The Herald Gets Duped

1208199472This morning, I was reading through the daily papers and found this interesting item on page 6 of the Herald. “VP guns for shootout with Hill,” the headline screamed. The story, which had an Associated Press byline, claimed that during an appearance on Meet the Press, Vice President Dick Cheney told Tim Russert that he didn’t believe Hillary Clinton’s claims that she actually loves guns, and challenged her to show her stuff by going hunting with him.

Seeing the potential for a million birdshot jokes, I went to the paper’s website to find the story. But it wasn’t there. Undeterred, I went to Google News to find the item. But seemingly the only outlet that had covered the story was the Herald, and the link gave me only an error message. Why hadn’t every newspaper in the country picked this story up?

Because the Herald got duped by a satirist.

On Sunday, Andy Borowitz posted an entry on the Huffington Post and his own website that claimed Cheney appeared on Meet the Press, and had challenged Clinton to a day of hunting. It’s a brilliant piece of satire, with some great fake quotes.

“To be frank, Hillary Clinton’s stories about her adventures with guns don’t exactly pass the smell test,” the vice president told host Tim Russert. “If she really wants to show that she knows how to handle a rifle, there’s an easy way to do that: meet me in the woods.”

That quote was picked up in its entirety by our favorite tabloid. Perhaps the piece’s kicker, which the paper also used, should have tipped them off.

But shortly after the vice president issued his challenge, Sen. Clinton seemed to back off from her earlier claims of hunting experience, saying that she had “misspoke” about her hunting exploits as a child.

“I fired a gun once, but I didn’t like it, and I didn’t recoil,” she said.

Clinton couldn’t possibly be that witty. But the, ahem, smoking gun is this—Dick Cheney did not appear on this weekend’s episode of Meet the Press.

“We were bamboozled,” Herald editor Kevin Convey told Boston Daily. He explained that the item got picked up as straight news in Google, and was folded into unrelated wire reports from the AP, and appeared online and in the print edition.

“We failed to double-check the item against the Meet the Press website, which we should have done. We have changed our policies a bit to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Convey added. The paper also posted a correction online, and will run an official correction in tomorrow’s edition.

. . .And we thought the danger of being suckered had passed after April 1.

  • YIkes

    Wow. Just…WOW. This is incredibly sloppy, even for the Herald. Is there no one left over there who watches the Sunday-morning political shows?

  • Andy Borowitz

    The only real outrage here is that the Herald did not pay me for this scoop.

  • wizinit

    I concur with Mr. Borowitz. He not only deserves to be paid for his scoop, but also for the subsequent publicity the article generated for the Herald. The fact is Mr. Borowitz’s work epitomizes the saying that “art imitates life”, and is as they say in the ad: “priceless”.

  • http://HuffPost aaron

    What a joke. How can the Boston Herald even claim to be a newspaper? Printing a fake news story? Is this how the newspaper vets stories – just looking at the story and printing it? What a sad commentary on the state of the mainstream media.

  • Is

    If they printed something that you wrote, Andy, doesn’t that entitle you to some cash?

  • Andy Borowitz

    Yes it does!

  • Jick

    MAYBE you should consider the Globe’s mistake as a nod to the legitimacy of HuffPost as a credible news source. MAYBE this ruined all of that.

  • Mooninite

    4-13-2008 Nevar Forget!
    Jeez, Boston. What a bunch of gullible losers you are. lol

  • JJ Reeves

    Jick, I’ll consider you a credible judge of journalistic legitimacy when you learn to tell the difference between the Globe and the Herald.

  • Dan Stewart

    The quality of this hoax story is not altogether different than much of what’s printed in the Herald.

    Fact is, the Herald is a new kind of paper, where information accuracy is secondary to the propagation and dissemination of ideological storylines.

  • pete newman

    Well done, Andy for the “Un-Heralded Shocker”! I didn’t know that Jayson Blair had returned to journalism and was now working in the Herald’s fact-checking division.

