Someone impersonates the Associated Press to spread rumors about David Archuelta

Someone appears to be impersonating the Associated Press, the news gathering organization that supplies, in order to add credibility to rumors about American Idol 7 runner-up David Archuleta. But starting with the nonsensical headline, “David Archuleta Gay Rumors Once Again Surfacing & Substantiating,” the story proves itself to be a hoax of some kind.

The person or persons used Free-Press-Release.com to publish a more than 1,000 word piece about David Archuleta, his sexual orientation, and possible relationships, referencing an incident from earlier this spring. That’s when David awkwardly defended his appearance at a gay club, not that going to a gay club should require any kind of explanation for anyone, gay or straight.

Whoever created the press release wanted credibility, so the piece constantly references the AP, as in “The Associated Press contacted several witnesses,” and also includes the organization’s logo and a link to its web site. A footnote asks that anyone who wants to quote the article “PLEASE CREDIT THE ASSOCIATED PRESS FOR ANY AND ALL INFORMATION USED IN PART OR IN FULL.” In other words, they hoped that message board posters or bloggers with poor critical thinking skills would give the bullshit story credibility by citing the AP as a source.

Of course, the AP does not issue news via a free press release web site. And the writing here is sloppy and the opposite of journalistic: the AP doesn’t use “we” in its stories, for example. In fact, the whole “press release” is poorly written and has laughably unsubstantiated evidence, although vague sourcing is a bit too familiar thanks to TMZ and the media’s increasing reliance on unnamed sources.

Update: Unsurprisingly, the AP confirms that they have nothing to do with it. “The person behind the ‘Free Press Release’ is clearly not an employee of AP, which did not post it, either. We’re looking into the matter,” a spokesperson told Crushable.

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.