Fox Business’s so-called ‘online shopper’ unmasked.

In honor of Cyber Monday, Fox Business did a segment yesterday on online shopping. A Fox reporter went to ESPN Zone in Washington, DC and interviewed Peter Perweiler, who was identified only as an “online shopper.” Perweiler told Fox Business that he is planning to shop on Cyber Monday and is looking at “big-ticket items this year.” Watch it:

[flv http://video.thinkprogress.org/2007/11/fakeshop4.320.240.flv]

It’s no surprise that Perweiler was boosting online shopping. As Silicon Alley Insider uncovered, Perweiler is actually the marketing manager at the National Retail Federation. The NRF has blamed Fox Business’s sloppy reporting for the incident:

All consumers who were interviewed were approached directly by the media. It was neither hidden nor disguised to reporters that some shoppers at the event were employed by the National Retail Federation. In one instance, an NRF staff member specifically identified himself and the reporter chose to interview him regardless.

(HT: Atrios)