Government Duped By 'US Invasion' Website Satire
GOVERNMENT DUPED BY 'US INVASION' WEBSITE SATIRE
See Spinner News original web report:
TARAWA (Pacnews/Spinner News/Pacific Media Watch): A story about plans by the United States to invade Kiribati that has caused widespread concern in Tarawa and Christmas Island came from a New Zealand satirical website.
Pacnews reports that the story, which led the Office of the President to issue a series of public broadcasts assuring the population that the planned "invasion" was not true, came from Spinner, a website featuring satirical "news" stories.
On Wednesday night the Kiribati Office of the President -- apparently unaware that the story seemed to be designed to poke fun at the foreign policies of US President George W Bush -- issued a statement condemning the story as a "misleading, fearful, intimidating and defamatory" attempt to "cause a lot of problems before the general elections".
The story, which ran in the September edition of Spinner, carried the headline "Bush to invade Kiribati islands".
It read in part: "George W Bush today announced a realignment of US Foreign policy. The goal of ousting Iraq's Saddam Hussein has now been replaced by the goal of regime change in the Kiribati islands as the US' new top priority.
"'For years the evil dictator Teburoro Tito has oppressed his people and terrorised the Pacific region. We also have reason to believe he is in the process of developing weapons of mass destruction. And some pretty damn fine crab soup,' Bush said.
"Bush today announced the departure of the 7th Admiralty Fleet to Kiribati. An invasion is expected to begin within the next two weeks.
"Intense diplomatic activity has begun to establish international support for the US initiative.
"'Come on guys, this will be [easy] compared to Iraq,' pleaded Bush. 'They don't even have an army.'"
The Office of the President said yesterday it was trying to "track down the source" of the story, Pacnews reports.
+++niuswire PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH ONLINE http://www.pmw.c2o.org PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH is an independent, non-profit, non-government organisation comprising journalists, lawyers, editors and other media workers, dedicated to examining issues of ethics, accountability, censorship, media freedom and media ownership in the Pacific region. Launched in October 1996, it has links with the Journalism Program at the University of the South Pacific, Bushfire Media, the Australian Centre for Independent Journalism, and Pactok Communications, in Sydney and Port Moresby.
(c)1996-2002 Copyright - All rights reserved.
Items are provided solely for review purposes as a non-profit educational service. Copyright remains the property of the original producers as indicated. Recipients should seek permission from the copyright owner for any publishing. Copyright owners not wishing their materials to be posted by PMW please contact us. The views expressed in material listed by PMW are not necessarily the views of PMW or its members.
Recipients should rely on their own inquiries before making decisions based on material listed in PMW. Please copy appeals to PMW and acknowledge source.
For further information, inquiries about joining the Pacific Media Watch
listserve, articles for publication, and giving feedback contact Pacific
Watch at: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
Fax: (+679) 30 5779 or (+612) 9660 1804 Mail: PO Box 9,
Annandale, NSW 2038, Australia or, PO Box 78028, Auckland
1002, New Zealand. New website: www.pmw.c2o.org