Saturday, August 15, 2009

Kiwi Monkey Tricks World's Letters Editors

An anagram reveals that MONKEYS WRITE the NEW YORK TIMES. A mischievous monkey from New Zealand named Andrew Prieditis has fooled the New York Times' owned International Herald-Tribune's letters editor into publishing a letter showing a fake address.

What's more, using other false addresses, he has similarly tricked leading newspapers in Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, and the Philippines.

Facing falling revenue from sales and advertising in the global economic depression, newspapers, some on the brink of bankruptcy, have slashed staff numbers. Overworked letters editors often have little time to check the bona fIDes of their correspondents, so Prieditis gets his opinions published by using phony addresses.

His greatest success was a story headed "My plan to be president" which made top place in the August 1 Opinion blog of the Dallas Morning News in Texas:
If I were a Republican interested in becoming president, I'd hitch my star to Sarah Palin's wagon. She will run for president in 2012.

I'd stay so close that after her nomination for president by the Republican Party, she'd have to choose me as her running mate. With her charisma and conservative views, our ticket would be elected.

Then, after two years of serving as president, when she tired of a probing media, outside agitators and an uncooperative Congress -- and became convinced that she could help the nation better being outside of government -- she'd resign. Then I'd be president.

--Andrew Prieditis, Dallas.
Right alongside it was an editorial introduction: "This Blog was the first in the nation created by an editorial board to give readers a behind-the-scenes view of the discussion that goes into crafting the newspaper's daily editorials."

Prieditis's epistle, also published by The Seattle Times and other newspapers, set off chains of readers' comments, for and against Sarah Palin.

In another Texan city, journalist Kevin Whited wrote:

Although the Houston Chronicle has 'an informal 90-day waiting period between letters being published,' Mr. Prieditis of Houston managed to get two letters (one on Sarah Palin on 3 August and one on Joe Biden on 7 August) published within days of each other.
'Punking' the Hearst daily -- especially now that former letters editor Judy Minshew is no longer around... is a little like adults taking candy from children.
Dubbing Prieditis "a citizen of the world," Whited said "Mr. Prieditis isn't a one-trick pony, nor is he just a man of this nation. He has managed to get letters on various topics published all over the world."

Googling his name, you can find letters published by the New York Times from Andrew Prieditis of Hamilton, New Zealand , the London Independent, from Andrew Prieditis of Elland, West Yorkshire, and the Jerusalem Post (Israel) from Andrew Prieditis of Washington. The Birmingham Post published a comment from Andrew Prieditis, from Lionel Street, Birmingham. The headline was "Olympic Games Must Go Back to the Future in Search for Renewed Credibility." That's what Andrew needs!

Down Under, Rupert Murdoch's national newspaper, The Australian, ran this letter from Andrew Prieditis of Torquay, Queensland on August 6:
WHAT does Somalia have in common with Australia? Until recently, almost nothing. The two nations, if Somalia can still be called a nation, had basically zero historical, economic and cultural links until the Department of Immigration began accepting some Somali refugees to Australia.

Now we are told by the Australian Federal Police there is a direct link between the violent mayhem in Somalia and an alleged plot to attack and kill soldiers at the Holsworthy army base in Sydney.

Even if these arrests do not survive the scrutiny of the legal process, they are a reminder that our security services have a constant and difficult task of sifting through the mountain of daily communication and identifying danger. Tuesday’s raids were a reminder of what they are doing and why.
In his home country, the prolific letterwriter fooled Auckland's New Zealand Herald, which published a letter from Andrew Prieditis of Kaitaia, urging Kiwis to eat less sugar and take more exercise, . Then down in Invercargill, the Southland Times ran an email from Andrew Prieditis of Hamilton urging them to "shake off the ghosts of the Rugby World Cup 2007."

He even proffered advice to New Zealand's Prime Minister, John Key before Key was elected to that position. It's still there on the PM's video journal:
John: I've recently returned from living 6 years in the United States. It is there that my eyes were opened up to the principles of limited Government in action and lower taxes. I do hope that in the next election, the National party pushes taxes as a big issue as I think, with enough persuasion of the NZ public, it could be the single factor which pushes the party over the winning line.

Where does the mysterious scribbler really live? In the US or New Zealand? Perhaps the answer is on the website of his old school, Kamo High, near Whangarei, two hours' drive north of Auckland. He wrote:

I was a student at Kamo High School in 1995 and 1996, the latter being my 7th form year (I'm amazed at how fast time has gone since then!). I then went on to study applied mathematics at the University of Waikato, graduating with a BSc in 2000.

