It wasn't the first April Fools' hoax perpetrated by a Canadian media outlet. But it certainly counts among those landing with the hardest thud.
Michael Enright, the host of the Sunday edition of CBC's This Morning,found himself berated on the front page of The Globe and Mail on Monday for an alleged interview the day before with former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.
The issue was softwood lumber and listeners heard Mr. Enright tell Mr. Carter, who recently wrote an opinion piece about the cross-border dispute, that he was a "washed-up peanut farmer."
The Globe's foreign editor, Drew Fagan, wrote a story about the exchange in which he said Mr. Enright "came off looking ridiculous."
But it was The Globe's turn to be embarrassed on Monday, when the newspaper learned the interview was a fake.
Mr. Enright said it was "not one of my better days" when he saw the story.
But "it was a joke," said the occasionally acerbic radio host, adding that people have played pranks on each other on April Fools' Day as far back as the time of ancient Egypt.
The CBC received more than 600 angry calls and e-mails.
Some were enraged at Mr. Enright's treatment of Mr. Carter; others caught on but didn't like the fact that the CBC was engaging in practical jokes.
"I just think the whole thing is bizarre in the extreme," Mr. Enright said.
"I had no intention of insulting Jimmy Carter. I've interviewed him. He's a wonderful man, with a great sense of humour.
"It was certainly not our intent to insult our listeners.
"I'm sorry some of them are angry. [But]I was insulting an actor who was portraying a former president. I was not insulting a former president."
Gordon Giffin, the departing U.S. ambassador in Ottawa, did not hear the mock Enright-Carter interview. "It sounds to me like it was in poor taste, not particularly professional. I was quite surprised by the newspaper article, which clearly is not close to accurate."
CBC spokeswoman Ruth-Ellen Soles said yesterday Mr. Enright will not be reprimanded for his prank. "This was all approved by senior management in radio," she said. "The CBC's got a long tradition of trying to tweak the funny bone."
Mr. Enright was unrepentant. "One doesn't want to apologize because we did it in a particular way or whatever."