Open Thread: Something on the Internet Is Wrong Faked!

Nathan For You
Get More: Comedy Central,Funny Videos,Funny TV Shows

Because I have a heart of stone, I actually find the making-of video (above) more captivating than the “original” YouTube fakery. From the NYTimes:

On Sept. 19 a 30-second video appeared on YouTube, depicting a baby goat that had become stuck in the pond of a petting zoo and that was heroically rescued with a helpful nudge from a pig that swam out to it.

Within hours the video had been posted around the Web; it had been shared with the Twitter followers of Time magazine and Ellen DeGeneres; and it had been broadcast on NBC’s “Today” show and its “Nightly News” program, ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Fox News, where the “Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade said of it, “You couldn’t do this at Warner Brothers as a cartoon and make it seem more realistic.”

But the video was thoroughly staged. It was created for a new Comedy Central series, “Nathan for You,” with the help of some 20 crew members, including animal trainers, scuba divers and humane officers, and required the fabrication of a plastic track to guide the pig to the goat (which was never in jeopardy)…

“It really is embarrassing for the journalists who stumbled upon this and decided to promote it or share it with their audience,” said Kelly McBride, the senior faculty for ethics, reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute. “It’s almost a form of malpractice.”

But to the creators of the video — which has since been viewed more than seven million times — the news reports are the unexpected if felicitous results of a social experiment in which they say they were not aspiring to this level of deceit.

“If we were trying to pull an elaborate hoax on the news, I think we could have pushed further,” said Nathan Fielder, the star of “Nathan for You.” “But we weren’t. We found it interesting that people were sharing it without us saying anything.” …

50 replies
  1. 1
    Eric U. says:

    I’ve learned my lesson and I’m never sharing another video again. But I still say you could get an eagle to pick up a baby if you wrapped the baby in bacon

  2. 2
    Yutsano says:

    @Eric U.:

    But I still say you could get an eagle to pick up a baby if you wrapped the baby in baconsalmon

    Adjusted to reflect eagle dietary norms. At least bald eagles.

  3. 3
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Yutsano: Also, if you wrapped the baby in bacon, the eagle would have to move pretty darned quick to get the baby before I Homer Simpson grabbed it…

  4. 4
    Yutsano says:

    @Anne Laurie: And most of humanity. Hell I’d be sorely tempted, but only if said infant had crispy bacon wrapped around it. Raw would be, umm, gross.

  5. 5
    Redshirt says:

    Salmon bacon. And only during the witching hours: 3:00 – 4:45AM Local Time.

  6. 6
    TS says:

    breitbart now reporting the conspiracy of the year – leftist pig saved goat to ensure endless supply of free milk

  7. 7
    Redshirt says:

    Everything on the Internet is fake, nicht wahr?

  8. 8
    👽 Martin says:

    For all the hoaxes out there, we still have an amazingly gullible populace. 3rd grade should just ditch the math and reading and shit and have a year of just learning how to be a skeptic. It’ll serve them better in life in the long run.

  9. 9
    different-church-lady says:


    This kind of stuff is why I can’t take the 21st century seriously.

  10. 10
    NotMax says:

    Something new has, unfortunately, been added.

    Bank branch which I most frequent is a small one. The customer area measures – maybe – 12 by 14 feet, with space in it mostly taken up with tables for filling out slips and the ubiquitous stanchion-and-tape-maze.

    Also in that space (forever) was a large pot-bellied wood stove, which has now been replaced with a larger and very much more pot-bellied uniformed and armed guard.

    Also too, new signs plastered everywhere announcing that sunglasses and hats are not permitted.

    Friendly, country atmosphere now has completely evaporated. Feeling is more that of a prison than of a bank.

  11. 11
    BillinGlendaleCA says:

    @NotMax: A triple glitch is quite difficult. You would have received a 10.0 but the Russian judge only scored it as a 9.

  12. 12
    Ultraviolet Thunder says:

    Detroit weather update, 0500 hours: saturated slush on the ground, raining, temperatures falling. This slop is going to freeze today and we’ll be in for a pretty slippery time. I hope there’s a lot of salt around.

