AP Pranked Into Printing Fake Story About GE's "Generosity"

Perhaps this morning you may have seen a headline claiming that GE would generously repay the government all the money which had not been payed in taxes (for more on how GE dodged taxes, read this piece) and you thought more kindly of the conglomerate.

But you were wrong.

Well, it's more complicated: the story is fake, but the headline is real. The AP fell for a "sophisticated hoax" from the Yes Men, including an elaborate press release purportedly from GE declaring its aim to return its $3.8 billion tax break to the government and to survey American citizens on how that money should be distributed. And the AP printed it. The hoax made everyone look silly, particularly the news organizations that bought it, but fact that this story is a fake only highlights the selfishness of the corporation for not being so generous, and the free ride given to GE by the government.

The Daily Beast put it best by writing "The Yes Men—the satirical duo that has pranked major corporations including BP, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Dow Chemical—can add two new scalps to its count: GE and the AP."


AlterNet / By Sarah Seltzer

Posted at April 13, 2011, 7:17am