AP falls for 'Yes Men' prank, runs fake General Electric story

April 13, 2011|By Luke Broadwater

The Associated Press is apologizing after running a fake story this morning that claimed General Electric was giving millions of dollars to the federal government to make up for its failure to pay taxes last year. 

"The AP did not follow its own standards in this case for verifying the authenticity of a news release," said AP Business Editor Hal Ritter.

The AP fell victim to a prank, when the organization received a fake press release saying that GE "will be gifting its entire 2010 tax refund, worth $3.2 billion, to the U.S. Treasury," according to CNN

A GE spokeswoman called the release a "hoax." 

As you know, GE has come under heavy criticism after the New York Times reported that the company paid no federal taxes last year. 

CNN reports the "prank" was conducted by the "Yes Men," a group that criticizes large corporations. 

You can see the AP's retraction here and a copy of the fake news release

The "Yes Men" have a history of pranking news organizations and even get interviewed on air. Here's a documentary about their antics. 

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