Last Tuesday, College Humor posted a photo series titled "This Is The Most Passive-Aggressive Office Battle We've Ever Seen" depicting an exchange of break room notes that escalates into a full-scale sandwich hostage crisis. It was pretty funny, but also totally fake, as made clear by the extensive watermarks and "CH Staff" byline, an attribution the site reserves for original works like last year's phony Breaking Bad finale script.
The obvious joke wasn't quite as obvious, however, when someone cropped out the "College Humor" watermarks and posted the images on Reddit, the bottomless well from which all deadline-facing bloggers drink. From there the clearly staged photos were picked up far and wide, earning credulous coverage from the Daily Mail, the Mirror and Fox 32 Chicago, which ran the headline "Lunch theft prompts ransom note from sandwich thief."
When those news organizations did try to credit the pictures, they generally cited the Facebook page of a New Zealand radio station, which—as most non-journalists could probably tell you—isn't a real source.
But probably the funniest write-up of all came from Rupert Murdoch's News.com.au. "Beware the sandwich thief," cautioned the News Corp subsidiary, apparently unable to heed their own warning.
[Images via CollegeHumor]