January 8, 2008

The Media Is Stupid

Most everyone reading this has something in common - you live in countries in which ideas, regardless of their popularity, are shared and freely discussed. With that goes a media free to report on the events of the day. What we've ended up with, however, is nothing more than a celebrity-obsessed, sensationalized mess. Over the past few months, I've noticed a trend towards the ridiculous. Over the past week, I've been taking notes.

The list below is composed of headlines taken from the homepages of major news outlets such as CNN, Fox, MSNBC, The Washington Post and The New York Times. I didn't comb "oddly enough" or "funny news" sections. I'm talking homepages. Take a gander. I think you'll be as mystified as I was.

Just to keep it interesting, of the 25 headlines below, 3 are completely fabricated by me. Guess the correct ones and you win a Genuine Rude Cactus Mix CD, suitable for listening to, framing, or impressing your neighbors. So, give these a read and tell me which are fake. (By the way, sorry for the editorializing. I couldn't help myself.)

  1. What is a caucus anyway? (Everyone knows its a group of white people.)
  2. Letterman's Top 10 for striking writers. (He's back. With a beard. So what. Move on.)
  3. Boyfriend Catches Fish That Ate Fiancee's Lost Jewelry
  4. Boy, monkey bond after daring hot air balloon ride. (Didn't Disney make that movie?)
  5. Exonerated man finally enjoys freedom. (Ya think?)
  6. Snake mistakes golf balls for eggs, eats 'em. (You're kidding me - snakes aren't the geniuses of the reptile world?)
  7. 911 call: 'I had my arm cut off'. (How do you think he held the phone and dialed?)
  8. XL underwear smothers fire. (Of course, they overlooked the story XXXL underwear provides shelter for small African fishing village.)
  9. Wealthy dogs love spaghetti dinners.
  10. How to save clothes after they're stained. (Is this news or Hints From Heloise?)
  11. Orphaned bear cub goes back to wild. (Breaking news Bear Shits In Woods, Pope Also Rumored to be Catholic.)
  12. Man gets heater for pig -- pig starts fire.
  13. Woman, 87, considered oldest active American prostitute. (Ummm...that just ain't right.)
  14. Las Vegas Casino Hosts World Series of Beer Pong
  15. Stripes or solids - the latest in prison fashion. (Proving you can dress 'em up but you can't take 'em out...literally.)
  16. Warrant: Cop Allegedly Paid Hooker With Wife's Shoes. (Those were either nice shoes or a bad hooker.)
  17. India Trains Unemployed Youths to Sterilize Wild Monkeys. (Better than learning to sterilize India's unemployed youths.)
  18. Exploding Dog Corpse Causes Scare at Crematorium
  19. Young women choosing careers over love.
  20. Five ways to calm the jitters. (Booze, pills, sex, food and soothing music. There. Now you don't need a damn article.)
  21. Mayor to town: Lose 1 million pounds. (The only way this is news is if the town has a population of 20.)
  22. Boy, 6, limbo-skates under 57 cars a minute.
  23. What couch potato champ did to win. (Sat on his ass, I'd expect.)
  24. Demand for Human Hair Grows, Used in Wigs, Pizza. (Never. Ordering. Pizza. Again.)
  25. Jesus image appears in potato. (The father, the spud and the holy ghost.)
Oh, and no fair searching for these headlines. That's cheating. And cheaters suck. Posted by Chris at January 8, 2008 6:43 AM

As much as I want #13 to be fake, I can't shake the feeling that it isn't.

With that being said, I'll go with: 9, 12, 22.

(And I'd like to go on the record stating that I waffled between 12 and 14 being false for a long time.)

Posted by: SciFi Dad at January 8, 2008 7:14 AM

I'm not even going to try. They all sound insane enough to be true. Although I know it's true about the pig. The people came through fine; the pig didn't.

Posted by: ann adams at January 8, 2008 7:39 AM

I'm guessing 4, 14, and 22... and sadly enough I know I'm gonna be wrong and find out that YES, these things really happened, and I'm just gonna shake my head and wonder what kind of world are we livin' in anyway?

Posted by: sarah at January 8, 2008 7:42 AM

I'm just gonna pick 3 random numbers and hope for the best!


Posted by: Pol at January 8, 2008 7:55 AM

I had to go with which ones do I hope, pray and plead to NOT be true:

13, 7, 24

(please be right on 24 - I love pizza!!!)

Posted by: DebbieDoesLife at January 8, 2008 8:00 AM

Unfortunately, they all sound crazy enough to be true.

I vote for 4, 22 and 24 being fabricated.

Posted by: Maria at January 8, 2008 8:06 AM

22, 24, and, um...8?

Posted by: Alissa at January 8, 2008 8:10 AM

4, 12, 18, I read CNN throughout the day and I am sad to report I have seen most of those listed.

Posted by: rwhgeek at January 8, 2008 8:37 AM

14, 15, and 22. God, it's so obvious.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at January 8, 2008 8:43 AM

I'm voting for 4, 12 & 24

Posted by: Jennifer at January 8, 2008 8:49 AM

I love weird headline on the front page... it is like this weird obession I have to see what weirdo headlines they put on the front pages of "serious" news providers...

4, 11, & 15

Posted by: Christina at January 8, 2008 8:51 AM

My vote is for 24, 17 and 4.

I've read/heard about 15 of those. These are the stories that crack me up.

Posted by: Arwen at January 8, 2008 8:57 AM

OK, I'll play. I'm guessing 17, 22 and 3.

Posted by: alison at January 8, 2008 9:01 AM

I'll go with 4, 9 & 22.

