Someday some ‘expert’ will present the media with a dead ‘bigfoot’ that looks like a roadkill squirrel – and the media will just pass it along unchallenged.
I think that quote is true.
The tabloid media seem not to care much for truth but appeal too often to the lowest common denominator - the "Whoa" factor. As in "WHOA! What the hell is that?" And because something looks so impressive on the surface, some people seem fine with embracing naiveté and calling it "alien" or "a monster" or "genuinely incredible". I hate to say they need to expand their assessment a bit more.
Two stories this week that were popular on my website, Doubtful News, were the clearly fake photo of a giant crab, dubbed "Crabzilla" and the capture of a basket star animal (related to star fish) that was labeled "alien" from the sea.
Can no one Google? I mean, can the reporters not Google? Will so few apply a modicum of critical thinking to these pieces and conclude in 20 seconds that Crabzilla is fake and the alien mutant octopus is a native species? Yes, indeed, so few actually do.
On Doubtful News, we keep a list of sites that are "beyond doubtful". It's our "no-go-to" list: Doubtful News’ “Beyond Doubtful” list of no-go-to sources. These sites, loosely measured, publish pure fiction or utter rubbish more than half the time, so we don't want to even publicize them as "news".
Included on the NO list -
- Daily Mail (U.K.)
- The Sun (U.K.)
- Siberian Times
- Mother Nature News
- Epoch Times
- Natural News (Mike Adams, “Health Ranger”)
- Before It’s News
- Info Wars / Prison Planet (Alex Jones)
- Mercola.com (Joe Mercola)
- The Canadian (agoracosmopolitan.com/new)
- All News Web
- World News Daily Report
- World Net Daily (WND.com)
- National Report
- Empire News (empirenews.net)
Sure, everyone knows The Onion and not many fall for similar satire sites (though some foreign countries and politicians do because it suits their zany agendas), but not enough people browsing social media engage their BS detection filter and say "pffth" to these incredible stories. Instead, they click "share" and engage the "whoa-ing" or "WTF?-ing".
It usually takes me about a half hour to pretty handily destroy lame stories from tabloids. I'm hardly trying yet it's easily accomplished. It's not my goal to debunk but, as they say, if there is bunk there, the debunking takes care of itself via checking the facts. The story falls apart.
A crab can not grow to be 50 feet, would not be visible in an aerial photo like this and there are no other people around having a look-see. Besides that, it was a simple feat to find the Bing Maps original to find no crab there.