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Hoaxes

ENTERTAINMENT
January 10, 1992 | DENNIS McDOUGAL, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A false report that President Bush died at a Japanese banquet came within seconds of being broadcast over CNN's Headline News early Wednesday, spurring renewed efforts on the part of the Atlanta-based all-news network to prevent such hoaxes from making their way to the airwaves in the future. CNN spokesman Steve Haworth acknowledged Thursday that Headline News anchor Don Harrison did begin to report "tragic" news at 6:45 a.m.
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NEWS
October 14, 2001 | PETER Y. HONG MITCHELL LANDSBERG and TERENCE MONMANEY, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
An out-of-work Norwalk man phones in four bomb threats to a Long Beach building in two weeks. Aboard a passenger jet bound for Chicago, a mentally unstable man rushes the cockpit. An ordinary pipe seen in a Phoenix street brings out a weary bomb squad besieged by a 600% increase in scares in the weeks after Sept. 11.
NEWS
November 17, 1989 | From Reuters
After a kidnaping scare based on messages from the Lebanese underworld, an American and two West Germans turned up safe Thursday, telling diplomats they had been held by robbers but had not been taken as hostages. West German Ambassador to Lebanon Wolfgang Goettelmann reported that Mounir Sami, 39; his 7-year-old son Daniel, and their American companion, Deborah Fahrend, 54, were never abducted, as was reported by a hitherto-unknown group, Organization of Just Revenge.
NEWS
November 25, 1992 | From Associated Press
Curtis Sliwa said Tuesday that he faked his 1980 kidnaping and five other exploits to help the Guardian Angels survive its early years as a volunteer crime-fighting group. "I was wrong, but we were in a sprint for survival," Sliwa said. "We were just little people trying to get recognition for doing good work. In a sense it was like being Don Quixote." But he admitted that the constant media attention played a part in the deception. "It became like an intoxicant, a narcotic," he said.
NEWS
June 17, 1993 | ERIC MALNIC and VICKI TORRES, TIMES STAFF WRITERS
Investigators in California and across the nation continued to follow up reports that syringes and parts of syringes have been found in Pepsi-Cola cans amid increasing evidence Wednesday that some of the claims are fraudulent. There have been at least 10 reports of needles found in Pepsi cans in California, none of which have been verified and at least three of which have proved false. A man has been arrested in Pennsylvania for making a false claim.
NATIONAL
December 24, 2009 | By DeeDee Correll
In a warning to other would-be reality television stars, a judge Wednesday sentenced the Colorado parents who claimed their 6-year-old son floated away in a balloon to spend time in jail for staging the hoax. "All of this was designed to attract attention," 8th Judicial District Chief Judge Stephen J. Schapanski told Richard and Mayumi Heene of Fort Collins. However, he said the couple wouldn't have to report to jail until after the holidays, a decision the judge said he was making for the sake of their three young sons.
NEWS
September 20, 1988 | PAUL RICHTER, Times Staff Writer
Officials of Manufacturers National Bank were a little curious one summer day in 1985, when they saw a television news crew interviewing a young man outside their Detroit headquarters. Curiosity turned to chagrin when they learned that the WKBD-TV reporter was talking to 18-year-old Mark D. Anderson about his just-announced plan to take over the bank's holding company, the third-largest in the state with about $6 billion in assets.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 13, 1991 | CLAUDIA PUIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Two of the KROQ-FM deejays involved in a phony on-air murder confession admitted on the air Friday morning that they concocted the hoax and apologized to their listeners. "We apologize," said Kevin Ryder in a recorded message. "We didn't think it was going to go this far." Ryder and Gene (Bean) Baxter stressed that management was not involved in the faked confession, which aired last June and involved deejay Doug Roberts. Ryder and Baxter promised never to pull another prank of this kind.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 16, 2006 | Chris Pasles
TOO good to be true? Apparently. There was considerable fanfare this month when a number of news organizations proclaimed the discovery of what they said was a print of the only authentic photograph of Constanze Mozart, the composer's widow, taken when she was 78. But scholars have now labeled the claim a hoax.
NEWS
August 27, 1988 | United Press International
A United Press International story on Thursday chronicling a series of accidents reportedly suffered by a man as the result of his wife's efforts to kill a cockroach cannot be substantiated. "The story evidently is the result of a hoax," said Leon Daniel, UPI's managing editor for international news, in Washington. "We regret moving it on our wires." UPI picked up the story, which was published by The Times, from the Jerusalem Post.
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