Posted by: Karen at January 8, 2008 9:15 AM

I've seen a lot of these this week, and had the same incredulous feeling you're expressing. My guesses for the three fake headlines are numbers 4, 13, and 23.

Posted by: Jessie at January 8, 2008 9:36 AM

3, 4, and 13 (I hope)

Posted by: Maribeth at January 8, 2008 10:03 AM

I think they are all true. It's a fucked up world.
I am surprised you didn't mix in some Britney headlines! She seems to be bigger news than the US elections.

Posted by: Nadine at January 8, 2008 10:09 AM

Please tell me 18 is fabricated...! (I wish most of those were fabricated, though, actually!)

I also think 25 and 9 might be fab'ed. Great post!!!

Posted by: Haley-O at January 8, 2008 10:33 AM

I'm guessing 6,9 and 24.

25 must be true: it's the Spud of Christ

Posted by: Loth at January 8, 2008 10:39 AM

I was going to say 9, 12, and 22 but SciFi Dad beat me to it. so, if we are right, I will just bask in the satisfaction of being correct about something for once.

Posted by: MamaKaren at January 8, 2008 10:44 AM

I'm gonna guess 3, 14, 24.

Also, have you ever checked out fark.com?

Posted by: rai at January 8, 2008 11:05 AM

Ok i'll play along.....

4, 13, 15.

And i really didn't need to know about human hair in pizza! That is nasty!!!

Posted by: Regina at January 8, 2008 11:07 AM

I'm going with #1, #22 & #25

The Atheist in me doesn't see Jesus in a potato, she sees french fries.

Posted by: Procrastamom at January 8, 2008 11:10 AM

Oh I hope, I hope, I hope that the exploding dog corpse is real because that? IS AWESOME.

Posted by: GreenCanary at January 8, 2008 11:29 AM

I'm in for 15, 22 and 24.

Posted by: Sue at January 8, 2008 11:33 AM

"Jesus image appears in potato. (The father, the spud and the holy ghost)"


Posted by: Jenn at January 8, 2008 12:22 PM

Hmmm... so tough to choose.

I think I'm going to go with 13, cause that's just really scary, 9 because my dog isn't wealthy and she likes spaghetti, but only with meatsauce, and while this one totally cracked me up, 18, and I don't think I would even be upset if that one were true, cause it's still funny!

Posted by: Karen at January 8, 2008 12:25 PM

I love your contests:

My vote is

25, 13, 3

Posted by: chantel at January 8, 2008 1:00 PM

What is a caucus anyway? (Everyone knows its a group of white people.)

That made me laugh my tiny little head off. :D

Posted by: Poppy at January 8, 2008 1:02 PM

#11? This could be real, but I just don't remember reading about it at all lately.

Sadly, some of these are completely outrageous headlines, but I somewhat remember reading them on CNN, Fox, or other local news recently.

Posted by: Jen at January 8, 2008 1:13 PM

Ooo, this is tougher than I thought it would be! I guess I'll go with 4, 9 and 14.

Posted by: Beth in StL at January 8, 2008 1:30 PM

I'll go with 4, 9 and 22. Sheesh -- a bad lot of nutjobs to choose from, actually, and sadly, I recognized a few of those from my own earlier reading on so-called "news" nets.

Posted by: JenniferB at January 8, 2008 1:43 PM

3, 4, and 19 ? They're all possible of course.

Posted by: Brad at January 8, 2008 2:31 PM


I've been your mostest loyalest stalker for three years STRAIGHT and I wrote you a birthday post and everything and I have never won a mixtape and I really want one so can I google PLEASE?

Posted by: Mr Lady at January 8, 2008 2:53 PM

sadly i know that 6, 7 and 25 are true... as for the others... gosh, i'm hoping you pulled 24 out of your ass.

Posted by: monique at January 8, 2008 3:24 PM

I'm guessing 4, 13, and 25. Although I really, really hope that 24 isn't true, but I'm still sticking with my guesses.

I know I've seen at least four of them... can't say I actually went and read those articles though.

Posted by: Stephanie at January 8, 2008 3:25 PM

4, 22, 24

I, too, have seen a number of these this past week. However, it's totally plausible that they ALL were "in print".... sad, sad, sad!

Posted by: ironic1 at January 8, 2008 4:21 PM

I'm taking 4, 18 and 25 though I have trouble ruling out any of them. I saw some of these in their original locations. I weep for the future of real news.

Posted by: Annie, The Evil Queen at January 8, 2008 4:57 PM

They're all random and weird. So I shall guess...
3, 8, and 16.

Posted by: Cassandra at January 8, 2008 6:52 PM

I dunno, maybe 3, 9 and 25?

Posted by: Mom On The Run at January 8, 2008 8:07 PM

Okay, so the fake ones are...

4,8 and 18.

I dunno. But most of these headlines I've seen while reading foxnews.com so....

I want a cd damnit. pick me. pick me pick me pick me.

Posted by: kimmyk at January 8, 2008 9:07 PM


Posted by: ali at January 8, 2008 10:02 PM

14,15,18...gotta be.

Posted by: CJ at January 9, 2008 11:38 AM

I have no guesses but it is scary that most of those are real.

Posted by: :: jozjozjoz :: at January 9, 2008 1:32 PM

This is the first time I've visited your blog, and I'm thoroughly entertained!! Sad to say, one of the headlines that has been most popularly guessed as false actually happened in my hometown. I gotta move. Anyway, I'm guessing # 4, 18, and 24. Did I win???

Posted by: em at January 9, 2008 4:24 PM