We're going to blow your minds twice right now, so get ready. First off, there are magazines and news sources other than Cracked.com out there. Second, and slightly more surprising, is the fact that a lot of these news sources, (unlike Cracked), don't hold themselves to a high ethical standard at all, by which we mean, they regularly make shit up. We know. Crazy. So, while you're recovering from the one-two realization that unethical, non-Cracked affiliated news sources exist, allow us to run down some of the most morally questionable examples.
5Ben Franklin Really Fucking Hated the British (and Titan Leeds)
Of all the great things Ben Franklin was known for--lightning rods, bifocals, love of French prostitutes--journalistic integrity isn't on the list. But what he did have was a gigantic set he loved to show off. For one thing, Franklin wrote and distributed a supplement to the Boston Independent Chronicle reporting that American Indians were sending the British Royal Court hundreds of American scalps, the implication being that the British troops were using ruthless, child hating Indian-mercenaries to help them win the Revolutionary War.
The news outraged Americans, horrified British citizens and, when word reached the British Royal Court, deeply confused the monarchy, as they had yet to receive any scalps. Franklin wrote the supplement to garner support from European nations for the U.S., and it totally worked. The kicker? The last American Revolution battle ended in October of the previous year, which made the supplement unnecessary and balltuitous. (Balls + gratuitous. Look it up.)
Still, that's not quite as bizarre and dickish as what Franklin did to Titan Leeds. Publishing under his Richard Saunders pseudonym in his famous Poor Richard's Almanac, in between weather predictions and crop suggestions, Franklin predicted the death of Leeds, a rival almanac owner. When the predicted day arrived and Leeds, predictably, was still alive, Franklin decided to report and confirm the death anyway.
Leeds desperately published his counter-argument ("No I'm not.") but Franklin, an accomplished black belt in the subtle art of being a dick (or, "dickjitsu") pushed his lie even further and reported that, not only did Leeds die, but he was replaced by an impostor who was shamelessly hijacking the Leeds name to continue publishing almanacs. When Leeds eventually did die (five years after Franklin had predicted it), you'd think Franklin would come clean, but that's because you are, at best, a dickjitsu yellow belt.
Above: A dickjitsu master
Instead, in an act of unequaled dickishness, Franklin came out and congratulated the Leeds impostor for finally owning up to their lie and ending the whole charade (by dying). To reiterate, a guy's death is wrongfully reported, that guy tries to correct the mistake, Franklin calls him a shameless fraud and, at his death, congratulates him for dying. Textbook dickjitsu.