5 Dangers The Media Blew Ridiculously Out Of Proportion
This might sound like a strange concept these days, but there are times when the media has nothing bad to report. Or at least, nothing bad enough to scare people into not changing the channel. When that happens, even the most esteemed news outlets find themselves getting a little "creative" with the facts. Like when ...
Outlets Spread Panic About An Online "Suicide Game" (Without A Single Confirmed Victim)
Three subjects that continually baffle the media are teenagers, games, and the internet in general. The "Blue Whale" panic was a combination of all three, so of course they got it three times as wrong. Supposedly, this online game led to the deaths of more than 130 teens in Russia alone. How? Simply by presenting daily challenges to them over the course of 50 days, ending with "and now, commit suicide." The implication seems to be that perfectly well-adjusted kids got to that point and went, "Oh well, I did the other 49 ..." The mastermind behind this alleged game was even arrested in May 2017 ... and August 2017, and June 2018.
Everyone from the venerable BBC to the non-venerable Daily Mail did multiple articles on "Blue Whale" -- a panic entirely created by the media itself. Out of those 130 deaths, not a single one has been conclusively linked to any online fads. The figure comes from an article by a Russian newspaper, which based their data on the apparent fact that many young suicide victims in Russia belonged to the same online groups, and some of those groups included some morbid games, so those games must have led teens to kill themselves. Because it's not like depressed people would naturally hang out in the same places or anything.
As for the supposed "masterminds," every subsequent report about the first one was sourced (read: lazily reworded) from the same two Russian websites. The Russian media has a, shall we say, "complicated" relationship with the truth, so it's not certain that guy ever bragged about making up a suicide game, or that he even existed. The others are unrelated suicide-enabling psychos being branded as "Blue Whale" masterminds for clicks ... though we guess there is a chance they were influenced by the initial "Blue Whale" coverage. Good job, media!
The GOP Didn't Try To Make Healthcare More Expensive For Sexual Assault Victims
Back in May 2017, you probably remember headlines telling you about the Republicans' latest cartoonishly evil plot: trying to turn sexual assault into a preexisting medical condition. This would let insurance providers punish people for committing the crime of having had a crime committed against them.
Mic warned that if the bill passed, "postpartum depression, being a survivor of domestic violence or having gotten a C-section could also be considered pre-existing conditions." Thing is, the bill itself didn't list any of those, because it didn't list any preexisting conditions. This whole thing started with a viral Twitter thread speculating on what might happen if the GOP gave insurance company more leeway. What if they start charging sexual assault victims more money, or denying them coverage? Then they'd be in big trouble, because most states already have laws forbidding these precise shenanigans.
Local News (And Cops) Fall For Fentanyl Hysteria
Local news stations would have you believe that there's some sort of evil Scooby-Doo gang going cross-country in a van, spreading pot laced with deadly doses of fentanyl.
Wow, are there any doobies left in the country that don't contain deadly opioids? Probably, yeah, because no actual fentanyl-laced marijuana samples have been found. These reports are based on police warnings about these supposed dangers, which themselves are usually corrected for being inaccurate. Turns out you shouldn't trust a pothead when he swears he was totally smoking pot and nothing else, dude. The corrections don't stop more articles from being written on the subject, which in turn makes it more likely for other police departments to get it wrong.
Again, this is based on some seriously faulty reporting. It's impossible for fentanyl to enter your system through skin contact. Yet this claim has spread all the way to your grandma through an email chain about how people are catching fentanyl fever through the handles on their shopping carts. (You should still clean that thing before you snort a line of something else on it, though.)
A Guy Foresees The 2008 Crash, The Media Keeps Airing His Increasingly Wrong Predictions
Back in 2006 and 2007, Peter Shiff was trying to warn everyone about impending economic doom. We didn't listen. He was right.
Problem is, being right that one time might have gone to Schiff's head. In 2012, he predicted that another crash was coming within two years. Didn't happen.
He called for yet another big crash in 2016. A lot of things came crashing down in 2016 (the number of living celebrities, faith in humanity, etc.), but not the market.
But wait, aren't economists saying we might have another big recession in the horizon, as signaled by that inverted yield curve stuff? Could Schiff be right? Sure, except for the fact that Schiff has specifically said an inverted yield curve wouldn't signal a recession next time. In fact, he predicted that the ten-year yield would hit 4% by 2018. It didn't. It's currently at 1.6%. In other words, he said basically the only thing he could have said to make his biannual "A big crash is coming!" prediction wrong, even if one does come.
Meanwhile, he keeps telling people to invest in gold, saying in 2012 that "Gold's got only one direction to go, and that's higher." The price came crashing down a few months later. When called out on this, he presented a compelling third-person defense: "You can say that Schiff thought gold would make a big [move] in two years. He was right, but the move was in the opposite direction." No one mocks Peter Schiff better than Peter Schiff.
The Independent Prints Proclamations From A "Psychic" Who Prophesied Trump's Victory
Most of the mainstream media was wrong about Donald Trump's odds of becoming president. One person who got it right was Craig Hamilton-Parker, who also correctly predicted Brexit, thus earning himself a lifetime spot in the headlines of England's most famous newspapers. For instance, in 2017, The Independent printed this:
In the article, Hamilton-Parker predicted a North Korean revolution that would overthrow Kim Jong-un, a drone-related chemical weapons attack in a European city, and general political unrest triggered by climate change. Which complex sociopolitical factors went into consideration when making these predictions? Only one: Hamilton-Parker's own magical brain, because he claims to be a medium who can talk to the dead.
Even the crappiest of tabloids make sure to mention that Hamilton-Parker is a "psychic" in their headlines:
But The Independent didn't think that little fact was relevant. Oh, and his Trump prediction itself is dubious, since Hamilton-Parker was originally a Jeb man. He claimed Jeb Bush would win the presidency, only to get ill and be forced to quit (presumably resulting in a third term for President Cheney). Then, after Trump won the Republican nomination, he tried to play it cool with the old "I think I may have been seeing Trump" excuse.
Media may spread fear, but Christian Markle only spreads love.
For more, check out President Trump's Stupid Fake News Awards, Because He Asked - Some News:
Also, we'd love to know more about you and your interesting lives, dear readers. If you spend your days doing cool stuff, drop us a line at iDoCoolStuff at Cracked dot com, and maybe we can share your story with the entire internet.
Follow us on Facebook. You deserve it.