    Luckily I have only about 50 miles or so of driving ahead of me. I’m not planning on getting anywhere in a hurry today.

    My co-worker posted a pic from poolside in Mexico, where he’s drinking cerveza and ogling bikinis from behind his Ray Bans. I’ll get him for that.

  13. 13
    WereBear says:

    But people want to beeeeeeeeleeeeeeeeeeve a pig would save a goat!

    Pigs are intelligent. Goats are charming.

    When people confuse It could happen with It did happen…

  14. 14
    Patricia Kayden says:

    A pig poking a goat goes viral. What’s shocking about that?

    Poor Kilmeade. That quote is unfortunate.

  15. 15
    Baud says:

    I still believe. My faith in pigs is stronger than your “facts.”

  16. 16
    Baud says:

    Some possible good news (via TPM):

    After nearly a year of resistance that has damaged them politically with women voters, House Republicans have found a clever way to back down on the reauthorization of an expanded Violence Against Women Act, aides confirmed to TPM late Tuesday.

  17. 17
    raven says:

    @NotMax: Upcountry Federal?

  18. 18
    amk says:


    After months of holding firm, Democrats are anticipating victory.

    Hope the dems stick with their new-found backbones at least up to 2014.

  19. 19
    raven says:

    A chicken got into a Maui Electric Co. transformer in the rental car area at Kahului Airport on Tuesday afternoon, causing a power outage at the airport that left some passengers having to disembark their planes the old way — by mobile stairway. – See more at:

  20. 20
    Schlemizel says:

    A) How isolated am I that I have never seen nor heard of this stupid video before this?

    2) This is example 3,947,836,721 of the media running with a story without checking it out, why would anyone be surprised?

    iii) @Patricia Kayden: – ANYTHING that stumbles out of that buffoons mouth is unfortunate.

  21. 21
    raven says:

    Damn, a bank robbery on Maui????

  22. 22
    JPL says:

    Last week the President was told that he should not release his own plans in regard to immigration. This week he is being told to release his own plans on the sequester. It’d be nice if the media reported the hypocrisy of this. Of course, it’d be nice to have Boehner explain what was in those two votes they passed to avoid the sequester.
    Is the media was to busy interviewing members of the junior league of hezbollah?

  23. 23
    danielx says:


    Talk about faith being stronger than facts (or illusion for that matter)…

    The latest from Bobo’s word salad processing software, an encomium titled Our Second Adolescence:

    My dream Obama would take advantage of the fact that only the president can fundamentally shift the terms.

    You need go no further, stop right there.

  24. 24
    Gindy51 says:

    @Schlemizel: The worst thing about it is that none of them will learn a damned thing from this and will do it again and again. Checking facts is too hard!

  25. 25
    kay says:

    I know it doesn’t matter in this case, but why do they think video is inherently reliable? Why would they ever play a tape without verifying it?

    I was just amazed when they played the ACORN tape without mentioning it had been edited.

    No one else views tapes like this, as presumptive actual depiction of events. When we get a tape of a juvenile from Wal Mart or their high school (or any of the thousands of other places people are recorded) we at least look for inadvertent or deliberate editing, gaps, etc.

    Why are they just slapping these things up there as “fact”?

    It’s scary.

  26. 26
    WereBear says:

    I’m sure Wolf Blitzer will earnestly explain that “the world moves too fast, we don’t have time to fact check” sometime soon.

  27. 27
    pk says:

    Journalists fell for a hoax? That seems right. I seem to remember an entire war based on a hoax.

  28. 28

    So glad the news media is ON IT! If only they’d been this diligent about exposing the phony Iraq WMD lies.


  29. 29
    Baud says:


    Ha! Bobo’s problem is that Obama has changed the terms of the debate, by tying deficit reduction to tax equity. The masters of the universe hate that, and thus Bobo and the rest of the MSA write the columns and articles that they do.

  30. 30

    I am stunned and dumbfounded at this quack’s twisted logic which makes birth control evil and tries to make “anti-contraception” a feminist thing. It’s really crazy.

