New York Times owns up to EWU student prank - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

New York Times owns up to EWU student prank

SPOKANE, Wash. - A story by KHQ reporter Anthony Gomes, revealing that a popular internet video prank was a fake, has prompted the New York Times to run a correction to an article it published March 24th.

The video posted March 16, shows two men interrupting a March 8th EWU womens' basketball game during a timeout. They walk through a gym lip-synching and dancing to Rick Astley's 1987 hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up." One was even dressed to look like Mr. Astley wearing his signature trench coat.

KHQ, suspecting the validity of the video, went to confirm its authenticity.

The EWU women's basketball coach told KHQ Pawly never interrupted a timeout. The EWU Police Department said they weren't aware of Pawly ever using the PA system.

Aspiring EWU filmmaker Pawl Fisher, also known as "Pawly P," admitted the video was manufactured using home footage and footage from several different basketball games. He admits it was all clever editing to make a viewer think he had interrupted a timeout in the basketball game. He said many of the fans seen dancing in the video were not dancing to the 80's song.

After confirming the video was a fake, KHQ did not run the story. The New York Times did.

On Thursday the paper owned up to the incident and published this correction to their article published March 24th.


Correction: March 27, 2008

An article on Monday about a popular Internet video prank known as rickrolling referred incorrectly to its use during a March 8 women's basketball game at Eastern Washington University, based on information provided by Pawl Fisher, a student; Davin Perry, who shoots game videos for the university; and Dave Cook, its sports information director. The stunt, which involves a person lip-synching the 1980s hit song "Never Gonna Give You Up" while dressed as the British singer Rick Astley, was performed before the start of four separate basketball games, and the pranksters distilled the performances into a YouTube video. The March 8 game, between Eastern Washington and Montana State, was not interrupted by a performance.


Pawly says he hopes his video will take the practice to the next level and inspire others to actually interrupt sporting events.

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