Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel peddled a list of fake news stories to his audience on Friday, one of which was the impeachment of President Donald Trump.
But just how much fake news is in this video bit? Turns out a lot.
Kimmel took his Jimmy Kimmel Live cameras out on the street in California to ask folks on the street what they felt about stories in the news this year in a segment he called “Lie Witness News.”
For instance, the woman behind the microphone asked passersby what they thought of “this year’s deaths” of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and President Andrew Jackson — each of whom died in 1791 and 1845 respectively.
The folks were also asked about other false stories such as what they thought of President Trump’s nuclear annihilation of North Korea, the Supreme Court’s ruling that men could marry a smartphone, and the time scientists “brought back” a saber-toothed tiger.
Kimmel’s fake news purveyor also asked one fellow how he felt when Donald Trump was impeached and sent to jail.
Each of the people on the video seemed to think all the fake news stories they were told were real. At least, that is what Kimmel’s audience was supposed to think.
But, while it might seem fun to laugh at the idiots on the street, it appears that there is more being faked than it appears. In fact, according to Mashable’s Brian Koerber, not only are the news stories “fake,” but the people on the screen are also “fake,” at least to the extent that they are already in on the joke and are not actually reacting as if they believed the fake news being presented to them.
Some sources allege the whole video is a “bit” from front to back. The news is fake and so are the reactions of the “people on the street.”
One woman who appeared in one of Kimmel’s past “Lie Witness News” bits admitted that she was in on the joke and trolled Kimmel right back.
“It is fake, but it’s all in good fun! The people being interviewed know that the camera person is kidding,” said Colleen McEachern, who appeared in one of Kimmel’s Super Bowl-themed “Lie Witness News” videos.
“I don’t know if you can see it, but when I get asked the question, you can see that I’m trying to figure out what they want me to answer with. I knew that the Super Bowl was a week from that day, but I wanted to get on TV so I said something else,” she added.
McEachern also noted that she watched as fan after fan was filmed giving proper, truthful answers and not one of them made it to the final reel.
Koerber also found a person who appeared in a different “Lie Witness News” video who said that Kimme’s post-production team edited her replies to make her look clueless. Indeed, this person even told Koerber that she was coached by Kimmel’s film crew so that she would give them what they wanted for the bit.
“It was fake. They replaced some of the band names in post and also used my description of other groups/bands as answers to other questions,” the woman said. She also told Mashable that crew members told participants to “play along.”
She knew it was all fake from the word go, she said. “I figured, “Why not?” she said admitting that she just wanted to be on TV.
Koerber asked Kimmel’s people about these claims, but they flatly denied all allegations that the people on their “Lie Witness News” bits were coached.
This latest prank video comes on the tail of an entire year of Jimmy Kimmel complaining about “fake news.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.