ABC 20/20 Special "Caught On Tape" to Feature Mike Z and the Phenomenon of Internet Video Hoaxes

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Mike Z Currently Suing Government for First Amendment Violations: Agents From FBI and Department of Justice Closed Down His Website

20/20 will take a look at the controversial work of hoax film maker Mike Z, on a show entitled "Caught On Tape" scheduled to air on Friday, Feb. 4.

Mike Zieper, known to the indie film world as Mike Z, has found a vast audience who love his work, but an equally large audience call his work irresponsible and dangerous. 20/20 looks at an artist whose provocative videos are an expression of his deep political convictions.

"I intentionally set out to disturb the audience. I try to force people to confront the politics and issues of our day. I design my films to be

experienced as if they are real because I want my audience to really think about the issues that I raise" said Mike Z.

The FBI confronted Mike Z in 1999 regarding his "Military Takeover of New York City," a six minute film he posted on the Internet at It featured grainy footage of Times Square, and implied that the government had a plan on New Year's Eve Y2K to declare martial law. The FBI threatened Mike Z's web master and the site was shut down.

The resulting publicity brought many thousands of viewers to the site. Mike Z and his work found an international audience that has continued to grow. Z said his site was a political satire on Y2K and the use of fear to control the American population. The ACLU has since helped Mike Z file a suit against the FBI and Department of Justice (Zieper v. Ashcroft, et al)

In a three page Washington Post profile of Mike Z, Journalist Ann Hornaday observed: "Z has been making videos that blur the line between fact and fiction, challenging audiences to decide for themselves whether what they're seeing is true, sometimes inciting their rage at having

been tricked."

The Filmography of Mike Z includes:

"Homeless Man Steals Camera (And Kills Somebody)"

"Don't Watch This Until I'm Dead"

"How to Start a Revolution in America"

"The REAL George Bush"

"Emergency Announcement"


Mike Z



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