We wrote earlier this month about the New York Daily News and WPIX being hoaxed by a fake video claiming to be from the alleged June bar fight between popular recording stars Chris Brown and Drake. The video, posted on YouTube by "takecareofficial" on June 14, appeared to be the exact same video as another YouTube user, "phreaktor1," posted on February 5.
While neither the Daily News nor WPIX responded to iMediaEthics' e-mails letting them know the video was a phony and asking for corrections, the video is not on either site anymore. And, the video appears to have been taken down from YouTube.
This is the WPIX article in question which no longer shows the YouTube video from "takecareofficial." The headline has also been changed to remove the "VIDEO" tag. There is no correction or note about the change to the post and no change to the article's timestamp. See below iMediaEthics' screenshots of the top and bottom of the original WPIX video.
See above a June 15 screenshot from the original WPIX article. (Credit: WPIX, screenshot)
See above, a screenshot of the video that has since been removed from WPIX's website. (Credit: WPIX, screenshot)
Likewise, the Daily News pulled the fake footage without any disclosure.
The New York Daily News not only removed the video from its website, but replaced its original post with a new article. The original article iMediaEthics saw on June 15 was titled "Manager of SoHo club where Chris Brown, Drake squared off over Rihanna arrested by NYPD," and by the Daily News' Joe Kemp, who didn't respond to iMediaEthics' June 15 e-mail, and and Corky Siemaszko. See below, iMediaEthics' screenshot of the top of the original report.
See above a June 15 screenshot of the top of the original New York Daily News article. (Credit: NYDN, screenshot)
The article now available at that hyperlink (a hyperlink that reads http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/manager-soho-club-posses-chris-brown-drake-squared-rihanna-arrested-nypd-article-1.1096322) removes Kemp's name from the byline and instead credits Daily News writers Matthew Lysiak, Shayna Jacobs and Corky Siemaszko. That new article is headlined: "'Drake did it!' Chris Brown talks to cops as it's claimed rival threw glass then bottle." The Daily News didn't add a note disclosing that it changed its article or removed the video, but there is an updated timestamp reading "Updated: Friday, June 15, 2012, 9:31 PM"
See below, a screenshot of the new headline, byline and updated timestamp.
See above, a June 17 screenshot of the new New York Daily News article without any disclosure that it has been substantively changed. (Credit: NYDN, screenshot)
And, while the original article reported on the arrest of Jonathan Cantor, the manager of the club where the alleged fight happened, and background on the incident, the new article in its place reports on an interview with a "witness" of the incident and only at the bottom of the article mentions the arrest of Cantor in a brief sentence. The bottom of the article mentions that Kemp, along with five other writers, as contributing, with a note reading: " With Rocco Parascandola, Joe Kemp, Debbie Truong, Michael J. Feeney, Janon Fisher and Carson Griffith."
The original article included the fake video. See below a screenshot.
See above, a June 15 screenshot from the bottom of the original NYDN article containing fake video. The video has since been replaced. (Credit: NYDN, screenshot)
The new article also features a different video interview with McCray Kennet, who said he witnessed the incident. The Daily News completely re-framed its story and yanked fake footage, but there was no disclosure to or transparency for readers as of June 17 at 5 PM EST.
We have written to the Daily News and WPIX asking why there are no disclosures that the two sites removed the fake footage. We also asked the Daily News why it didn't disclose to readers that its article has changed. We will update with any responses.