Friday, April 27, 2007

Too good to be true?

Heard this on 5live this morning:
THOUSANDS of rich women were conned by a firm into believing LAMBS were valuable miniature POODLES
Entire flocks were imported to Japan from the UK and Australia then sold by the internet company as the latest “must have” pet.

The bizarre scam was rumbled when Japanese movie star Maiko Kawakami complained on a talk show that her new poodle refused to bark or eat dog food.

She showed photos of the animal and was devastated when told that it was a lamb.

Hundreds of women contacted police to say that they had also been sold lambs instead of pedigree pups by the tricksters based in Sapporo, Japan.

However, this story is nowhere to be found in the Japanese press (and The Sun is hardly one of the UK's most reliable sources), and a lot of these Japanese stories gain something in translation (eg this "hibernation" story), so I wouldn't be at all surprised if reality turns out to have been rather different. Still, it is good enough that one wishes that it might be true (like the wingnuttery I referred to yesterday).

As someone mentioned in the comments, Snopes was on to it pretty quickly. However, this story has been picked up and parrotted uncritically by major media outlets all around the world, such as CNN (apparently), the Sydney Morning Herald, Ninemsn, Fox, Daily Express. Don't believe everything you read in the papers!


Anonymous said...

Snopes says it is false.

James Annan said...

Thanks. That page wasn't up when I posted. I'm glad I didn't fall for it!