Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ron Burgundy Redux: Comedy Central Apologizes for "Fake News Crew"

According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, Comedy Central has finally apologized for the shenanigans of a fake news crew sent out to get real reactions for a series called "Dog Bites Man." Over the past few months the news crew has tried to infiltrate a panel discussion in Orange County and called the Spokane (Washington) Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau to try to rent a space to disguise as a studio (see the May 10, 2006 Spokane Spokesman Review). The O.C. incident upset some people so much that they threatened a lawsuit. The Chronicle indicates that management at Comedy Central has decided to issue an apology on behalf of Tony Fox, an executive v.p. at Comedy Central, saying the fake reporters had "mishandled" the situation, once confronted, by continuing to deny that they were in fact not media at all. The actors had also apparently impersonated reporters at Portland State University and infiltrated the classroom of an instructor in communications studies. (Chronicle of Higher Education, May 24, 2006: Registration required). For more about the Orange County incident read an article in the Orange County Weekly here.

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