There was an interesting story in the news a couple of years ago. A memorial theme park, a kind of Disneyland for the Dead called "The Final Curtain" was going to put the fun back in funeral. Some reporters covered it as a real story, but of course it was a hoax, the work of satirist Joey Skaggs. In this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge, the man who calls himself "the world's greatest hoaxer." Also Neal Bowers' search for the man who plagiarized his poems.
Joey Skaggs is an artist whose chosen art form is the elaborate hoax. Skaggs tells Steve Paulson he's out to make people question their beliefs and assumptions, and that it is remarkably easy to fool the media. He gives a couple of examples:"The Final Curtain" which purported to be a theme park for the dead, putting the "fun" back in funerals; and the "Cat House for Dogs", a project he did twenty five years ago purporting to offer sexual gratification to pets. It's completely clear that The Cat House for Dogs never existed, but the subject is so outrageous, some listeners may object to it. On the other hand, people who can't get enough of Skaggs can check out his website: www.joeyskaggs.com.SEGMENT 2:
Also, Audri Lanford and her husband founded "Internet Scambusters" - a website devoted to educating people about deceptive practices in cyberspace. Lanford tells Anne Strainchamps that the internet is the perfect medium for swindling people, describes several successful scams, and offers advice on how to protect yourself. Her website is www.scambusters.org.
Bill Sloan is a veteran of several tabloids and author of "I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby! A Colorful History of Tabloids and Their Cultural Impact." He tells Jim Fleming that the mainstream press now covers a lot of stuff that used to be the exclusive beat of the tabloids and gives some hilarious examples of how tabloid stories get written.SEGMENT 3:
Neal Bowers was a poet - until a man named David Sumner Jones began to publish many of Bowers' poems as his own. Bowers tried to put a stop to it, and found that most editors didn't really care that they'd published plagiarized work. His book is called "Words for the Taking: The Hunt for a Plagiarist." Bowers now writes novels. The new one is "Loose Ends."
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