Generic Internet Reporter

Generic Internet Reporter has something very, very important to tell you about berries.

The big scoop

You're idly wasting time reading some comedy website's feature about the Top 10 Musical Theatre Performers (Who Were Dogs), when suddenly she appears on the right with a cold gaze that says "okay asshole, stop reading that trivial garbage right now and get ready for some motherfucking news."

She's the Generic Internet Reporter, and she's an advertising gimmick used to make a company's snake-oil look like a groundbreaking and newsworthy human breakthrough. Look at her expression. She is stoic as fuck. This is not a lighthearted fluff piece about a diet fad she's using to fill time between weather and sports. She's been sitting on this story for a week, checking the facts over and over, holding off until just the right time when she believes humanity might be ready to hear it. Her career is riding on this acai berry thing and the editor-in-chief is breathing down her neck, so you best step up and hear what she has uncovered.

The acai diet is her big scoop, but this intrepid reporter has scoured the internet, breaking huge stories about everything from penny auctions to dick enhancers. She makes these scams look legitimate enough that you expect the news studio is getting ready to break into your regularly scheduled program to tell you about them. The marketing gimmick might work splendidly if it wasn't so incredibly obvious that it was fake.

The "reporter" always appears in a summer dress or tank-top, sporting a photoshop tan and sultry, porn star eyes. To give it a "news-room look," she appears in front of a blurry photo of televisions and laptops which was obviously taken at the home cinema section of Sears. If this doesn't seem like a huge news story in itself, well, you're right. Except that the twist is holy shit it's actually not doctored at all, like she is actually a real reporter on a real news show. She's not fake, she's just French.

Holy shit!

Her name is Melissa Theuriau, and she is a popular news anchor on the French network, LCI. That's right, French news studios actually do fill the background with ridiculous TVs and computers with nobody working on them, and hire strippers to read the headlines. While she never actually broke a story on acai berries, she has been responsible for some of the most hard-hitting and memorable news stories of our time, such as "Football" and "Yasser Arafat."

She has become popular in France for shunning convention and dressing sexy rather than putting on a suit and sticking to a sensible hairstyle. Think about that for a moment - in France, where feminism literally began, this newsreader has decided against professionalism and maintaining a powerful presence, penetrating the male-dominated news game instead using cleavage and fuck-me eyes. The male response has been predictable - search for articles on Melissa Theuriau if you want to see page after page of the creepiest reader comments on the web.

So the acai berry thing must also be totally legit, right?

Oh no, sorry, that's actually a massive scam.

Theuriau's sham alter ego, "News 10 Reporter Julia Miller," presents a fair and balanced report on fake news websites about her personal experience with the Acai Diet. Taking care to remind us in every second sentence that she is usually an incredibly skeptical person, "Miller" posts her results in the form of diary entries:

Just in case you smell bullshit wafting around this hard-hitting journalism, the article ends with a section of reader comments, inviting John and Jane Q. Consumer to offer their thoughts. Though we've shown you that comments sections about this journalist are usually flooded with young males describing the exact dimensions and density of their boners after looking at her, these ones take on a decidedly more reserved tone. Also, the text box for us to join the discussion is mysteriously absent.

Keep scrolling, and you'll find the notorious small-print. The terms and conditions for the acai berry diet product reveals, somewhere in its tiny-font wall of text:

"This website, and any page on the website, is based loosely off a true story, but has been modified in multiple ways including, but not limited to: the story, the photos, and the comments."

So the things about the Acai Diet that are total bullshit include, but are not limited to: everything. Furthermore:

"Thus, this page, and any page on this website, are not to be taken literally or as a non-fiction story."

Note the abuse of the passive voice and double negatives. They're not saying "we pulled this out of our ass using an attractive French journalist as an unknowing patsy," they're just saying "hey, we don't want you not to think that this is not not bullshit."