[Disclaimer: This article is satire, or what we used to call "fake news" before actual fake news started poisoning the political discourse!]
Former purveyor of so-called ‘humorous’ fake news pieces sees error of its ways.
The Humor Times announced today that it will no longer be a leading publisher of “fake news,” and instead will do its level-best to fight what it now admits is a scourge on all forms of media. The sudden change seems to have been spurred by a recent speech by President-Elect Trump.
Apparently, a lot of these fake news stories, originally meant as harmless fun, have been circulating through social media and confusing well-intentioned readers who were only trying to seek out the truth. This may have even caused the country to elect its first openly psychopathic president (although that in itself is probably just fake news).
The social media icon Facebook has suggested it may start censoring fake news stories, and articles in the New York Times and elsewhere have editorialized against its proliferation. Even Fox News celebrity Sean Hannity, who, like the station he works for, has never uttered a falsehood in his life, has come out strongly against it.
As an example of articles that fooled seemingly well-educated people, there were these headlines in the Humor Times:
- Trump Taps His 10-Year-Old Son for Secretary of State
- Churchill Thunders Against Trump from Beyond the Grave
- Trump Election Victory Spurs ‘Dramatic Growth’ in Professional Protest Industry
- Trump: ‘Jesus Was a Loser, He Got Caught’
…and even many non-Trump related stories, like:
- Muhammad Ali Posthumously Awarded 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature
- Olympics Dealt a Blow by Pokémon Go Contestants
- Goodbye to England! British Royal Family Puts Monarchy Up for Sale
The Humor Times has publicly admitted that these stories might confuse otherwise intelligent readers, and issued this statement today:
We greatly regret our involvement in spreading stories that just weren’t true, and pledge to never use any factoid in any joke, story, cartoon or video that is not absolutely verifiable. Although this may greatly diminish the humorous aspect of our website and monthly publication — being that humor almost always uses exaggeration and pretense to bring stark relief to staid news stories, thus pointing out actual absurdities in political and cultural realities of our time — we plan to soldier on with a hugely boring but factual ‘humor’ site.
We’re sure other purveyors of political humor will do the patriotic thing and follow our lead, including all other fake news websites and publications, blogs, podcasts, YouTube sites, and of course, TV shows like The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, and all the late night shows that dabble in political humor segments.
We at the Humor Times do not wish to be sued by our soon-to-be Dear Leader, the Glorious and Always Correct Mr Donald J Trump, so we promise to cease with these silly fake news articles about him. We will only say correct things, like the fact that Trump will be gold-plating the outside of the White House, his VP Mike Pence plans on having gay orgies in the basement of the building, and Melania will be the first First Lady to pose for Playboy. But absolutely NO fake news.
We regard our First Amendment rights to Free Speech and a Free Press to be only constitutional suggestions, and that we should all immediately agree to their suspension, because, after all, Americans do not have the capacity to tell truth from fiction. In fact, we believe all ‘Truth’ should be verified as such by the new Trump Administration, before it’s even published.
Sure, we’re going to all have to sacrifice now — not just writers and comedians — because entertainment is going to get incredibly dull. But since it’s true that people today simply do not have the ability to differentiate between satire and truth, and it’s just too much damn trouble to check out the factual basis of every meme or thread on social media, we should quit with this immature tendency to make jokes about our leaders and media personalities.
As our soon-to-be President Trump himself, in a TV interview, when it was pointed out that he was spreading incorrect information by forwarding every meme and Twitter post that happened to sound right to him, said, “Look, I don’t have time to check all these things out. It’s what I saw on the interwebs, so it must be true. If not, I’m going to sue the bastards.”
Hear, hear. After all, fun is greatly overrated. Let’s all just settle down and stick with boring, vanilla, government-approved “facts” from now on. Thank you for your understanding, America!
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