Feature

Not really headless

The week's news at a glance.

San Francisco

News agencies reported this week that a videotape had surfaced showing a California man being beheaded in Iraq, but he turned up alive and well in his San Francisco apartment. Benjamin Vanderford, 22, said he and two friends made the tape months ago and posted it on the Internet to show how easy it was to stage phony news events. Vanderford, a video game programmer, said he had also hoped to call attention to his own quixotic campaign for a seat on the local board of supervisors. Friends of Nick Berg, who really was beheaded in Iraq, called the hoax insensitive. Laurie Kirchner, one of the video’s producers, apologized, but said, “It’s not our fault. It’s the media that made this real.”

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