Impish Filmmakers Set Out To Prove How Easy It Is To Manipulate the Media

Their experiment also proves how easy it is to have sold ©Manmade Global Warming.

HT/ FiveFeetofFury

CJR

HOW MUCH CHOCOLATE DOES IT TAKE TO FOOL A JOURNALIST? Turns out not much. Earlier this month, Peter Onneken and Diana Löbl, a pair of documentary filmmakers from Germany, and John Bohannon, a biologist and science journalist based at Harvard, revealed that they had tricked millions of people—including their peers at The Daily Star,Cosmopolitan’s German site, and the German and Indian sites of The Huffington Post—into believing chocolate could help them lose weight.

The hoax exposed how easy it can be to turn shoddy research into headline-making news. They pulled it off with little more than a mock clinical trial, some cooked statistics, and one fake website—plus a small army of journalists who were either too stressed or too lazy to check the facts, and a diet industry that profits off concerns about obesity, obsessions with slimming down, and scientific illiteracy. Their study, “Chocolate with high cocoa content as a weight-loss accelerator,” was quickly accepted by The International Archives of Medicine, a journal that claims to do rigorous peer reviews. When it was published two weeks later, it read exactly the same.

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6 Comments on Impish Filmmakers Set Out To Prove How Easy It Is To Manipulate the Media

  1. Now repeat this prank, do it to all bureaucrats, and substitute kaka for the chocolate.

  2. I remember a group that dressed in Bugs Bunny, Foghorn Leghorn and other cartoon costumes, marching in front of a NYC building, with signs protesting violence against cartoon animals. They wanted to prove the stupid media would soak it up, and they were right – every newscast had a serious report on the protest that night, with spokesman interviews and all.

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