Belgian Split

The ghost of Orson Welles strikes again – according to the BBC, ‘the Belgian public television station RTBF ran a bogus report saying the Dutch-speaking half of the nation had declared independence.’ Lots of faked footage of celebrations, traffic jams, and 2600 calls were made to a phone number given out during the show, which was intended to spur debate given growing real separatist sentiment in Flanders. Apparently a number of foreign ambassadors were fooled and sent urgent messages back to their capitals. It just goes to show that TV news is still an immensely powerful and trusted medium, and that tricks like these still work.


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