Reporter fired after being caught smearing mud on self to suggest she helped in flood recovery

A television news reporter in Germany slathered herself in mud and gave viewers the impression she helped in recovery efforts in areas hit by flooding last week. But a bystander quietly recorded her mudding up before the segment, and now she's been fired.

The RTL report had said, according to the German newspaper Bild: "RTL presenter Susanna Ohlen lends a hand in the clean-up work in Bad Münstereifel and shares shocking recordings online." In her report, the mud-smeared Ms Ohlen – who was holding a spade and wearing a bucket hat, wellington boots, thick industrial gloves and a shirt with her sleeves rolled-up – called on viewers to join the clean-up operations.

Above, a screengrab of Susanna Ohlen's news clip, shovel in hand. Below, the candid shot of her working mud into her clothes.

The classic American equivalent of this is reporters who carry teddy bears around with them to pose in car accidents where children die.

The fraudulent TV reporter is a staple of UK media comedy. Very much in the vein of Ms. Ohlen was Damien Day from Drop the Dead Donkey, often to be found "dunking cormorants" when reporting from oil spills or otherwise making the news go.

And then there's The Day Today's Peter O'Hanrahahanrahan: