When a site with "WordPress" in its address tells you that the Catholic church just announced that following the pope on Twitter will keep you out of hell, you laugh, dub it bullshit, and close your browser. But when a major news site with millions of readers does it -- and it happened this past July -- you begin wondering if the Vatican is going to start issuing papal bulls consisting solely of photos of Grumpy Cat.
As we've noted before, sometimes the media concocts a story out of pixie dust and hobbit tears seemingly just for laughs. But how frequently does a serious news organization get a story wrong? Surprisingly often, it turns out. Here are some recent news items you might have seen that were actually pulled from someone's ass.
#4. Sorry, Bryan Cranston Is Probably Not Going to Be Lex Luthor
Last week, every single goddamn major entertainment news site reported that Bryan Cranston had been cast as Lex Luthor for the next Superman movie -- how awesome is that? Someone made a fan trailer to demonstrate exactly how awesome, and it currently has 2 million views.
Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
We'd urge you to watch it, but Bryan Cranston hates witnesses.
And while we'd be very happy for Cranston if this happened (what's the poor guy been up to since Seinfeld, anyway?), sadly it looks like this is complete bullshit. The report actually came from a single story by the site Cosmic Book News, which incidentally also said Matt Damon would be Aquaman. Conveniently, Rolling Stone and those other sites left out that last part, since it would have set off your bullshit meter.
Something similar happened recently when everyone reported that Christian Bale had been offered $50 million to come back as Batman ... a claim that literally comes from an eBook, which said Bale "could probably make $50 million" for donning the cowl again. Hey, how did that work out? Let's ask this guy:
Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
#3. No, Candy-Flavored Meth Is Not Being Sold to Schoolchildren
Speaking of Malcolm in the Middle, blue-colored meth is pretty chic right now. And according to both Time and Huffington Post, drug dealers have actually begun to push the hip new drug to kids outside of schools in Thailand. Why would kids want meth? Because along with keeping you up for days at a time, meth is now coming in adorable candy flavors!
"No grape? Fuck this."
It's called yaba, and if you're wondering who'd be stupid enough to sell meth in a playground, the answer is: nobody. The story comes from one non-police officer saying that the yaba makers are simply flavoring their product (which is naturally bitter) to appeal to certain younger groups. As in young adults at raves, not kids with Elmo backpacks. This is also the belief of the U.S. Department of Justice, which admits to having incomplete data on the matter.
But, you know, this is probably just down to a mistranslation -- after all, the original news item was in English, and these major news sites are written in whichever language "twerk" belongs to (judging by recent headlines).
#2. Relax, There's No Testicle-Eating Fish
It's like some kind of Freudian horror story: Fish with giant man teeth in Scandinavia are biting the nuts off of hapless fishermen because they are confusing them for actual nuts. They're called pacu, and according to the Huffington Post, they're enough of a threat that the experts at the Natural History Museum of Denmark are telling swimmers to keep their business inside their suits. HuffPo even said that fishermen have bled to death after getting a toothy fellatio from these guys. And guess what? They found them in America!
More specifically, in the toilets of people currently reading this ...
Holy fuck, right? Except it's totally made up. No, no one has died from getting their dick bit off by this fish. Had anyone checked the tone these "experts" at the museum were using, they would have probably noted the snickering, as they were simply making a joke about a common myth surrounding these totally vegetarian fish -- something that basic Wikipedia skills could have revealed.
#1. One Facebook Post Sparked the "Racist" Obama Rodeo Clown Outrage
Did you hear about the rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair who dressed as President Obama? CNN says one witness likened the atmosphere to a Klan rally as the announcer shouted "We're going to stomp Obama now!" As a result, the state's governor issued an apology and the clown has been banned for life from the state fair, which is like the rodeo clown equivalent of the death sentence.
"You can, uh, keep the broomstick."
The clown has also received numerous death threats to top it off -- all for a practice that had been around for 20 years.
Yup, the same act had been done with Bush, Clinton, Other Bush, and even Reagan. (You could even read about a similar routine back in 1994 when people didn't give a shit -- it's pretty much the same thing, right down to the part where there was a broom up Bush Sr.'s ass.) And as for that one witness who said he got a racist vibe from the whole thing, he's exactly that: "one witness." Yep, the entire outrage came from a single Facebook post. Tomorrow on CNN: If you don't repost this image of Jesus, your dick will fall off.