Hunting for Bambi is a Hoax

I was reading our free daily subway tabloid, Metro, when I came across an article about “Hunting for Bambi.” The article describes what appears to be an unbelievably offensive sport, where men with paintball guns pay thousands of dollars to hunt down nude women in the forest. It immediately struck me that there was something awry.

It turns out it’s a hoax.

But Metro wasn’t the only newspaper taken in; try a Google news search for “hunting for bambi”, and you’ll see dozens of reputable news outlets covered the story. Of course, at this point, the stories are being overwhelmed by the discovery that it was a hoax. Here’s one typical story as it appeared in the Washington Times:

Jockstrip: The world as we know it
By Alex Cukan
United Press International
Men are paying thousands of dollars to shoot naked women with paint ball guns near Las Vegas.
Hunting for Bambi is the brain child of Michael Burdick. Men pay anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for the chance to come to the middle of the desert to shoot what they call “Bambi’s” with a paint ball gun, KLAS-TV in Las Vegas reports.
Burdick says men have come from as far away as Germany. The men get a video tape of their hunt to take home.
Burdick says hunters are told not shoot the women above the chest, but admits not all hunters follow the rules.
The women get $2,500 is they don’t get hit, something they admit hurts, and $1,000 is they do get hit, according to KLAS-TV.

I think the problem here is that once a story appears in one “legitimate” mainstream news outlet (in this case, KLAS-TV), all the other media think they can just carry the story without rechecking the original facts.

I’d hope to see a retraction in the Metro, but I’m not going to hold my breath.

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