5 B.S. News Stories That Fooled Your Friends (Part 24)
Believe it or not, there was once a time when the media's prime directive was a search for truth, as opposed to devoting all manpower to coming up with the most click-worthy headlines possible, whether they happen to be true or not. As we've pointed out with our everlasting series about these various journalistic sack taps, the "not" camp seems to be winning right now.
And if you thought for even a second that the stories about giant sperm and Beyonce college courses were as ridiculous as the Woodward/Bernsteins of today could get, think again. This time, we've got plenty of word combinations we never thought we'd see in our lifetime, like ...
No, a Woman Didn't Confess to Having Sex With a Dolphin
"Dolphin fucker" is the kind of moniker that sticks with a person for most of their life, even if it was just one time during a boozy trip to SeaWorld ... not, uh, that we'd know anything about that. Moving on, this is exactly why sites like Jezebel, Cosmopolitan, the Daily News, the Telegraph, and Gawker no doubt took extra special care before unleashing this insanity of a headline:
"So long, and thanks for all the fish taco."
Pretty hot stuff. The source passed around is a BBC documentary about a dolphin trainer having an "extra special" relationship with one of the more dick-attentive aquatic mammals. Shockingly, and despite what every site covering it says, the documentary never implies that she had any kind of sex with this thing. Rather, she begrudgingly allowed the horny critter to have his way with her extremities. If this was newsworthy, every dog owner ever would be an Internet celebrity.
Seriously, we're sorry to disappoint the many dolphin erotica enthusiasts whose imaginations were sparked by this story, but the sexiest sentence in the original video is "He would rub himself on my knee, my foot, or my hand, and I allowed that" -- which, for Gawker, is the same as the lady giving out "dolphin hand jobs," so they went ahead and inserted that phrase into her quotes:
"His peter, more specifically."
In fact, Gawker was so devoted to the dolphin-fucking narrative that they decided to go with this headline to further ramp up the freak show factor ...
Bullshit, dolphins are very rough lovers, not gentle. Not that we, uh ... shit.
... despite quoting the woman flat-out saying that it wasn't sexually mutual. Because as Walter Lippmann once said, "There can be no higher law in journalism than to tell the truth and to shame the devil [unless there's a chance to make it look like someone fucked a fish, then go for it]."
The "Mystery" of the Great White Shark-Eating Monster Was Solved Last Year
"Now who's stupid?" -SyFy
Welp, someone tell Bryan Cranston to get his dramatic voice ready, because despite hundreds of years of sea exploration turning up nothing, underwater Godzilla monsters are totally a real thing. Just look at the Smithsonian clip everyone is linking to as evidence ... which is actually from a 2013 special called The Search for the Ocean's Super Predator, a documentary that maintains the mystery only long enough to conclude that it was another great white shark that ate the first one. So, it turns out that the answer to "What could possibly eat a great white shark?" was ... really fucking obvious.
And thus, this Polish prophecy comes true.
In other words, the "mystery" creature the news has been going on about was a mystery only because no one bothered to watch the entire documentary they were linking to -- the movie highlights the culprit as a 16-foot great white, as opposed to "Godzilla." And while 16 feet is still 15.9 more feet than we're comfortable with on a shark, it's nothing compared to the 23-footer that currently holds the record for "shit your pants" size.
On the upside, the brief media panic this thing caused has at least ensured that DARPA is secretly working on the real Gipsy Danger by now. A dark day for journalism; a bright one for giant monster-fighting robots!
That Kid's Hilarious Letter from Camp Was Clearly a Joke
"Haha, fuck your sickly child!"
Hah! Kids are disgusting. Here's a sample from the letter, in the unlikely case that you haven't been exposed to it around 30 times by now:
You'll get #31 in three weeks, when your aunt catches up to her email forwards.
Did you think, "Huh, that seems a little too perfect to be real"? Then congratulations, you have better journalistic instincts than people who report the news for a living! And if you thought to reverse-Google that image to find out where it came from, well, there's probably a Pulitzer in your mailbox already.
You see, the adorable hand-written note that has no doubt flooded your news feed originally came from a comedy blog called Hairpin Turns Ahead, with a heading recommending that people who enjoyed the letter should also check out a clearly satirical rejection letter from a fitness club, as well as an acceptance letter to a fictional reality TV show. In other words, this entire story begins with the author saying "If you liked this totally fake letter, you'll love these other fake letters I made" -- none of which stopped everyone from local news to fucking Perez Hilton from passing it along like it wasn't an overt joke.
In other news, hey, look what our kid wrote!
D'awww! Now give us those viral content dollars, dammit.
A Bridge Did Not Collapse Under the Weight of Love Locks
In what was a tragic affirmation to the musical styles of Nazareth, the Washington Post, Guardian, Telegraph, Independent, NBC, and Mashable all shared the burden of reporting a Paris bridge collapsing under the weight of its own "love locks" -- which are padlocks left latched to the railing by lovers.
This is analogous to Italy's Tree of Used Condoms.
Yes, that's what this world has come to: Those dang unruly teenagers with their Twilight movies, Miley Cyrus music, and public make-out sessions have finally gone too far and caused some irreparable damage. But did the whole bridge collapse, like the first headline implies, or just part of it? How bad is the damage? What's the body count? Well, let's look up a photo of the disaster area and find out ...
People started leaving "Never forget" cards on the board, and it promptly collapsed again.
So, let's get this straight: The chain link on a small section of a very large bridge collapsed temporarily ... and that made international news? While atrocities like bloody revolutions and World Cups are going on? Huff Post even went so far as to highlight the bridge's evacuation, like there was an impending domino effect that would end in mass chaos and not just a routine security measure lifted the following day. Hell, you can clearly see that the railing didn't even completely collapse, making every aspect of this story a hyperbolic mess.
Of course, this just means that when a whole bridge in Paris does fall down, the media is gonna paint it as the entire city breaking off and drifting into space. Keep that in mind for a future sequel to this article.
A Zookeeper Didn't Accidentally Shoot a Man in a Gorilla Suit
We like to point out how mind-blowingly little effort it takes to "crack" these supposedly real stories with maverick skills we call "reading the entire article" and "just looking stuff up online." The following doesn't even qualify for either, because anyone reading the headline should have instantly called shenanigans on this shit:
OK, so dolphin = handie, gorilla = tranq.
You can almost picture the hilarity as the man wearing the monkey suit (no doubt as part of a scheme to get his children back) went cross-eyed, while the Kevin James-esque zookeeper flinched sorrowfully before getting himself in the foot with a second dart and falling over. If you're wondering if any part of this story is true: A zoo vet did in fact shoot a dart, and that dart did hit another employee during an escape drill ... and that's the extent of what actually happened. No one was wearing a gorilla suit (or any type of animal costume), despite what the graphics for these stories would have you believe.
At least they had the decency to admit that the photo was from some other bullshit gorilla suit story.
The original story, according to local officials, in no way involved a gorilla suit or the vet not realizing the drill was fake -- that was added later by an unspecified "source," or "liar," that has since been reported by Time, Huffington Post, Boston.com, Gawker, NY Post, Independent, Daily News, Daily Mail, Telegraph, and Metro. On the plus side, it's cynically comforting to know exactly which news organizations will blindly report what is essentially a Pink Panther bit -- albeit disturbing to realize the answer is "all of them."