Jeff Lizotte and his desperate pleas for attention

Ever hear of this guy Claude Vorilhon? He’s a crazy former race car driver wannabe who decided to start a religion centred around him because he thought he saw aliens. Apparently part of this religion requires gaining as much media attention as humanly possible, which saw increasingly ridiculous stunts culminating in the announcement that the group had cloned a human being in 2006. Of course it was complete bull, but the media bought it anyway. I’m hopeful that they’ve learned their lesson because we haven’t heard much from the Raëllians since.

Jeff Lizotte: Douchebag with stupid hair

Jeff Lizotte: Douchebag with stupid hair

Second on the list of ultimate attention-grabbers is Bombe.tv’s Jeff Lizotte, aka Jeff Lee. And his ethics aren’t much better. In August, he put up a hoax video about a Teletoon van being stolen. It turned out to have been a publicity stunt for Télétoon’s fall launch. Last month, he faked another video about using an iPhone to steal a Bixi.

Now, his latest pathetic stunt is offering to sell his Facebook profile photo (for a week) for $1,000. And the media have been eating it up: Patrick Lagacé, Dominic Arpin, Patrick Dion, Urbania, Salut Bonjour. They use the stunt to discuss an apparent larger issue of how much of our lives we’re willing to sell for advertising interests, but only Lagacé mentions the fact that Lizotte is a hoaxter.

This morning comes word that the campaign was successful, and some sucker marketing company will own his face for a week starting Monday.

Yeah, I realize that by writing this I’m giving this douchebag exactly what he wants: more attention. I wish there was some way to avoid that. And maybe I’m stating the obvious to some people. But I can’t ignore it when someone uses lies to manipulate the media (and social media) for selfish purposes and isn’t called on it. Jeff Lizotte is a serial liar. It’s time we stop taking what he says at face value.

So please, ignore him. Unfriend him on Facebook, stop following him on Twitter, remove Bombe.tv from your RSS reader. Send a message that you won’t be manipulated to service his ego. But most of all, don’t believe anything he says that sounds newsworthy, because it’s probably not true.

At least Raël’s desperate publicity stunts come from some delusional sense that it will eventually bring peace to the world.

23 thoughts on “Jeff Lizotte and his desperate pleas for attention

  1. Jim J.

    “But I can’t ignore it when someone manipulates the media for selfish purposes and isn’t called on it.”

    Yeah, I hate it when the media covers elected officials, celebrities, businesses that seek to sell new and shiny products, advocacy groups who are pushing an agenda, (e.g., militant separatists, pro-Palestinian groups, pro-Israeli groups, refugee advocates, etc., etc.) all for the sake of selling newspapers and ensuring a sustainable revenue stream from advertising.

    It’s an implicit quid pro quo, Fagstein.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Not that I’m defending the situations you describe, because I also think they’re serious problems that have crept into the news media, but people pushing an agenda at least believe what they say. They aren’t pulling pranks.

      Reply
      1. Jim J.

        I’ll concede your point.

        However, I sincerely believe that some folks who have achieved a certain level of… I’ll call it “professionalism” when it comes to pushing grievances or otherwise attempting to advance their political or social cause can be pretty cynical when it comes to using the media to further their agenda, and the media is either exceptionally naive or entirely complicit (most of the time, I’m not sure which) in helping them do just that.

        Reply
  2. Anonymous

    Ever hear of this guy Steve Faguy? He’s a journalist wannabe who decided to start a blog centered around him because he thought he was smart and funny. Apparently part of his PR strategy requires gaining as much attention as humanly possible, which saw increasingly ridiculous stunts culminating in the analysis of Jeff Lizotte and his desperate pleas for attention. Of course it was complete bull, but it increased its amount of page views anyway. I’m hopeful that he’s learned his lesson because we don’t really feel like reading about him anyway.

    Reply
  3. Steve R

    I don’t like when all media are covering a story the same way, without putting it in context. Thanks for giving the other side of the story.

    Reply
  4. Kevin

    Why sell it when someone can steal it for free? My cousin’s facebook account was hacked last week. Apparently he’s now telling people he needs money because he was mugged in London — a city he’s never visited — with a gun (like they have those in England).

    So, all Faguy needs is a friendly hacker to nail Lizotte, and he will be happy.

    Reply
  5. Sly

    Pauvre toi Fagstein ! Whining like a bitch about Jeff Lizotte. You sound like a 15 old kid. Do you call what you do “journalism” ? C’est dommage car je suis certain que tu es une bonne personne dans la vie.
    Ce que Bombe.tv fait c’est du marketing ! Tout simplement.
    Merci
    S

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      Do you call what you do “journalism” ?

      No.

      Ce que Bombe.tv fait c’est du marketing ! Tout simplement.

      The problem is that not everybody knows that. When Lizotte made his iPhone video, he didn’t say he was a marketer. He tried passing it off as journalism (and now conveniently plays the I’m-not-a-journalist card). If everyone realized he was a marketer and properly ignored him, that would be fine by me. But instead they take the boy who cried wolf at his word.

      My point is that a guy who has played multiple hoaxes on the media shouldn’t be trusted. Do you disagree?

      Reply
      1. DAVE ID

        I think the difference between marketing and journalism get lost in Sly’s head. He probably can’t make out the difference between a press release and a legit article either.

        Reply
        1. Fagstein Post author

          What Sly doesn’t mention, by the way, is that he works as a marketing consultant for Teletoon, the willing subject of one of Lizotte’s pranks.

          Reply
  6. Patrick Dion

    I wouldn’t push it that far. I don’t think this guy is a serial liar. He’s just doing his job: selling his company (bombe.tv). I am rarely in favor of such “selling” techniques. And when you denounce such practices, you’re actually promoting them. What’s best then? Not talking about it at all?

    In the end, what’s the difference between what Bombe.tv is doing and whatever company trying to sell a product through a viral video? They use exactly the same method: word of mouth and credulity. The only difference is that Bombe.tv is selling itself through such pranks and hoaxes.

    Reply
    1. Fagstein Post author

      What’s best then? Not talking about it at all?

      Yes.

      In the end, what’s the difference between what Bombe.tv is doing and whatever company trying to sell a product through a viral video?

      My issue is that Bombe.tv doesn’t present itself as a marketing company, it presents itself as journalism. They’re streaming on V’s website, they post “les infos Bombe.tv” – they take advantage of social media to spread these hoaxes – and everyone falls for it. One of those things has to stop. If Lizotte and Bombe.tv want to keep preying on the naiveté of social media with hoaxes, fine, but people should stop believing that they’re true.

      Reply
      1. Patrick Dion

        I don’t think most people think it’s true. They question.

        And Bombe certainly doesn’t consider itself as a journalists portal but more as a web company. I know I do…

        Reply
      2. Jim J.

        Maybe the solution is for the government to implement a licensing scheme for journalists. Then there would be penalties, akin to practicing medicine without a license, or practicing law without a license, or architecture, or nursing, or other professions.

        I am, of course, being entirely facetious. I imagine that any kind of governmental licensing scheme for professional journalists probably runs smack up against the whole notion of freedom the the press, methinks.

        Of course, if journalism was truly a ‘profession’ that was respected by the public at large – an interesting debate all on its own – then maybe various and sundry marketers, hucksters, and carnival barkers wouldn’t try to hijack it for their own ends.

        In essence, what is to prevent anyone from calling themselves a journalist? And, is there any means that would pass legal muster to sanction someone who does, but is principally using the cloak of respectability that comes with calling oneself a journalist (assuming such a cloak exists), for the sole purpose of hawking products, whether legitimate or snake oil?

        Reply

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