The production crew on “Conan” was not mugged while in Haiti, despite a report. This alarming claim is actually 100 percent fake news. Gossip Cop can bust the story.
Conan O’Brien has traveled to a number of countries, including Cuba and Israel, for his recurring “Conan Without Borders” installments. Following Donald Trump’s alleged comments against the country, O’Brien announced he would film a special episode in Haiti. Production took place just days ago, with O’Brien posting on Twitter on Sunday, “That’s a wrap on #ConanHaiti! Thank you to the people of #Haiti for their warmth, hospitality and humor – and a special thank you to our excellent Haitian crew for making it all possible.”
While a preview of the special edition was released on Monday night, the full episode will air on TBS this Saturday. But though O’Brien’s tweet suggested all went well during filming, YourNewsWire has an article headlined, “Conan O’Brien Production Crew Mugged In Haiti While Promoting Country As ‘Safe.'” It’s specifically alleged, “A member of Conan O’Brien’s production crew was mugged in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, while the talk show host was filming a politicized segment attempting to prove the island nation is ‘beautiful and safe.'”
“The ‘nightmare’ experience suffered by his production crew in the Haitian capital suggests the troubled nation may not be as safe as Conan wants us to believe,” contends the website, which alleges that “one member of Conan’s production crew” wrote about a “night on the town” that supposedly went very awry. It’s not said where this purported staffer opened up about this alleged experience, but the online publication quotes the unnamed person as saying, “I was walking from one bar to other looking for the gang because I lost them for a few minutes. Pitch black. Footsteps behind me.”
The quote continues, “Two guys link arms with me on either side… weird, I think, but I’m an open-minded guy, and before I can ask my new friends where we are skpping to [sic], a third guy fondles my dongles (empties his pockets). Then all three run down a side alley. Gone. Final thoughts: that was the most impressive way I ever got my [expletive] ganked.”
The blog has no additional information, such as whether the victim went to police or how much money was supposedly taken. But the outlet attempts to shame O’Brien, noting that he “didn’t tell his viewers about the experience of his production staffer.” Well, that’s because this “experience” never happened. No news media, here in the United States or local to Haiti, reported anything about a crime involving the “Conan” crew.
That might make it seem like YourNewsWire scored a scoop. It did not. It actually stole the quoted lines from a Reddit post that was submitted two years ago (see screengrab below). The topic of the thread was people’s personal experiences with muggings, and one user shared:
“Worked at two bars in downtown Citytown, USA. Walking from one bar to other after work because of free parking. Darkness. Footsteps. Two guys link arms with me on either side… weird but I’m openminded, before I can ask where we are skipping to, third guy fondles my dongles (runs my pockets). All three dip off down the street. Fast. Final thoughts: yes, that is the most efficient way I ever got my [expletive] ganked. Also. $5 for parking is less expensive than > $200 and peace of mind.”
Sound familiar? The site took that old Reddit post and didn’t even bother to change it all that much. Perhaps the website assumed readers wouldn’t second-guess its account of a “Conan” staffer being mugged. But a simple Google search of some of the quoted lines shows that they only appear on this YourNewsWire article dated January 23, 2018 and in the Reddit post from 2015.
It is always shameful to peddle any kind of fake news, but it is particularly egregious to make-up a crime that simply did not occur. No member of O’Brien’s staff was mugged in Haiti and the alleged account was plagiarized from a completely unrelated event that took place years before the show’s trip.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.