Examiner.com is reporting what it’s calling a “national outrage” — that Michael Vick has gotten a dog.
” …the latest cosmic injustice in the up-and-down saga of Michael Vick takes the cake … Judge Herman Wilton, who presided over Vick’s 2007 trial, has rescinded his order that Vick never again be permitted to own a dog. Vick is now the proud owner of a Beagle named HutHut.”
“The judge’s reasoning, if it can be called that, is (1) that Vick has been thrilling football fans with his play, (2) that he has won over the hearts and minds of the people of Philadelphia, and (3) that his young daughters really wanted a dog.”
The source for the Examiner report? The Weekly World News. The same people, or at least the latest incarnation of the publication, that brought us Bat Boy, Elvis sightings and predictions of an apocalypse at least every month.
Apparently, the Weekly World News and its playful reputation are fading from public memory — at least enough that a blogger for Examiner.com saw this report and took it at face value.
Even with such clearly doctored photos as this one, many people bought it — judging from the comments both on the Weekly World News piece and the Examiner’s. (The Examiner piece has since been taken offline.)
This proves three things. One, there is no limit to how gullible some people are. Two, legitimate newspapers had their place (bring them back). Three, this Internet thing, all this cutting and pasting and regurgitating what other people have said — at least when the original source is not one to be trusted, when the facts are not checked – is giving truth a beating.
In its paper version, on the grocery store checkout line, it was always clear to most people that the Weekly World News was a purveyor of hoaxes, sometimes mean spirited, sometime delightful.
I once went to its Florida offices to do a story on the collection of characters that put it out, in a backroom of the National Enquirer. They were a fun and creative group — from the grizzled editor to the artist who came up with Bat Boy, and insisted of course, like a professional wrestler, that the monster was real.
On the Internet, though, which is the only place where a semblance of it still exists, the Weekly World News pops up in searches just like any other publication, with no indication that it’s dispatches are meant in fun — and a slogan that even reads “The World’s Only Reliable News.”
The Weekly World News report quotes William Tacatoo (no such person), president of the Humane Society of the Pennsylvania (no such organization), as saying he has been around Vick a good deal over the last two years and feels confident Vick would be a great pet owner: “He loves dogs, he really does.”
It quotes West Virginia Judge Herman Wilton (no such judge) as saying he lifted the order banning Vick from owning dogs in the interest of the quarterback’s daughters: ”Ah, come on, we can’t deny the girls a dog.”
It reports that, as soon as the judge announced his decision, “Vick immediately went out and bought a cute, little beagle.”
Vick, though he has expressed a desire to have a dog, doesn’t have one.
The world is not coming to an end next week.
Elvis is still dead.
Bat Boy, though? I’m still not sure he’s not real.
(Photos: Weekly World News)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 5th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bat boy, beagle, bloggers, dog, dogfighting, examiner.com, hoax, humane society, huthut, joke, judge, michael vick, new dog, news, philadelphia eagles, quarterback, report, tabloids, vick, weekly world news
Nick Cannon thought it would be a hoot to make his radio co-host think he had sent her dog aloft by tying the tiny pooch to a bunch of helium balloons.
So, using a stuffed animal as a substitute, he pretended to launch Sarah Lee Owensby’s dog, Charlie Roo, into the air
In a video posted on the 92.3NOW website, Cannon explains, “I won a bet with Sarah Lee, and I’m about to play the meanest joke on her ever. This whole time I’ve been acting like I don’t like dogs, but I really love dogs. I’m a dog person… But I’m pretending that I want to float Charlie Roo with balloons!”
Despite all the disclaimers, Cannon received scoldings and threats via Twitter, Facebook and on his voice mail — some from people who didn’t understand it was pretend, some from people who did and didn’t like it, anyway.
Among those finding little humor in the prank was PETA President Ingrid Newkirk: “If bad taste were a crime, we’d be going to jail with Nick, but joking about killing a dog, a kid, an old person — anyone — isn’t cool when there’s always the danger that some numbskull will do it for real.”
