4 B.S. Viral News Stories That Fooled Your Friends (Part 20)
Everyone get your markers out: It's once again time to weed through your Facebook feed to furiously black out yet another week's worth of sloppy and gullible news reporting. Better use dry erase, because this bullshit avalanche show no signs of stopping, and monitors are kind of expensive.
No, Yellowstone Animals Aren't Escaping from a Supervolcano
In a cruel twist of fate, it appears that the end times will come in the form of a terrible Roland Emmerich action sequence. How do we know that? Because the animals are telling us:
Apparently volcanoes spew bullshit instead of lava now.
According to dozens of local and international sources, the long overdue supervolcano under Yellowstone Park is about to rabbit-punch the entire United States. The proof? A series of quakes, followed by a viral video on YouTube of a herd of bison getting the fuck out of Dodge.
And if you can't trust YouTubers, who can you trust?
But despite the "expert" opinion of the random bloggers and loony survivalists quoted in all those articles, it turned out that the herd in question was actually heading further into Yellowstone, as they do all the time. "But the earthquakes!" you scream, clutching your anti-lava kit. Yeah, those happened two weeks after the video was taken, so those animals are either psychic or time-traveling refugees from 90,000 years in the future, when the volcano will actually be "overdue" to erupt.
A UNC Player Didn't Get an A- on a One-Paragraph Essay
We all know that colleges let their star athletes get away with slacking off a little bit, but this is getting ridiculous:
"It said 'Just Do It' over and over."
The story that appeared on pretty much every news site followed an ESPN special showing, among other things, a one-paragraph final paper for a bullshit University of North Carolina class that somehow earned an A-. More outrage ensued when other sites pointed out that the paper was plagiarized.
"Rosa Parks doesn't even go to UNC."
But as the story continued to unfold, the whistleblower herself had to clarify that the A- was actually the final overall grade of the student ... who made that paper for an introductory assignment ... that was actually a first draft copy with no grade ... and wasn't for a bogus class. ESPN just edited the video so that the moment she showed the paper came right after the part where she was talking about "classes that didn't exist," and sports journalists did the rest.
Obviously, colleges letting athletes get away with not putting in any effort is a legitimate problem, but so is news editors doing the same thing.
An ATM Didn't Magically Give a Homeless Man $37,000
An everyday person coming into large amounts of money is pretty much the closest thing the news has to a real-life fairy tale. For example, did you hear about the homeless man who walked up to an ATM and suddenly found himself in the "money booth" section of a '70s game show?
"And I was just going to pee on it! Jackpot!"
The way ABC, Huffington Post, AOL, and the Daily Mail make it sound, this unwashed and unsuspecting luck-box innocently tried to withdraw $140 and ended up getting splurted with a literal money shot, all thanks to a glitchy ATM. What are the odds?
Pretty good, actually, because the glitch in question was called "being an asshole." The man was caught intentionally overdrawing money from a faulty "cash advance" feature on the machine, not once or twice, but 53 times in a row, so it's not like his finger slipped and he pressed the wrong button. We guess you could still call that a "lucky glitch" in a "potato, po-tah-to" sense ... with "po-tah-to" being an intentional act of fraud.
The White House Isn't Considering Banning Selfies (Unfortunately)
After a "candid" selfie of the most powerful man in America and Barack Obama turned out to be yet another Samsung publicity stunt, the news was seemingly stunned by the headline they were forced to report:
"Tasteful dick pics still allowed."
The Daily Mail, Fox News, Huff Post, and Daily News all covered the impending Oval Office crackdown on selfie-taking. So when will Comrade Obama come to take away our God-given Instagram filters and duckfaces? Never, because the entire story came from Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer making an off-the-cuff comment, saying "Maybe this will be the end of all selfies" during a totally unrelated interview. That's literally all it took for the media to jump on the idea and call it an incoming ban, to the point that the White House had to issue a statement clarifying that it was what is known as "a joke."
The Secret Service detaining Ortiz for doing vertical video was totally legit, though.