By Strupp, Joe
Editor & Publisher
A hoax suggesting that actress Nicole Kidman was launching a campaign to save a longtime Buffalo theater has been revealed by the Buffalo News in a series of stories.
The prank is allegedly the work of one Adam Templeton. A man identifying himself as Adam Trumpleton, and pointing to the Buffalo News stories, claims, in an e-mail to E&P, that he has no connection to the theater involved and placed the false item on a public relations Web site in order to embarrass Buffalo News owner Warren Buffett.
The original News story on Monday had reported that Kidman was coming to the aid of the longtime local showcase, the Studio Arena Theatre. Other local news outlets, including the major TV stations, as well as entertainment sites, had published the false story before the News.
A Tuesday follow-up story in the News revealed that the initial story in the news outlets was based on a false notice at a public relations Web site: "The report, posted to the Web site PR-inside.com at 8:20 Saturday night, claims that Kidman told reporters during a rehearsal break in London that she 'expressed hope that one or more hugely charismatic New York City theater figures ... pass the hat' for Buffalo's struggling playhouse. But the article also contains an alleged quote from Kidman that mirrors, verbatim, a comment made by the theater's managing director, Iain Campbell, in July and printed in The Buffalo News," the paper reported.
The News reported that Catherine Olim, Kidman's publicist, told the paper she found the initial story "highly suspect" and added that Kidman did not arrive in London until Monday. "We have no knowledge of this, and [Kidman] is filming out of the country. If we find out, we'll let you know if it's true or not," Olim wrote to the News in an e-mail.
"The report, which circulated to several online gossip sites and was later picked up by local television stations and this newspaper, is attributed to an organization called Mirror Entertainment (America), the existence of which could not be verified through Web searches," the News revealed. …