Another day, another viral-video hoax.
Just when we absorbing the fact that the clip of a young woman who catches fire while twerking was a con orchestrated by late-night talk host Jimmy Kimmel, we learn today that the hugely popular video of a man who awakes from surgery with amnesia is also very likely a big fake.
In recent days the Internet has been abuzz with the video, which shows a man named Jason Mortensen coming out of his postsurgery anesthesia state and not remembering that the woman filming him is his wife of six years.
The very real-looking clip has been featured on countless news programs in the past week. It also generated an astounding volume of coverage on normally dependable online media outlets including Gawker, Reddit and BuzzFeed.
And now, like a slap in the face, we learn it was probably all faked for the camera. Who can we trust anymore?
Slate presents a solid argument as to why Mortensen, and his wife, obviously, perpetrated the bogus video.
For starters, the website talked to eminent psychologist Dr. Larry Squire, who specializes in memory impairment. Apparently there are only two types of amnesia known to the medical community, and Mortensen’s case doesn’t seem to fall into either category.
The first, psychogenic amnesia, is considered a psychiatric condition that can involve retrograde memory loss, but has no known connection with surgery.
The second type of amnesia is closer to Alzheimer’s and can be caused by a loss of oxygen during surgery. More often it leads to difficulty in digesting new information.
According to Dr. Squire, anesthesia or oxygen deprivation could possibly result in some memory loss, but it certainly wouldn’t wipe out six years of married life together. “It would not affect something so salient in a person’s life,” he says.
There’s more incriminating evidence against Mortensen. One Reddit user found an old headshot of him from an old acting-audition website. At some point he obviously considered himself a thespian of some sort.
But while there’s no official confirmation of fakery, there are two very big questions hanging over the video: Why would someone’s wife be there with a video camera to film her husband emerging from postsurgery sleep? And why was Mortensen wearing a hospital gown with what looks to be an adorable paw print on the front after recovering from hernia surgery?
Yep, we’ve been hoaxed all over again.