  31. 31

    Why the fuck am I in moderation?

  32. 32
    Baud says:

    I have not been a fan of GOS for some time, but I believe in acknowledging positive behavior. If this is true, then kudos to the folks over there (via Booman)

    Kos has a right to take credit. His community was a real difference maker in that primary, at one point making up 85% of Kelly’s donors.

  33. 33
  34. 34
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Southern Beale: Has the Rightwing admitted that WMDs weren’t in Iraq? McCain is still outraged (at Hagel) about opposition to the Iraq war so I’m not sure about that.

  35. 35
    "Fair and Balanced" Dave says:

    “If we were trying to pull an elaborate hoax on the news, I think we could have pushed further,” said Nathan Fielder, the star of “Nathan for You.” “But we weren’t. We found it interesting that people were sharing it without us saying anything.”

    You would think the media would have learned to spot an elaborate hoax after falling hook, line, and sinker for Dubya’s “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction” con job

  36. 36
    PeakVT says:

    The Iraq con job is something the media wanted to fall for.

  37. 37
    jibeaux says:

    Brian Kilmeade calling it realistic should’ve been the most obvious clue that it was staged….

  38. 38
    NonyNony says:

    @👽 Martin:

    3rd grade should just ditch the math and reading and shit and have a year of just learning how to be a skeptic. It’ll serve them better in life in the long run.

    Do you know how quickly the school would get defunded if that happened?

    Hell the Texas GOP made “anti-critical thinking” one of their freaking platform positions in their most recent party platform.

    If you want to raise a skeptic you have to do it yourself in this country – nobody’s gonna help you with it.

  39. 39
    lojasmo says:


    I hadn’t heard of this video either.

    Thanks a lot, Balloon-juice.

  40. 40
    Shortstop says:

    The IL house exec committee passed the marriage equality bill last night. Full house vote is the last step. Governor Quinn has committed to signing it.

  41. 41
    Gaia says:

    @Shortstop: That is AWESOME! Gov. Quinn told me in person that he was going to see this through, and he is.

  42. 42
    handsmile says:

    @Schlemizel: , @lojasmo:

    I too had never heard of, much less seen, this video until this morning’s media delirium on its hoaxness. Surprisingly, none of the television news-readers thought to regard this incident as a reflection on their profession and say to viewers, “We’re morons. Why do you listen to us?”

    I should note, of course, that I had never heard of Seth MacFarlane or Manti Te’o either. And yet, each and every day I watch television, read a great many things, leave my apartment to interact with a wide variety of fellow humans. I don’t think of myself as particularly cloistered nor insensible to mass media bombardment. Yet I can’t honestly say I regret missing out on stuff like this. Just an illustration of my own epistemic closure. Though this place helps to nudge those boundaries.

  43. 43
    different-church-lady says:


    Journalists fell for a hoax? That seems right. I seem to remember an entire war based on a hoax.

    You quite clearly will be on the medal stand for today’s 400m internets.

  44. 44
    smintheus says:

    @kay: And then there’s the simple fact that the goat was in less than 2 feet of water, so the person with the camera could have just stepped in and lifted it out.

  45. 45
    the lost puppy says:

    Just please, please don’t tell me the goats yelling like humans video is a fake.

  46. 46
    Cassidy says:

    You would think the media would have learned…

    Ahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha…whoo, that was good.

  47. 47
    ricky says:

    Have Million Moms weighed in on this latest episode of pigs
    and petting?

  48. 48
    dance around in your bones says:

    Wasn’t there already a pig named Wilbur who was a hero?

    (Charlotte’s Web)

    Damn kids these days.

    ETA: I remember crying like a baby when Charlotte died. My mom came in the room and I was sobbing “Why do spiders have to die?”

  49. 49
    JustRuss says:


    No one else views tapes like this

    I seem to recall congress did, when they voted to defund ACORN. So yeah, aside from our media, legislature, and 47% of our population being criminally gullible, we’re just fine.

  50. 50
    Beatrice says:

    OK, maybe I am just crazy, but is it possible that the film about the hoax is a hoax?

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