Sunday, January 18, 2015

234. Authenticity

“Now get out and leave me alone. I want to take a nap.”

“But listen brother …” C.W. wouldn’t stop. “This plan is so simple, plain, or reliable as to leave no opportunity for error, misuse, or failure.”

I finally rolled over on the couch where I was resting. “So what is so foolproof about it?”

“Ah,” he said, “I thought you would never ask.” He was in what he calls his “TV Preacher” shape with a huge head of hair in a ridiculous pompadour and his shiny suit with all sorts of expensive-looking jewelry. “It fits you and I perfectly.”

“You and me” I said. “But how does it fit?”

“Our strengths,” he said. “You know what a good salesman I am.”

“That’s questionable,” I said. “Remember your weight-loss scheme?”

“Okay,” he said, “so it’s hard to sell a weight-loss program based on diet and exercise. That was a loser, but this is a winner for sure. Just consider your great strength.”

“And,” I said, “That is?”



He said, “I hear the things you tell Mrs. Big Dope. Don’t tell me you’re not the town’s greatest exaggerator.”

“Leave me alone,” I said.

“No,” he said, “this is great. There’s money to be made in these false news outlets.”

“These what?”

“You know … these supposed news outlets that have the look of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact”

“You mean these sources of fake newscasts that look authentic? Like  Fox ‘News’ or ‘The Onion’”?

“Exactly. We’ll start one called ‘The Deciding Factor’ and make a fortune selling ad space on it, except our stories will sound real. Want to hear some I’ve already made up?”

“Why not?”

“Okay,” he said. “Here we go … flash … a candidate for the American Presidency yesterday stated that, if elected, he would increase tax revenue by cutting taxes.” He laughed. “Pretty well-to-do, prosperous, or opulent, eh?”

“Pretty rich all right,” I said. But two things.”


“One, you must get your Galactic Universal Translator fixed and two, that fake news cast happens to be true, many times over.”

“No,” he said. “Nobody is that stupid.”


“Well here’s another,” he said. “Flash … “A recent publication stated that 13 percent of Americans believe that President Barack Obama is something called the Antichrist.”

“Sorry,” I said. “Sorry but fact.”

He was crestfallen. “There are that many Americans who believe that?”

“Afraid so.”

“Are they allowed to run free?”

“Afraid so.”

“That may,” he said, “ruin my next one.” He consulted a notepad he carried in his pocket. “Some Americans believe that humans and dinosaurs co-existed?”

“Afraid so. Same bunch.”

“Oh,” he said, a somber look on his face. He flipped a page in his notes read, and looked up. “The Universe is 6,000 years old?”

“Afraid that one is taken as well.”

“Hmm,” he said. “Maybe I’m using too many simple stories.” He flipped to a new page. “Here’s one specifically oriented to your state.”


“That’s the one. Now here are some factual rankings based on all 50 states.” He took a breath. “Your state is … Are you ready?”

“I might as well be.”

“Number 48th in the country in the health of your citizens.”


“Number 48th in the percentage of college graduates.”


“Number 7 in obesity of your citizens.”

“Sad to say.”

“Number three in infant mortality.”


“Number 44 in number of doctors per 1,000 citizens.”


“Number two in persons below the poverty level.”


“Number 12 in violent crime.”


“Shall I go on?”

“No,” I said, “you’ve made me despondent enough.”

“So here’s our fake news release. Flash … your governor just announced that his number one priority for your state is .... Are you sitting down? cutting taxes. That will get us some chuckles.”

I tried to speak. “Uh …”

“Good one right?”

“Uh, C.W. …”

“A real knee-slapper.”

Uh, C.W. …”

“What? I’m working here.”

“Some bad news for you …”

I'm using this photo for my cover on the monthly
reports to the Falloonian Elders now. - C.W.

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And see also
- C.W.

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