6 Clearly Fake News Stories That Fooled The Media (Part 16)
We're not journalists here at Cracked, but thanks to Google and a little something called baseline literacy, we're once again here to bring you the latest in unmitigated horseshit the news has to offer. No need to thank us with offerings of gifts and/or tasteful nude photographs -- all we ask is that the next time you read about the latest teen trend or crazy story from China in your news feed, keep in mind that it might be baloney, just like ...
Selfies Aren't Spreading Head Lice
Selfies have popped up in all sorts of dumbass situations lately, but the real horror apparently comes in the last place you'd expect:
"It's just like the dick pics crabs outbreak of '09."
Coming from CBS, Business Insider, CNET, and TIME, the story highlights an expert warning that taking group selfies is causing an epidemic of teenagers' pressed heads passing the little fuckers around. Gross!
But don't shave your tweenager's head just yet, because the "expert" quotes are from an interview with the owner of Nitless Noggins, a small California company that offers delousing by way of a rented "LouseBuster" and zero medical qualifications. According to an actual doctor, there's not only no influx of lice, but also no reason they would spread among teenagers ... or anyone who isn't under 11 years old. So yeah, you're probably fine to smush your manes together for duckface photos (unless you like to break into dubious motel rooms and bury your head under pillows for prolonged amounts of time).
The Army Isn't Going to Be Shrunk to a "Pre-World War II" Level
Everyone say goodbye to freedom, because the Pentagon apparently just did:
"Just call it a reboot. That's what the kids are into nowadays."
If you can't tell from the fancy-pants font, that's the New York Times reporting that there is a budget plan currently in the works that would bring our armed forces back to the 1940s. And thanks to the fact that it's the freaking New York Times, most sites like Fox and the Chicago Tribune went ahead and mirrored the "pre-World War II" story.
The only problem being that it's an utterly meaningless phrase.
That's the actual graph the NY Times gave with the story. Take a look at the bottom:
The '40s bar is almost twice as stumpy as the proposed cuts, because while the $496 billion is the lowest since the pre-war days, it's still more than twice what we were spending back then when you look at the percentage of the total GDP. It's the headline equivalent of telling your date that you have as little antibiotic-resistant syphilis as you did before college.
A Man Didn't Try to Commit Suicide by Feeding Himself to Tigers
Here's something to make you feel better about spending Valentine's Day cutting your own hair while drunk:
"The man is doing fine. The tigers are ggggggggggrrrreat!"
Now splayed across numerous news sites: A man in China jumped in with the tigers at a zoo in an attempt to kill himself The Happening style, only to be horribly rejected by everything around him, not unlike how everybody with eyes treated The Happening. But like most crazy stories that come out of China, the only sources appear to be an offline newspaper and the Daily Mail, every news site's favorite "friend of a friend" source.
Had someone thought to click on the link the Daily Mail provided, they would have read a story about a man getting into a tiger enclosure with a backpack full of rice, crazily attempting to feed the animals. You could argue that it's nearly as insane as hoping to die by jugular bites, but that would be ignoring all the increments between "I want to feed big kitty" and "I want big kitty to feed on me" on the scale of crazy.
Those Leaked iPhone 6 Photos Are Fake
Everyone get out those wallets, because our brand new 5s iPhones are officially dog balls.
The post-neutered kind. They don't exist.
Say hello to the newly leaked photos of the iPhone 6, which we know have to be real because they were tweeted by a single faceless account that was just opened this month. While that might seem a little suspect, the Internet instead decided to ride the sweet Apple-scented high:
If you haven't guessed yet, what they were all smelling was not the waft of innovation, but totally made-up renders outed by the fact that the screen smudges were identical on every model shown. Unfortunately for the world of tech journalism, this painfully obvious detail had to be pointed out by a random Reddit user and not the people who are being paid to notice these things.
Giant Mango Is Stolen for PR
A few days ago, residents of Bowen, Australia, woke up to find their 33-foot-tall mango missing, and that's not a euphemism for accidentally catching kangaroos doing it in the front yard. A giant-ass 12-year-old mango sculpture was literally missing, and the story went viral worldwide. Because who wants to pay attention to the Ukraine or Syria when someone out there might be enjoying an amazing smoothie right now? The gall!
Unfortunately for fans of hilariously impractical heists, the fruitnapping was a prank by a chicken restaurant chain called Nando's that totally got permission from the local visitor center. Of course, now that the town and the restaurant got our attention, someone needs to give them a lesson on how to tell a joke. Not so fast, Jimmy Kimmel.
Related: Stupid PR Stunts That Backfired Hard
For the Last Time: There Is Not Going to Be a LeBron Space Jam Sequel
Everyone just simmer the fuck down for a second, because the following nostalgia boner is a farce:
Would you make a sequel to Citizen Kane? No.
Look, we know you really want it to happen -- just like you wanted it to happen not three months ago when we told you it wasn't happening before. But once again, despite what BuzzFeed, IGN, USA fucking Today, and Deadline are saying, there is no Space Jam 2 in production right now.
You must believe us -- it will be an utter shitshow, so we want it to happen, too. But from now on, let's make a deal: Any time some random online exclusive says that an unknown guy heard a guy say that he heard a guy say that LeBron James has been approached for another Space Jam, let's just ask LeBron himself before jumping into the headlines. Because every time we do, he has no clue what we're going on about (but he would fucking love to do it).