Paul L. Caron

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

GE Gets Punk'd: AP, USA Today Fall for GE's Claimed Return of $3.2b Tax Refund

Punkd-logo The Yes Men press release:

GE Returns Billions to Public... NOT

USA Today, AP fall for US Uncut ploy; GE stock loses billions

Washington, DC - US Uncut, a burgeoning grassroots movement pressuring corporate tax cheats to pay their fair share, posted today a fake GE press release announcing that they would return their illegitimate (but legal) $3.2 billion tax refund, and that they would lobby to close the sort of corporate tax loopholes that had allowed them to skip taxes in the first place. Several major media outlets, including USA Today, ran the story as true. (Here is a link to the original USA Today story; here is the first article debunking the release.)

US Uncut quickly reacted with another release pretending to praise GE for this entirely unpredictable, unlikely, and in fact impossible act.

"At a time when working families are being asked to accept massive cuts nationwide, this action showed another way the world could work," said US Uncut spokesperson Carl Gibson. "For a brief moment people believed that the biggest corporate tax dodger had a change of heart and actually did the right thing. But the only way anything like this is really going to happen is if we change the laws that allow corporate tax avoidance in the first place."

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If either one of those publications had a clue about tax vs. book or had consulted someone who did, then they wouldn't have fallen for this. As usual, though, they publish articles on areas where they pretend to be knowledgeable or really are not. Given that, they'll fall all over themselves to support Obama's tax plan.

Posted by: Woody | Apr 14, 2011 12:19:48 AM