As we've seen with the recent clusterfuck of Malaysia Flight 370 headlines, the top priority of the news these days is less "give the news" and more "remorselessly splay every batshit ludicrous story until people catch on." Luckily, we're here to accelerate that process with our customary report of the most ridiculous recent non-headlines everyone fell for. Like ...
#4. Liam Neeson Didn't Go All Taken to Save a Dog
Here's a little something from the "shit we wish was true" department:
He just appears whenever teens are doing something wrong, like a punching man's G.I. Joe PSA.
The story has everything you could ask for in a headline (stupid teens, cute animals, Liam Neeson), which may be the reason it got fast-tracked quicker than Taken 3. It spread over various online blogs and serious news sites despite being as fake as a National Enquirer article. Because it was a National Enquirer article (which Neeson denied a day later, presumably because he was busy killing wolves before that).
Seriously, guys: While we can't deny the pure bliss that comes with the mental image of Liam Neeson reducing bullies to blubber using only the wind produced from his voice, you know you're on the wrong track when it takes the Daily Fucking Mail to call your story out as being absolute bullshit.
Oh, are you guys going to start running regular "B.S. News" articles now, too?
#3. Those Creepy "Staten Island Clown Sightings" Are a Hoax
Oh shit, the Clownpocalypse is here! It started with those creepy clown sightings in an English town. Then came the influx of clown-related crimes in the U.K. Now it looks like the virus has somehow crossed the Atlantic:
This is the way the world ends: not with a bang, but with a *HONK* *HONK* *SLIDE WHISTLE.*
Looks like everyone within 100 miles of Staten Island better get their trusty clown hammers greased, because nightmares are real. The many pictures have circulated on BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Gothamist, and even some actual newspapers, but somehow it took the freaking New York Post to copy and paste the names of the people posting the pictures and find out they belonged to the same group of friends.
Who work with a horror movie production company.
Yes, we live in a world where the New York Post and the Daily Mail are fact checking stories for other outlets. In a way, isn't that infinitely more terrifying than stalker clowns?
OK, let's call it a draw.
#2. There Isn't a Spooky Rise in Banker Suicides
It's the kind of headline that makes you want to bury all your money under some cinder blocks in the backyard: Bankers are apparently dropping like flies in adorable little fly suits. WHAT DO THEY KNOW?
It's Dogecoin, isn't it?
And no, this isn't some conspiracy blog peddling foil-hat justifications, but fucking Reuters and International Business Times saying that there's some kind of expert-baffling banker suicide bonanza going on worldwide. The one baffled expert they mention, by the way, is a suicide prevention worker who says her words were blown out of proportion, because (as awful as it sounds) this is all completely normal.
You see, this website did the math and calculated that there would be a little under 24 banker suicides a year in New York City alone, meaning that a handful or so worldwide is nothing close to a "rash" of anything. In fact, since only one of these was in New York, we're actually behind our grim quota.
#1. The Seattle Police Didn't "Reopen" Kurt Cobain's Death Investigation
Hey, remember when we told you about that fake Kurt Cobain story recently? Well, this one is definitely real, because it's not like it's the 20th anniversary of his death and sites are desperate to squeeze some headlines out of that:
To be fair, "evidence vault spark probe" does sound like a Nirvana lyric.
The "new photographic evidence" everyone was talking about? Those were the same crime scene photos the cops already had, only from different angles, which is why no one had bothered to develop them. Everyone from Gawker to Fox News ran to fix their headlines, all because a local channel in Seattle used a little hyperbole to pump up ratings for the 11 o'clock news and ended up becoming their own headline in the process.