Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Important if true

This just in:

Pepsi did not omit the words "under God" from the Pledge of Allegiance on a newly designed can.

A 13-year-old Philadelphia girl named Ashley Flores is not missing.

Cell phone numbers are not about to be released to telemarketers, and you do not need to register your cell phone on the do-not-call list.

I've always had this little fear that I'm going to let an urban legend or flagrant hoax get through the editing system. A daily check of Snopes.com wasn't practical, but then I discovered the site's RSS and subscribed to the What's New and 25 Hottest Urban Legends feeds. (All of the above stories were debunked on Snopes before being published in newspapers.)

I don't take the time to read every entry Snopes sends out; I already spend too much time reading crap on the Web. But I do read their one-line summary -- just enough to jog my memory should one of the hoaxes ever try to make it into my paper.


At 6:05 AM, June 07, 2006, Anonymous Mike Eiler said...

The paper I work for ran the story about the bunny some guy was going to cook if he didn't get a bazillion dollars. Toby, I think.

We called local animal-rights people, really went after it -- like it was real news.

It was really quite embarrassing when I checked Snopes the next day. (And of course it was the next day.)

I suggested a follow on how the Internet can fool even sophisticated, fancy-pants papers like ours. No dice. Ah well.

At 10:23 AM, June 07, 2006, Blogger Doug Fisher said...

Dang. There just went an entire sweeps-week set of story ideas.


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