[dropcap letter="R"][/whole]Remember that story about a guy landing a probe on a comet, but wore a very tacky shirt? Remember when it was cited as an example of “political correctness gone mad” because heaven forbid people get offended by a shirt featuring half-naked women? Remember when MRA said it's all about the “feminazi agenda” supposedly hijacking the discussion and establishing a double standard because we shouldn't be judging women for what they wear? Remember the part where they missed what “false equivalence” means? Remember when these MRA pretended that sexism was “over” and claimed that all that's left is “whining bitches,” because that clearly is not a sexist word in any way whatsoever? Yeah, I wish I didn't, either.
Well, obviously, all that is a matter of opinion. Some people feel the shirt wasn't a big deal. Other people did. But the shirt was really worn, and an apology really did happen. What we're looking for instead are actual stories that were passed off as things “that happened,” but in reality “never actually happened.” And just like last year, we have a fairly healthy influx of these fake stories going around. Let's talk about some of the most memorable!
The Story: Oh, those crazy French, and their healthy sense of work-life balance! Apparently, they've made it illegal for work emails to bug you after 6PM, which is actually an idea we could get behind.
The Harsh Reality: Nope. Not quite. It's a worker agreement that only covers a certain sector of the working force, and only under specific long-workday circumstances. It isn't quite the nationwide piece of legislation people made it out to be.
If It Were Real: I actually don't think it would be such a bad thing. Back in the day, if you went home from work, it's your call if you want to do more work at home, but you certainly won't be bugged by more texts or calls on your mobile.
The Story: What a hoot! A kid vandalized this Chinese man's passport beyond recognition! How's he even going to use it now?
The Harsh Reality: Take a close look at the picture. Notice how there were still scribbles past the passport?
This kid was clearly not coloring within the lines. MS Painting, maybe?
The article has been updated to reflect more reasons why it was fake, but when it first came out? We all went nuts and felt bad for the poor guy.
If It Were Real: How long does it take to have a passport replaced, anyway? Shouldn't be a big deal.
The Story: Oh, China! You so crazy! A Chinese lady apparently lives with a hundred thousand cockroaches and considers them “her children.” Isn't that sweet and demnted?
The Harsh Reality: Read closer. You're bound to see the part where she uses these roaches because they are used as an ingredient in some sort of traditional Chinese medicine (yes, it's a thing), and that no, she doesn't literally live with these roaches, because she still has another house. That's exactly the implication of saying she has “a rural house,” after all.
If It Were Real: She can try living with snakes next. Just stay for a while in the Philippine Congress!
The Story: Supposedly, in the middle of Typhoon Ruby, a guy with a camera managed to catch a UFO! Wow!
The Harsh Reality: You're kidding, right?
If It Were Real: We welcome our new alien overlords!
The Story: Earlier this month, a news story came out that Cesar Milan, the famous Dog Whisperer, died of a heart attack. What a tragedy!
The Harsh Reality: The only harsh reality is how many celebrities we keep killing before they actually die, especially Ultimate Warrior.
The Story: A woman had plastic surgery so she can have three boobs.
The Harsh Reality: It was probably a prosthetic.
If It Were Real: We'd still probably stare, if she doesn't mind us doing so.
The Story: Because of Korina Sanchez's short-sighted call for prayers of death and destruction be called off upon the Philippines at the expense of Japan, she was deemed “persona non grata” by the Japanese government.
The Harsh Reality: While Korina Sanchez was indeed an insensitive and ridiculous excuse for a journalist, Japan simply did not care what some two-bit news reporter in the Philippines had to say to them. She's no Manny Pacquiao. If you don't believe me, then realize that “So What's News” is a satirical website, and used the article to parallel what happened to Ramon Bautista in Davao earlier this year.
If It Were Real: Eh, she would have deserved it. We've declared people “persona non grata” here for far less. Just ask Claire Danes.
The Story: According to Bandila, there was a mysterious flesh-eating bacteria going around in Pangasinan, which actually led to the hashtag #PrayForPangasinan, which totally helps people, right? Panic spread, people were terrified.
The Harsh Reality: It was a ratings ploy. While apologies were handed out after the fact, it was very clear that they had to do that purely for damage control because they definitely angered the people of Pangasinan, who rightfully thought that such an irresponsible declaration would affect their tourism industry. These were two separate cases of two different diseases. That does not constitute an “epidemic,” in any way.
If It Were Real: Can we get the flesh-eating bacteria to attack the vocal cords of these “journalists?” Maybe if we can program them to attack people who like to stay stupid crap under the guise of “journalism,” it would give these people a moment for pause before they say patently idiotic stuff.
Yay 2014! Do you have other fake new stories to add to the list? Share them in the comments section below!