It’s been three days now and this apparently stunning link is still being posted on Facebook:
If you’re in any way savvy about the interwebs, you know this headline was published on Monday by the Daily Currant, a satire website. The DC is a knock-off of the Onion, which is the grandmama of all satiric news outlets. The Onion pre-dates even TV fare like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. I was reading the Onion in coffeehouses as far back as the early 90s when it was still headquartered in Madison, Wisconsin. The Daily Show probably wouldn’t even exist today were it not for the Onion.
The Onion has duped its share of gullible readers over the years, mainly foreign news services eager to embarrass the United States. Last year, for instance, the Onion ran a piece declaring North Korea’s Kim Jong-un the “Sexiest Man Alive” in a send-up of People magazine’s annual feature of the same name. China’s People’s Daily reported the nomination as fact. And it wasn’t the first time the Chinese had bought an Onion bit hook, line, and sinker. Several years ago, a Chinese newspaper reprinted an Onion piece detailing a gay advocacy association’s progress in advancing the “homosexual agenda” in our nation’s schools.
A couple of guys in some unnamed locale launched the Daily Currant last July. One of the DC’s founders told Slate that the site is designed to be more realistic than the Onion. “That’s the kind of comedy I like,” Daniel Barkeley said. “It’s made to look real. It’s funnier that way, and we think it’s more intelligent that way.”
The site’s very name, in fact, evokes that of an actual newspaper, the Hartford Courant.
So far the site has fooled not only average citizens but media heavyweights as august as the Washington Post. Last month, breitbart.com, natch, was buffaloed when the DC reported that Nobel Prize-winning liberal economist Paul Krugman had filed for personal bankruptcy. [MG note: I refuse to link to breitbart.com because, in the poetic phrasing of Charlie Pierce, “fk them.”]
See, the internet was supposed to make it easier for us to research things.
For instance, say I wanted to do a post on the danger of walking in dog poo in Bryant Park. I might thunder, This situation is intolerable! Mayor Mark Kruzan ought to fire this town’s Department of Parks and Recreation director…, um, er…. See, I don’t know who the parks boss is. But that’s simple enough to remedy: using one finger, I click on my trackpad and get this:
Et voila! Through the miracle of modern technology, I can not only find out Mick Renneisen’s name, but see what he looks like. I can even learn that he thinks the citizens of this fair city are important.
One finger, gang!
That’s all it would take to go to the Daily Currant’s website, wherein the curious among us would see this:
If the faux Palin faux pas doesn’t fire up those neurons in your brain devoted to skepticism, then the Granny-as-Marathon-bomber would have to. Not only that, a sidebar on that very page features stories about Pope Francis coming out as gay, Paul Ryan refusing to tip a black waiter, CNN reporting that Barack Obama has resigned, and Michele Bachmann accidentally going on a gay cruise.
Or you could simply read this:
In the interest of fairness, I must reveal here that I arrived at the About page via three button clicks, although I still was able to use only one finger.
My point is not to ridicule those who’ve fallen for this Palin story (oh, alright, yes it is) but to remind my intelligent and discriminating readership how easy it is to fall for bullshit when we really want to believe it. My brothers and sisters on the Left like nothing better than to believe that Sarah Palin is an idiot. So the nano-second we see something that proves our preconceived notion, we run with it like investment bankers taking government bailouts.
It’s not enough for us to know that Sarah Palin has proven herself time and again to be as well-versed on foreign affairs and domestic issues as my good pal, Steve the Dog. No, we need more and more proof. We need to reinforce our belief. BTW, here’s what Julius Caesar said about belief: “What we wish, we readily believe….”
Steve The Dog & Sarah Palin Agree
We wish that Sarah Palin is so stupid that she can’t tell the difference between Chechnya and Czechoslovakia — which doesn’t even exist anymore!
Just as the fine journalists at breitbart.com wish that the eminent liberal economist Paul Krugman has filed for personal bankruptcy.