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From Cracked.com, “7 Clearly Fake News Stories That Fooled The Mainstream Media.” Some of my favorites…
1) “Thirteen-Year-Old Uses His Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Two Halo-Playing Hookers”
[reported news] A boy in Texas stole his father’s identity, obtained a credit card, and took his friends on a whirlwind-shopping spree of video games, electronic gadgets and two $1,000-an-hour hookers. It might not have been enough to hook the media if it weren’t for an additional to-good-to-be-true detail: he didn’t hire them for a night of wild sex. He only needed someone to play some Halo with him.
[the truth] Internet marketer and writer Lyndon Anticliff dreamed up the whole story as part of a ploy to get some quick hits to his site, which according to Wired garnered him roughly 6,000 links.
2) “Lion Mutilates 42 Midgets in Cambodian Ring Fight”
[reported news] The title says it all.
[the truth] This was a fake BBC News story about 42 midgets being severely mutilated while competing under the “Cambodian Midget Fighting League.” We would point out to any professional journalists reading this the tried and true Cracked.com rule of journalism: Any story involving at least 40 midgets is bound to be too good to be true… A couple of friends got into a discussion over whether or not a group of 40 unarmed midgets could use the power of teamwork to defeat a fully-grown African lion. The discussion became so heated that the friend on the “pro-lion” side of the argument created a fake webpage.
Perhaps the newsgivers of our day just can’t handle the truth. But I turn to the expert to say it best…
Note. The hubs can repeat this speech verbatim. Over. And over. He’s a big Aaron Sorkin fan.