Toronto Radio Station Reported Fake News Claim, PM Harper Choked on Hash Browns

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Stephen Harper didn't go to the hospital after choking on a hash brown.(Credit: Vancouver Sun, screenshot detail)

A hacker published a fake news story on Canada’s Conservative Party website claiming that Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper, choked on a hash brown potatoes and was in the hospital, the Vancouver Sun reported.

A Toronto radio station reported the hoax news as fact, according to the Sun.  The hoax report claimed that Harper choked during breakfast with his children and was taken by helicopter to the hospital.

The Sun reported that Twitterer LulzRaft “claimed responsibility for the hack in a tweet,” but didn’t report if LulzRaft is definitely part of LulzSec, the group that hacked into PBS’s website recently and posted a fake story claiming Tupac Shakur was living in New Zealand.

iMediaEthics notes that a simple call to the PM’s office before publication would have prevented the broadcasting of this hoax report. Verification was done after publication. The Sun checked: “Harper’s press secretary, Andrew MacDougall, confirmed the news release was a fake. ‘The story is false,’ he said. ‘Prime Minister Harper took his daughter to school this morning and came into work on Parliament Hill.’ “

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Toronto Radio Station Reported Fake News Claim, PM Harper Choked on Hash Browns

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