The news agency Ruptly, a member of Russia Today (RT) removed a video about the "Putin burger" from its YouTube channel, Ruptly TV. The “Putin burger” was presented at the New York restaurant Lucy's Cantina Royale on the occasion of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s birthday.
In the video, which was published on the channel on Friday, October 6, the restaurant waitress said that the burger with five cutlets was served with potatoes, sauce and salad and it weighed 1,952 grams, a reference to Putin being born in 1952.
According to the waitress, this burger is regularly served on other days but it is usually six times smaller. "We believe that Vladimir Vladimirovich is an outstanding politician and historical personality," said the waitress Tamara, writes The Guardian.
The TASS agency interviewed one of the restaurant managers, Ted Bryan, and then reported that "Putin is the only state leader whose birthday is celebrated in this institution by the presentation of a special dish." The material was widely distributed in the Russian media and was shown on federal television.
Blogger Alexei Kovalev on the site Noodleremover drew attention to the fact that all of the media used only those shots that were in the RT report. The saved version of the RT video was published by Kovalev in Twitter.
According to the blogger, he called the restaurant where he was told that "they didn’t cook any burger in honor of Putin, although they had a television channel representative to shoot the plot yesterday, but they had nothing to do with it." According to Kovalev, the staff of the TV channel ordered a burger with five cutlets and shot a story about it.
Later, The Guardian contacted the restaurant representative who said that "the restaurant never celebrated Vladimir Putin’s birthday and never offered visitors a ‘Putin burger.’” Employees of the institution who participated in the RT video were dismissed from work.
On YouTube channel Ruptly TV, the video was removed and then a message appeared. "This report was deleted, as it turned out that it didn’t meet Ruptly editorial standards," the channel said.
Ruptly stated that the report was the employees’ only initiative but not the restaurant "which, unfortunately, compromised the reliability of the video." "We are grateful to our audience for drawing attention to the discrepancy in our story," Ruptly stated.