Channel 10 Runs 'Disney World Abduction' Hoax
Channel 10 suspended reporter Sivan Cohen on Monday after reporting on Sunday a well-known hoax claiming a 9-year old Israeli girl was nearly abducted at Disney World in Orlando.
The story was quoted by numerous Internet sources in Israel, including Arutz Sheva. The hoax, well-known in the United States, is not widely known in Israel.
According to the story, a source told Cohen that parents lost track of the girl and later found her drugged in a bathroom with her head shaved.
Cohen also reported the parents were considering suing the park, but the parent's name was never given and no video or audio confirmation was presented by the source.
Channel 10 said the decision to publish the story was specifically based on "confirmation by one of the parents" for Cohen.
The station subsequently learned the story was false and suspended Cohen for the duration of an inquiry into the circumstances that led to the story airing.
Cohen said in response: "I spoke with the father and he claimed that the story was true, and was filmed and recorded. Since yesterday was Sunday and we knew that there is no one to answer at Disney, we discussed it at the studio and we attributed the allegations to father."
"We felt it was necessary so that other parents might be informed," Cohen said. "I respect the station's decision to suspend me. The investigation is necessary, and I hope things work out for the best. "