6 B.S. Stories That Fooled Everyone on Facebook This Week
While there's no shortage of totally amazing true stories in the world, the problem with those is that you actually have to go out and find them -- and why bother, when you can just make shit up and everyone will share it anyway? So in the interest of preserving our own journalistic credibility of bringing you stories of ventriloquism sex and real-life ghost hunters, here is yet another sifting of dung gold from the plethora of ridiculous online media ...
Women Don't Avoid Exercise Because "Boobs"
We understand the impulse to put "boobs" or "breasts" in as many headlines as possible. We just did that. But, if you decide to use this powerful tool, the Mirror, the Independent, and Yahoo, at least make sure the story is true:
But not of "journalism," clearly.
Man, boobs suck. This all comes from a research study at the Univers(t)ity of Portsmith, which concluded that "nearly one in five women" avoid exercise due to discomfort from their breasts. Right away there's the notable fact that nowhere does the study mention "big" breasts being the problem -- in fact, it specifically points out that the size of the breasts has nothing to do with their findings. A little thing like that never stopped the Mirror before, though.
"You think we should ask one before running this?"
What's more, once you actually analyze the study (i.e., read it), you discover that while it's true that "nearly one in five" women reported this, it's out of a pool of only 249 people who were asked -- breasts being listed as the fourth most common reason for absence of exercise behind lack of energy and time, as well as health issues. We're pretty sure that if you did a similar study for men, "awkward boners" would be somewhere down the list, too, and yet you don't see that in headlines. So far, anyway.
No, Teens in Australia Aren't Pissing into Their Own Mouths
First it was the Lindy Hop, and then the Twist -- teens getting feverishly seduced by the radical culture of their time while the squares take to fist in air. So what's the new big thing this generation is doing at parties? Glad you asked:
Still more dignified than twerking.
Really? Really, guys? We're not shocked by the act of high-saluting your wiener into a billowing piss arch so much as the collective ability of sites like Medical Daily and Elite Daily to completely buy into the idea that, somewhere in the world, there's a teen watersports craze. The story, having been originally "broken" by Vice, completely boils down to a single pro skater and his friends saying that pissing in your mouth is an everyday thing in the land Down Under. The reason? To fuck with people. Thankfully, after numerous attempts to make the bullshit viral, Vice was more than happy to help.
And of course, as is the case with most of these nonexistent teen "trends," this one has become slightly less nonexistent due to all the media coverage leading to a few stupid kids actually trying it, but that's still far from the mouth-piss epidemic they were trying to sell us. You can stop eating asparagus now.
The Pope Can't Actually Excommunicate the Entire Mob
Like everyone else on the planet, you've probably spent a fair amount of time thinking about what would happen if the Punisher became pope. According to the New Yorker, CNN, USA Today, and NPR, you don't have to imagine anymore. It's here. It's happening.
There's only room for one shady organization in Italy.
Pretty fucking ballsy, right? Maybe it's high time the white wizard whips out the ol' impenetrable Popemobile lest he reach sainthood prematurely. Or not, since it turns out that the pope didn't really excommunicate a large group of people ... because that's not even within his holy powers. For all you sinners, excommunication is a rare and complicated process reserved for individuals and not vaguely outlined groups, filled with rules and no doubt tons of tedious paperwork. Pope Francis can't just say the word (in an unofficial setting, even) and automatically banish his foes to hell, just like he can't shoot lightning bolts from his hands.
That was the other guy.
So what was Francis going on about then? In P-Dogg's own words, "Those who in their lives follow this path of evil, as Mafiosi do, are not in communion with God. They are excommunicated." Anyone (who isn't a journalist) can tell he was being hyperbolic about the Mafia cutting themselves off from the church and not making an official declaration -- something the pope might consider when he tosses around the ol' "E-word" next time he gets a shitty meal at Olive Garden and off-handedly condemns the kitchen staff to the depths of eternity.