  • michele donnellan

    What can you expect from a rag that still has the Murdoch stain on it?

  • Djibu

    JJ, what is the difference between the Globe and the Herald anyway?

  • Sandy

    Who is this Kevin Convey and why hasn’t he heard of Andy Borowitz and the Huffington Press? Some publisher he is! He gets what he deserves. Oh how easy it is to smear someone and have it picked up as news and repeated so often that the news media begin to believe their own lies!

  • Former Boston News Gal

    This is not nearly the first time the Herald has gotten it wrong. Take it from someone who was once a young newsroom “go getter” and had to knock on a door based on a story in the Herald—only to find out how wrong the story was.

  • Seattle It

    At the very least, Andy, they should have mentioned you in their retraction. How rude!

  • William Wallace

    Mooninite you’re a knob… Being in Boston had nothing to do with it, it’s that we buy the news regardless of where we live… Your picking on Boston only goes to show that ‘painting all with the same brush’ didn’t go out with lynchings and cross burnings… Oh, forgot, that’s still going on as well…

  • Bostonish

    hey Djibu, the difference is that the Boston Globe is owned by the NY Times and the Times would never print a story that wasn’t…oh wait.

  • SoCalDukeFan

    Of course this was a fake story. Hillary would have said something like she was afraid Cheney would shoot her like he did his lawyer friend a few years ago.

  • Eva

    Actually, I love the retraction even more. The Herald said its piece was “inaccurate”. Inaccurate?

  • justin flave

    michelle, is murdoch, like, an ann rand paper? cause the red head liked that guy for a bit. and there was a boat. i think “el Boro!,” as i like to call him, might have topped emily chomping pork rinds with this one. gem.

  • Northwoods Blogger

    Now we see the super secret source of the daily mainstream (Drive-By) media template! They check out huffpo every morning to see what they think, and shout it as loud as they can.

    Kinda reminds me of murtha. Brainless, wrong, and passionate hell that he be yelling whatever you tell him @ huffpo louder than the next guy. Content is unimportant. No wonder our alternate media is destroying the MSM in ratings.

  • David

    So the obvious satire and the fact that Borowitz is clearly identified as a comedian didn’t raise a red flag?

    No wonder the mainstream media took up the “Al Gore said he invented the internet” and “Obama said Pennsylvanians are bitter towards their country” bandwagons. They can’t be bothered to check their sources.

  • Pullease

    Um, good MORNING!!!? The Herald piece was obviously a piece of satire, buried in a “mistake,” that was itself a piece of satire. I’m really shocked that none of you has picked up on this yet. What a brilliant move to spark some interest in newspapers, get some edgy discussion going, even give some publicity to Andy’s dusty column. Give it a moment’s thought and see if the obviousness of this double gag doesn’t HIT you as it did me this morning. Then, sit back, take a deep breath… and enjoy a long, hard laugh.

  • Melinda

    It should not surprise anyone that a Boston paper and Boston readers were so easily duped. After all, you keep reelecting Ted Kennedy and John Kerry. Duped is as duped does.

  • Bob in TX

    Regardless of what any of you say, I contend that you’re still safer hunting with Dick Cheney than you are riding in a car with Ted Kennedy driving!

  • blert

    Andy Borowitz,

    If you’re still reading any of these quotes, great satire piece. Kudos for it.

    Also, I do think you have a strong case that the Herald plagiarized your work, and you might want to have a lawyer contact them about the matter. Yes, your material was published, which means that they could talk about it, but to reprint parts of it without attributing the material to you is intellectual theft.

    It’s just a guess, but I suspect that the Herald would opt for a quick, reasonable settlement in this matter rather than to drag out the case and embarrass themselves further.

  • dnboir

    Running fake news? An outrage! The Herald’s almost as bad as the Times. Or CBS News.

  • blondefrog123

    dnboir’s right – This story has NY Times written all over it. I bet they’re mad they got scooped.

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