Study shows Fake News journals depend too heavily on Zombie-themed articles
Posted by oldancestor on August 1, 2010
By Eric J Baker
PRINCETON, NJ – A study published this week by Princeton University claims that a disproportionate number of fake news stories feature zombies, relative to the frequency with which actual zombie incidents appear in the news. According to researchers involved in the study, such a disparity could have dangerous consequences.
“Gullible people might read all these stories and start thinking the threat of a zombie apocalypse is very high, when, in fact, its probability is only around 20 percent,” says the university’s Media Studies professor, Herbert West. “If we, as the left-wing, east-coast elite, have one responsibility, it’s to protect the stupid from themselves. We believe in natural selection in theory, but not in practice.”
Purveyors of fake news are quick to refute West’s accusation.
“Stupid people don’t read fake news articles,” says Old Ancestor, 4023, editor of the fake news journal The Anvil. “They don’t understand the concept in the first place. Anyway, if some addle-brained stooge decides to build a zombie fortress in his back yard because of us, so what? It stimulates the economy.”
Another fake news periodical, The Avocado, known for its rather lurid headlines, has gone so far as to publish a scathing, though (possibly) fake, response this week entitled, “Princeton Professor Films Bestiality Porn in his Basement!”
Calls to The Avocado’s imaginary office seeking comment were not answered.
Head writer for The Anvil, Eric J Baker, takes a pragmatic view.
“You invent news stories that people read. A zombie story gets four or five times the number of Internet views that a story about Congress or the Supreme Court gets,” he says.
Not all fake news writers are pleased with the current zombie fad, though. Baker’s fellow Anvil scribe, Lacy Thundercake, will be more than happy the next time a giant Jesus statue burns down or some other inherently funny event takes place.
“It’s frustrating,” says Thundercake, 32, the journal’s entertainment reporter. “If it weren’t for Lindsay Lohan, I’d never get a byline. Why can’t Britney Spears murder Paris Hilton or something?”
Thundercake, who doesn’t exist, says zombies suck.
That’s just the kind of attitude that has real-life zombie Francisco Conquistador angry. The Spaniard, who became zombified in the Caribbean over 400 years ago, believes film, comic book, and fake news treatment of zombies has created a grossly distorted image with the public.
“Zombies are not rotting, flesh-eating monsters returned from the grave,” he explains. “That’s just stupid. We’re the undead victims of a voodoo spell.”
Conquistador, who, save for a trance-like stare, appears human, insists he has no desire to kill anyone and that there are hardly enough voodoo practitioners left in the world to bring about any kind of apocalypse.
“Fake news stories about zombies just aren’t funny,” he says.
While that view is open to debate, he has precedent on his side. In a little-known Supreme Court case from 1954, Fake news v. People who think it’s stupid, the court ruled that fake news can be funny when it’s topical, but when current events don’t lend themselves to humorous interpretation or satire, fake news becomes stupid.
Anvil editor Old Ancestor isn’t interested in real zombies or the Supreme Court.
“How does the Supreme Court know what’s funny?” he asks. “If you can find nine people on this planet who are more humor-deficient than those guys, let me know.”
Ancestor also questions the validity of the so-called legitimate news media. “How do we know what they say is true? Reality is not a concrete thing. It’s changeable. How do you know what’s around you is real? How does the person reading this article know he or she is real? Maybe there’s another universe where all this zombie stuff really happens and they write fake news articles about the real stuff that happens here.”
In response to Ancestor’s words, The Anvil’s head writer Baker said, “This is why we don’t let editors write. They say stupid sh*t.”
NEXT WEEK: Existentialism in fake news… Too esoteric?