited mob quickly gathered
outside of the editorial offices of the Sun, hoping to land a copy of
the historic edition. Not until two days later did the New York daily
publish a correction, noting the story was pure fiction. The published
correction read: “We are inclined to believe the intelligence is erroneous.” — The Morning Delivery
2 thoughts on “Newspapers Have Published Their Share of Hoaxes”
Although I feel that our media is often biased, but at least in the case of floating child-balloon hoax they played the role very responsibly. In fact when everyone on day one (including sheriff) had almost believed that it was not a hoax, but then it was in front of media when the little boy mistakenly uttered that WE DID THIS FOR A SHOW, raising eyebrows around the whole incident. I am glad that at least in this case the media played a very responsible role.
Now I hope that both parents are punished appropriately and should be responsible for paying the expenses and not we (the taxpayers).
And not to leave out radio, Orson Welles’ reading of H. G. Wells’ War of the Worlds in 1938, though that wasn’t a planned hoax it still caused widespread panic.