7 Clearly Fake News Stories That Fooled The Mainstream Media

#3. John Kerry Embraces His Metrosexuality

The Story:

Presidential candidates have countless issues they must follow closely during election season. During the 2004 presidential campaign, Democrat candidate John Kerry seemed to be most concerned about issues concerning his image. Specifically, he wanted to make sure America knew that on the issue of his manliness, he came down squarely on the "I'm not gay!" side of the aisle. He spent time on camera hunting, fishing, mountain biking and even windsurfing to prove it. If the entire country hadn't fallen asleep halfway through the DNC, we probably would have all seen footage of Kerry buying his teenage son a prostitute.

The Bush campaign used this to their advantage with the famous "Windsurfing" campaign ad. Fox News decided that hanging a man with his own words was too subtle, and opted to run a story with a "Yes huh, John Kerry is totally gay!" message.

"Forget the dog-rape story, we're gonna run with this metrosexual thing."

The story included quotes from the Democratic loser bragging about his post-debate manicure and how having nice nails would help him win the women vote. He also compared himself to his opponent as the "metrosexual" vs. the "cowboy."

The Truth:

The story actually started as one of those interoffice mailings that employees share with each other for a goof. Then it appeared on a reporter's Trail Tales blog and the manicure comment got repeated over and over again in interviews on shows such as Special Report with Brit Hume and The O'Reilly Factor. The network eventually issued a retraction and an apology saying the comments were "written in jest," which in addition to their other failed attempt at topical comedy, The Half Hour News Hour, proves that Fox News should never be relied on for having a sense of humor.

#2. Cheney Challenges Hillary Clinton to Hunting Contest

The Story:

Satire certainly is in the eye of the beholder. One person will immediately understand what the author hoped to achieve. Another will become insulted that their beliefs and philosophies are being challenged. A bleary eyed copy editor with two hours sleep and a hole to fill will take it to be an actual news.

That's the only explanation we can fathom for how an Andy Borowitz story about former vice president Dick Cheney inviting Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton on a hunting trip ended up in a major metropolitan newspaper.

The Truth:

Apparently the Boston Herald thought the story was an Associated Press wire piece and printed it as such. A Boston Magazine blogger saw the story, and justifiably ridiculed them. Herald editor Kevin Convey said the story somehow got lumped into their wire pile and printed as fact and admitted they were "bamboozled." He added the paper was also "hornswaggled," "duptasticfied" and "trickydicked."

#1. Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring Fight

The Story:

There's really not much to add that isn't in the header. This was a fake BBC News story about 42 midgets being severely mutilated while competing under the "Cambodian Midget Fighting League." We would point out to any professional journalists reading this the tried and true Cracked.com rule of journalism: Any story involving at least 40 midgets is bound to be too good to be true.

The Truth:

Fittingly, the most ridiculous fake news story ever covered by the mainstream media had the most ridiculous beginning. A couple of friends got into a discussion over whether or not a group of 40 unarmed midgets could use the power of teamwork to defeat a fully-grown African lion. The discussion became so heated that the friend on the "pro-lion" side of the argument created a fake webpage.

The layout of the story looked so good that several high profile blog sites including FARK.com posted a link to the fake story as if it were real news. Eventually the New York Post reported the story as real as part of their daily journalistic requirement to include at least three midget related stories in their daily output.

The story grew so fast and so quickly that the site's owner eventually had to put a huge disclaimer at the top of the page pointing out that it was fake, a separate page explaining the reason behind the fake story and a CafePress store that sold mutilated midget T-shirts.

Danny Gallagher is a freelance writer, humorist, reporter and midget wrangler. He can be found on the web at DannyGallagher.net and on MySpace.

And check out some more lies that fucked with the entire planet, in 7 Bullshit Rumors That Caused Real World Catastrophes. Or check out some stories that might become front page news, in 7 Retarded Food Myths the Internet Thinks Are True.

And visit the most reputable sources of news on the Internet at Cracked.com's Top Picks.

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