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Newman Death Hoax Was *Not* Reported by TMZ, US Weekly

Here’s a new twist on the old game of a celebrity still very much alive being reported dead.

WayneKnightTwitterProfilePicPer Mashable real-time news editor Brian Ries, it was *not* TMZ or US Weekly that reported the erroneous death of Seinfeld actor Wayne Knight over the weekend, but rather a man in Texas. The US item was in fact attached to a dot-.us URL fake-out, while TMZ in this case was anchored to TMZ.today rather than TMZ.com:

The address for the [US Weekly] website, designed to resemble the real US magazine website, was registered on Saturday by a man in San Antonio, Texas, according to WhoIs records. The creator of the hoax website did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Kane-based state police have identified the deceased as the lovable ‘Newman,’” added tmz.today — a website that resembles the real TMZ.

Among those faked out by the TMZ/US website lookalikes was LAObserved’s Kevin Roderick, who admonished the celebrity news outlets in a Sunday night post.

Instead of the exclamation “Newman!”, in this case it should perhaps be “Weisman!” Per Ries’ report, that is the last name of the bogus US URL registrant. At press time, the fake US Weekly item is still up, while the TMZ faux post now re-points to ebuzzd.com. This may reflect the fact that TMZ was faster to a cease-and-desist response than US.

[Photo courtesy: @iWayneKnight]

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