Monday, August 4, 2008

KFC-Fallujah Hoax

I saw this video when it made the rounds last week. It shows U.S. troops, supposedly in Fallujah, ordering buckets of chicken in the city’s new Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise. Fox News saw it too, and turned it into a news story about how well things are going in Iraq--so well, in fact, that even war-torn Fallujah has embraced America’s fast food restaurants.

Well, hold the hot wings, soldier. It’s starting to look like it’s a hoax:
Last Thursday, Fox News ran a brief segment on a KFC restaurant opening in Fallujah before segueing into an interview with former CENTCOM Commander Tommy Franks, who was asked to comment on the presence of an American fast food restaurant in the notoriously violent Iraqi city. "Do they have a drive-thru window?" Steve Doocy asks. "They get in and get out. And, so far, they do it safely," answers Brian Kilmeade:

Now, call us cynical, but something about that segment seemed off -- oddly upbeat even. On Friday I put in a call to KFC headquarters to ask if the Fallujah chicken joint is the real deal. KFC told me they were looking into the matter. Today, Yum! Restaurants International spokesman Christophe Lecureuil wrote me back:
I understand you wanted some details about the store in Falluja that looks like a KFC. This store is not approved by KFC International and we have working with the US Military to warn the troops of this situation.

Not surprisingly, TPM goes on to report that “the story seems to have popped up two weeks ago in a report by a Marine public information officer.”

Of course.