After that I headed for the United States, and I'm now living in the state of Maryland (near Washington D.C.), working for a real estate transaction company as a Technology Coordinator. I am now also married to a lovely American woman!

Another verbose writer, Oscar Brittle, invaded Sydney's four daily newspapers' letter pages with a hilarious series of posts that infuriated thousands of readers. You can read about him in OhmyNewsInternational: Australia's Funniest Ghost Writer.



dan said...

Good leg work on this unmasking of the Hamilton New Zealand writer who got his letter into the NYTimes on August 5, you are the only person to have uncovered this. Good gumshoe work. The Internet is amazing and you are a great Internaut!

Danny in Taiwan

dan said...

Yes AP has attacked again with his fake letters to the editors. Question I have is this: is he a sane man just doing this for fun? Or for the thrill of seeing his name in many papers worldwide? Or because he really has things to say and wants to say them and sees the letters pages as a place to get his voice heard? Or he is perhaps mentally unstable or suffering from some unknown problem? My guess is he is a sane man, with things on his mind, who wants to say them in public forums, and all his letters make sense, they are all on good topics, and his point of view is worth hearing, BUT why does he use the unethical strategy of POSING as someone who lives in the newspaper's readership area? He does not have to do that. The NY Times published his letter on August 5 using his address in New Zealand, where he may very well have been on vacation at the time he wrote the letter. So why does he have to lie to these other papers? He will be FOUND OUT soon and his name will become a warning to future letter writers. He seems sane, very sane, a nice chap, a good egg, but very very misguided in his approach by lying, LYING, about where he lives. THAT IS A NO NO at any newspaper
s copy desk, right, Eric? Where do we go from here? Report AP to the newspaper police? I have reported his fakery to the New York Times, and and to reach Bill Keller, the letters editor and the paper's ombudsman, but they do not reply to me. I guess this is NOT important to most newspaper editors, who are more worried about surviving the coming END OF PRINT NEWSPAPERS era that is coming soon. AP is part of the NEW newspaper era, because it's all online and it's easy to fool editors this day. In the old days, his letter to the editor would come by snail mail, and there would be a postmark on the envelope and they would not the letter came from Maryland. But with the new online era, he can pose as anyone from anywhere. He is a genius in some ways. Maybe we should honor AP with a statue in the new NEWSEUM in DC?

As Eric has pointed out, AP struck again, here:

Aug 19 2009 Birmingham Post

Dear Editor, The International Olympic Committee’s executive board is recommending that golf and rugby sevens become Olympic sports.

Rather than extending the Olympic programme, which could then have 28 sports, is it not time for the Olympics to get back to their ancient Grecian roots, and restrict the number of sports to the traditional ones of running, jumping and throwing?

The Olympics have become too big and unmanageable - at least, financially speaking, with the costs of staging them spiralling ever further into the stratosphere. There is also an argument for the Olympics having a permanent venue in Greece, their natural home. This would not only save costs, but add credibility and integrity, which they are in grave danger of losing.

Andrew Prieditis

Lionel Street


dan said...


I told the new york times after they wrote me see below

Understand...a 90 year old journalist in Australia brought this my attentioon...90!

Eric Shackle, google him, he deserves some praise for this


On Fri, Aug 21, 2009 at 11:04 PM, Greg Brock wrote:

Dear Mr. Bloom:

We passed your e-mail message on to the editors at the International Herald Tribune, which published this letter; The Times did not. Although The New York Times Company owns the IHT, it edited in Paris by a staff independent of The Times. We have no say so in what they publish in their print editions or post on line.

I will pass this latest note on to them again.

Best regards,

Greg Brock
Senior Editor

dan said...

The International Herald Tribune and other papers worldwide got faked out by a letter writer with a tragic past


The man in question here, the multiple letter writer, it turns out, after a deep gumshoe work by you know who, that the letter writer in question here is apparently not mentally stable and is not living in the USA now. If any of the newspapers just tracked the IP on his emails in which he sends in his letters, they could easily tell his letters by email are originating from outside the USA.

He apparently allegedly left the USA in October of 2007, according to sources. He was allegedly committed to a mental institution in his native country outside the USA and not by his choice. He is allegedly not mentally stable. That explains the long list of newspapers that published his letters to the editor. He has some strong need to write these letters and to pretend he was living in the city where the newspaper was published.



dan said...

Eric, after a New Zealand newspaper reporter Bruce Holloway did a cute story on Andrew, based on your earlier research, they found him living in Hamilton, paper did a story this week, with photo, today Andrew has been taken into custody by Hamilton police on 24 counts of fraud, according to news reports now.