In the last few days, this television news broadcast caused a lot of laughter among people who, naturally, thought the reporter was the victim of a prank:
But, apparently, Deez Nuts is a legitimate third-party candidate for the White House in 2016. Sure, he’s a high school kid, but he filled out the paperwork for the FEC and that’s how a person gets through the gate. So, for now, he’s legit.
This reminded us of another news report, one that an anchor delivered in a completely deadpan way:
That one was not real. It is a very funny prank on a broadcaster, but it’s pretty easy to see through it once you get the joke. It’s easy to speculate that a lot of people, who simply think Asians have weird names, didn’t see any joke there whatsoever. That notion makes it a bit funnier, but it might not be a true assumption.
But both news broadcasts above — one true, one not true — are presented as fact, a word that many people use synonymously with truth. And fact-checking in today’s news-gathering world, trust us on this (or don’t), often means that something appeared on Wikipedia. But the only real criteria Wikipedia has to back up facts is the presence of something else on the Internet that states it as a fact. We know a high-profile author whose name is misspelled on his Wikipedia page and after two years being unable to get it corrected, the misspelling spilled into other news sites. Now, those news sites that carried over Wikipedia’s mistake are what justify the misspelling on Wikipedia. So the guy’s name has, basically, changed.
And does it really matter in the end? History — particularly autobiography, where a lot of history comes from — is often described by scholars as nothing more than distorted facts that are filtered through frail human memory to give meaning to the past. So maybe there is no “truth.”
Marcus Aurelius said a long time ago, “Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.”
Then again, who knows if he said that? We found it on Wikipedia.
Editor’s Note: There are no hyperlinks to outside sources attesting to the facts represented here. Not by accident.