‚Jokes Are Not Our Strong Point’

'Jokes Are Not Our Strong Point'

Fake news got a bit too real for one TV studio audience in Ukraine, when men who appeared to be armed stormed the live transmission of a news program in a simulated attack.

Many were not left seeing the funny side during a broadcast of the Ukrainian-language Pryamiy channel when masked men ran into the studio and shouted for presenter Mykola Veresen, while the noise of apparent gunfire peppered the studio.

Some audience members looked like they were in genuine shock as the drama unfolded for about a minute and one of the masked men trained his weapon at the camera, screaming at full throttle.

The penny began to drop that not all was as it seemed—partly due to the calmness of the guests and other presenters— while the distinct whiff of ham acting by the masked men was a bit of a giveaway.

Then Veresen dispelled the fiction fully by standing up and posing for a selfie with the intruders, explaining that it was simply a stunt to show the „absurdity” of an attack on the channel’s owner, according to BBC Monitoring.

This referred to former lawmaker Volodymyr Makeyenko whose home was searched this week by the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) over claims of tax evasion when the channel was bought in 2017.

But the channel issued a mea culpa for causing such a stir, saying that „Pryamiy is a news channel and jokes are not our strong point.”

However it wanted to highlight „the absurdity of a situation in a country where surprises happen almost every day” and that seizures can „happen to anyone, anytime and anywhere.”