Fox News caught plagiarizing a childrens website, admits no fault


This article was originally published on Examiner.com on July 16, 2012.

 

[I highly advise viewing the article in question now, as Fox has a history of deleting questionable material when controversy begins to brew.]

A Fox News magazine editor, Amber Milt, is being accused of plagiarizing a children’s website for ideas she published in an article titled “10 Pranks That Will Spice Up Your Relationship.” Among the pranks she advocated to “take a picture of the toilet in your bathroom, then plug your digital camera into a computer or TV and load the picture onto your screen. When he comes out of the bathroom, start laughing and pointing.”

Charming. Poor humor aside there were several glaring similarities between Milt’s article that was published June 7th 2012, and an article published on prank-ideas-central.com, titled “7 Kid Pranks to play on random victims.” Suddenly the plot thickens. Did a grown woman who is a paid professional journalist for a nationally read news magazine actually steal ideas from a kids website and then convert them to ideas to ‘spice up a relationship’? Decide for yourself.

The kids pranks article is not dated, however it does include a video which is advertised as saying, “Your daily dose of laughter YouTube comedy clips & videos” and the link directs you to not the page’s channel but to a specific video posted March 17, 2011, and dozens of others have been uploaded after March. It is therefore not unreasonable to conclude the article itself was posted sometime in 2011, well before Milt published her story.

The similarities begin with a generic idea of gluing a coin to the floor.

Fox’s article:

An oldie but goodie: Superglue a coin to the floor and watch as he scratches away to pick it up.

Prank-ideas-central’s article:

Get a coin (a quarter, penny, 50 cents – depends on where you’re from) and super-glue it to the ground. Enjoy watching your victims try to pick up the coin in vain. There will be plenty of suckers trying to remove it, I assure you. Some are just more determined than others.

The similarities continue with an idea of using tape to sabotage.

Fox’s article:

Put a small piece of masking tape on the bottom of his mouse, making sure it covers the trackball or optical sensor. Watch as he struggles to read his e-mail — and don’t forget to write “Gotcha!” on the tape.

Prank ideas central’s article:

This is a simple but effective kid prank to pull off. Simply tape the faucet in your victim’s bathroom mostly shut. I find that taping it more than 3 quarters shut works wonders.

When your victim turns on the rigged tap quickly, the water will jet out at him and wet his pants.

So what, right? Anyone can use tape or coins. Well, what about when both articles suggest to use food coloring to change a drink? The only difference between the two ideas is one suggests milk, the other water in a Gatorade bottle.

Fox’s article:

Save an empty juice or Gatorade bottle (grape or cranberry works best) and fill it with water. Add a few drops of food coloring so the water becomes the color of whatever juice was originally in the bottle. When he goes to have a glass, watch his face as he takes a sip — he will be expecting something sweet and get a bland surprise instead!

Prank ideas central’s article:

If your mom bakes in the house and uses food coloring, you can easily play this kid prank. Get some food coloring and mix it into some milk at your friend’s house. When you drop it into the milk, the color will start spreading into it, giving your friend a colorful surprise the next day. His mum might even think that he did it. The more colors you put in, the more spectacular the effect.

The color doesn’t ruin the milk, so you can tell your friend that when he finds out.

Finally there is the most compelling piece of evidence. A near exact wording of a highly peculiar suggestion of hollowing out an apple, and placing a gummy worm inside. The Fox article claims they “heard this” idea.

Fox’s article:

We heard this and thought it was pretty cute, especially if you have kids! Add some sweet shenanigans to your day with a little fruity fun. Carefully poke some gummy worms into fresh fruit, like apples. Give your guy (or even your kids) a wormy apple for lunch and watch their face light up.

Prank ideas central’s article:

Surprise your victims with a worm in an apple in this kid prank. A gummy worm in an apple to be precise. Cut a hole in the apple about the size of the gummy worm. You don’t need to use a knife – if the back of a spoon or fork is narrow enough, you can use that to poke the hole. Chopsticks and toothpicks work fine too, if you have them.

Once you have the hole, push in the tail of the gummy worm into the apple. Then give the apple to your victim, or swap his apple for your wormy apple!

Fox’s article was originally published a month ago and the story is surfacing now because, quite frankly, most major news watchdog groups were not looking for it. It is an election season, so relationship articles weren’t on anyone’s radar and it was able to evade detection for several weeks.