There Is No Butt-Flashing Wedding Trend, Sorry
Unlike Trix, fake Internet trends aren't just for kids anymore, and we mean that in every possible sense. Again, we totally get why a respectable news site would find it hard to pass up the opportunity to get some easy clicks through the promise of ass shots, but this is getting out of hand:
"Disgusting! (Seriously, Photos Inside)"
Good God! What kind of website would stoop to such low-slung levels of assploitation?
Anyway, here are some of the pics:
Shout-out to the guy in the lower left going "Ohhh, canapes."
All of what you see above was featured in various slideshows about this alarming phenomenon on sites like SF Globe, Jezebel, CBS, Elite Daily, the Stir, Metro, and Inquisitr. It's just too bad that those scenarios are not part of a new trend, but a collection of photographs that are at least a few years old. No, really -- doing a thing we like to call a "Google image search," we verified that the photos come from an assortment of dubious websites from as far back as 2009 (NSFW), including one for a motion picture titled Ass Galore (triple NSFW).
So basically the headline "Hot New Trend Where Bridesmaids Show Their Butts" roughly translates to "We made our intern collect assplay photos for an afternoon!" We're guessing it was an intern, because they didn't even bother to hide the fact that these are old photographs:
Good to see our horny uncle who sends inappropriate email forwards got a job.
A Guy Dressed as a Stormtrooper Didn't Cause a Town in Kansas to Panic
Considering that Stormtroopers are the Free Bird of cosplay, and that they're not even that effective at being menacing in the movies to begin with, it's pretty unimaginable that anyone would feel fear at the sight of one Harlem Shaking around in plastic Imperial armor. Now imagine that unimaginable person multiplied by an entire town:
"The town of Alderaan, Kansas, has nothing to worry about," said Governor P. Alpatine.
Did they think the actual Empire was taking over right then and there? Was anyone seriously worried they were going to receive a laser blast several feet over their head? And just how big of a lockdown panic are we talking about? We have so many naive questions! From the original article:
Kansans aren't used to people carrying guns in the open, you see.
Oh. OK, so it wasn't so much a "terrifying" "lockdown" as much as it was one business locking their doors, but only after being told to by the police. And this was after the business casually called them out of protocol. But yeah, MTV, Uproxx, Free Beacon, and Screencrush, it does sound like the entire town shat their pants over a lone nerd who, as it turns out, was just recording a Vine video.
Then again, maybe there is something about Star Wars that makes people go into bullshit hyperdrive ...
Don't Believe Anything You Hear About the New Star Wars
Let's say you write for an entertainment news website and you come across a juicy-sounding story that obviously has no basis in reality. How do you betray the core of your profession and get that shit on a front page anyway? Easy: Just stamp the word "rumor" on the front and top it off with a distancing question mark, and now you have carte blanche to spread whatever bullshit you want!
This process, while so common it's hardly worth noting anymore, has gone into mutagen-enhanced mode at the mention of the newest Star Wars trilogy:
Uh-oh, bet someone got fired over that missing question mark.
Sure, the "rumor" in question is word-of-mouth from a small-potatoes blog called Jedi News and is being actively contested by Lucasfilm itself -- but it's far better to teach the controversy than simply wait until you have all the facts, which is probably why the story of Star Wars' delay is being reported by the likes of IGN, Uproxx, Indiewire, and Total Film.
Is there any way we can take this ball and run with it, preferably into one of those sand vaginas that ate Boba Fett?
All these air quotes are making it seem like someone's getting his lightsaber polished.
There we go! At this rate, we can expect to see Harrison Ford's replacement doing the Kessel Run by actually running. If you're wondering how Tom Cruise got into this mess, he did that by simply having dinner with J.J. Abrams in London -- because there's no other reason Cruise would be hanging out with the director of Mission: Impossible 3 and producer of 4 and 5.
Finally, we're just going to knock out the news that Carrie Fisher's daughter is playing a young Leia on account of that story coming from an unholy combination of Latino Review (the Daily Mail of movie news) and the actual Daily Mail. We think that about covers it, but to be sure, you might want to burn your computer the next time you see a headline with Harrison Ford's name in it. Or, if you so desire, just burn your computer either way and pick up a real newspaper.