Chicago TV Anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten Report Fake Plane Crash As Real [Video]

Americans live in an era when the virtual and the real can blend together, when reality TV is secretly staged, and online mischief can get you fired in real life. But it's still unusual for news anchors to report as fact something that is completely fake.

But on Friday, "WGN Morning News" anchors Larry Potash and Robin Baumgarten tried to hurriedly alert their audiences to a plane crash on a major Chicago thoroughfare. The anchors were confused that there weren't any ambulances present, even though there was a giant hole in the pavement, a fractured plane, and several crashed cars.
There weren't any ambulances present, because no one was actually hurt. The scene was staged for the NBC series "Chicago Fire." In the middle of their broadcast of this "story," the anchors learned the truth when a staffer told them via their headsets; after a pregnant pause, Potash let out an "Aaaah."

"We are just getting word that this is being shot as part of a TV show," Potash told the TV audience.

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"Are you kidding me?" said a more frazzled Baumgarten. "They might want to tell the news folks when they're doing this and shutting down King Drive. Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me?"

Soon after the segment aired, the Chicago Fire Department confirmed via tweet that the catastrophic scene was "a simulation."

The news station wasn't the only one fooled by the scene. "I thought it was a plane crash, for real, for real," a young passerby told Chicago.

It isn't the first fake story to slip into the news cycle this week. China's Communist Party newspaper mistook -- as the real deal -- a report by the satirical paper, The Onion, which declared North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un its "Sexiest Men Alive." It posted a 55-page photo spread on its website Tuesday in homage to the stocky despot.

But unlike The People's Daily, the WGN team were quick to mock themselves in a series of tweets with the hashtag #PlaneCrashFail.

"So WGN is reporting that Lake MI is shrinking," they retweeted from one of their viewers. "Are they sure it isnt just being drained for an ep of "Chicago Fire"?

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