Baltimore Tv Station Airs Spoof As Actual News
The news staff at a Baltimore TV station was left with egg on its collective face when the station broadcast -- at least twice on Monday -- a report that Michael Richards had appeared in blackface at a celebrity roast for Whoopi Goldberg over the weekend. The staff of WJZ-TV, a CBS affiliate, had picked up the report from DatelineHollywood.com, apparently unaware that all of its reports are intended to be satirical. The Baltimore Sun reported that the story about Richards, who was propelled into the news when he shouted racial epithets at patrons at a West Hollywood comedy club last month, was presented "in breaking news style" by the program's news anchor, Sally Thorner. The DatelineHollywood story also reported that Richards "took out a bottle of Aunt Jemima syrup and poured it over Whoopi's head," and then began singing "Mammy." News director Gail Bending told the Sun that the report "should not have aired" and that the station would broadcast a correction. In 1993 Goldberg caused an uproar at a Friars' Club roast when she wrote a routine for her then-boyfriend Ted Danson that he delivered in blackface.