“I think I might be getting fired,” Cannon tweeted in reaction to the uproar. ” … boss just told me PETA is on the phone … Radio bit gone seriously wrong … People are acting like I’m Mike Vick. I apologize. Now get over it …”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 15th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: 92.3, 92.3now, afloat, air, animals, backlash, balloons, charlie roo, dj, dog, floating, helium, ingrid newkirk, joke, launched, nick cannon, peta, pets, prank, radio, sarah lee owensby, sky, stuffed animal, uproar, video
Just when I proclaim this quite a week for wieners (dogs and franks), there’s more late breaking wiener news: The world’s oldest hot dog — possibly the world’s first hot dog — has been unearthed at Coney Island, CNN and others reported.
CNN posted a story about the “discovery” of a “140-year-old hot dog” after officials at the Coney Island History Project put an “ancient” frankfurter — bun and all — on display, saying it was unearthed during the demolition of Feltman’s Kitchen, said to be where the first hot dog was made.
“1st Hot Dog,” read a sign next to the display. To the embarassment of CNN and others who picked up the story — to be frank, they didn’t check the facts — it was all just a publicity stunt, aimed at creating interest in an exhibition this summer of real artifacts from the Feltman’s site, the New York Post says.
“The recent discovery by an amateur archaeologist of the ‘140 Year Old Feltman’s Hot Dog’ encased in ice along with a bun, [and] an original receipt from Feltman’s, … was a publicity stunt in the grand tradition of Coney Island ballyhoo,” said Tricia Vita, spokeswoman for the history project.
She said that the hoax was an example of Coney Island’s history of P.T. Barnum-type hype. Even though the ancient hot dog was said to be found “encased in ice” by archaelogists, the story was gobbled right up.
(It was Barnum, I believe, who said a sucker was born every minute. That rate has increased to about every millisecond, thanks to the Internet.)
“I was surprised in the beginning at how many people believed it was true,” Vita said. “But after reading all the buzz about it on Twitter and the Internet, I’m not really that surprised because people want to believe these types of things are true.”
Posted by jwoestendiek February 25th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 140-year-old hot dog, ancient, antique, cnn, coney island, coney island history project, feltman's, fooled, frankfurter, hoax, hot dog, joke, journalism, media, new york, news, oldest, publicity stunt, report, reporting, sucker, wiener
An oldie but a goodie:
A woman brought a very limp duck into the office of a veterinary surgeon. She laid her pet on the table and the vet pulled out his stethoscope to listen to the bird’s chest.
After a moment or two, the vet shook his head sadly and said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, your duck has passed away.”
The distressed woman wailed, “Are you sure?”
“Yes, I am sure,” replied the vet. “The duck is dead,” .
“How can you be so sure?” she protested. “He might just be in a coma or something.”
The vet left the room and returned a few minutes later with a Labrador Retriever.
As the duck’s owner looked on, the dog stood on his hind legs, put his front paws on the examination table, sniffed the duck and barked twice. The vet took the dog out of the room, returning with a cat. The cat jumped on the table and looked the duck over, then jumped back down and strolled out of the room.
The vet looked at the woman and said, “I’m sorry, but as I said, your duck is dead.”
Turning to his computer terminal, the vet hit a few keys and printed out a bill, which he handed to the owner.
“One hundred and fifty dollars!” she cried, “just to tell me my duck is dead?”
The vet shrugged, “I’m sorry. If you had just taken my word for it, the bill would have been $20, but with the Lab Report and the Cat Scan it’s now $150.”
Posted by jwoestendiek May 3rd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bill, cat, dead, death, duck, humor, joke, jokes, lab, labrador, medical, report, retriever, scan, vet, veterinarian, veterinary
With a “delicious and durable organic rawhide casing,” a 3.3 megapixel doggie cam for inter-canine video conferencing and bark to text software (included), the PetBook is protected against saliva by special SlobberGuard technology.
You can find all the details here.