Thursday, May 26, 2011

AT LARGE Fake News Thursday: Report: Social Security Will Run Out In 20 Minutes

WASHINGTON (CAP) - Trustees of the nation's Social Security trust fund announced today that, contrary to previous estimations that the fund would run dry in 2037, it's now expected to be depleted in about 20 minutes, give or take a few minutes.

"The economic outlook remains more uncertain than usual, but we've gone over the numbers several times, and we're pretty sure it will be gone in about 20 minutes," said Richard Anderson, the fund's chief actuary, at a press conference this morning.

Several unanticipated factors contributed to the accelerated depletion of the fund, according to Anderson, including an unprecedented number of retired people living into their 90s and beyond. "Where are the death panels when you need them?" asked Anderson.

"Um ... Just a little Social Security humor there," he added when the comment was greeted with stony silence.

The numbers were confirmed almost immediately by a study conducted at the Pew Research Center. "We now realize it would have probably been a good idea to look into this sooner," said Pew Center spokesman Dr. Francis Spitznagel, noting that their researchers had been otherwise occupied with their study of superheroine breast size.

The announcement has led to concern and in some cases panic among elderly Social Security recipients. There have been reports of runs on cat food at convenience stores around the U.S., with lines of senior citizens in some cases stretching several times around the inside of the establishments.

"Luckily they have the Keno to keep them occupied," noted Radhee Nawwaf, owner of the Cumberland Farms on Route 46 in Moonachie, N.J.

As for Medicare's trust fund, originally thought to be solvent through approximately 2029, "that ran out a week ago Tuesday," according to Anderson.

"People will probably realize it when their Lisinopril prescriptions start to run out," Anderson noted.

Senior advocates expressed shock and dismay at the development, noting that millions of senior citizens rely on Medicare for their basic health care needs. "When we see a spike in back-alley colonoscopies, don't say we didn't warn you," said Brian Fincher of the senior citizen watchdog group Citizens for Retired Associates and Professionals.

"Er ... and when I say 'see a spike in back-alley colonoscopies,' I'm not speaking literally, hopefully," Fincher added.

[Read the rest at CAP News.]

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

It's the end of the world as we know it ... And you heard it here first!

You may recall back in November when, in a column about the impending end of the world, I wondered why I seemed to be the only news outlet covering it. Specifically:

I’m referring of course to a press release I received recently from the “Hourglass Watchman” of the eBible Fellowship with the heading “A Message to the Media of the World,” which apparently includes me. Not one to bury the lead, the Watchman gets right to the point:

“May 21, 2011 — Judgment Day. God will begin to destroy the World and this Universe with a worldwide earthquake. October 21, 2011 — The End of the World. The World and the entire Cosmos will be totally destroyed by fire.”

Considering most of the press releases I get include either the phrases “craft fair” or “ham and bean supper,” this would obviously be considered Big News. But oddly enough, I’ve yet to see reportage on this by any of the rest of the Media of the World, which must still be busy tracking the Black Friday tramplings.

Well, as it turns out I was just ahead of the media curve, which seems to have caught up to me now, less than a week before the beginning of the end, when there's very little people can do about it, short of possibly making post-Rapture arrangements for their pets.

Although it's probably worth noting that as of this morning there were only 254 Rapture-related news stories on Google News, as compared to 4,053 stories about Arnold Schwarzenegger's love child.

If that's not a sign that the end is nigh, I don't know what is.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

AT LARGE Fake News Tuesday: Bob Dylan Explains Something, No One Quite Sure What

NEW YORK (CAP) - In a rare statement to his fans on his website, Bob Dylan this week explained something, possibly the recent controversy over his concerts in China, although no one seems to know exactly.

"Well my daddy, he didn't leave me much, you know he was a very simple man, but what he did tell me was this," Dylan wrote on "He did say, son, he said, China's mighty big, but I'll tell you what's bigger - God, your mammy and pappy, and maybe even your dog, depending on the breed."

The statement is accompanied by a black-and-white photo of Dylan with his hands in the pockets of his knickerbockers, his wicker trilby hat angled jauntily at the back of his head.

Dylanologists have been poring over the statement to discern its meaning. Most are in agreement that it has something to do with his recent China concerts, which were notoriously slammed by columnist Maureen Dowd in the New York Times. "Although it's possible he may just be talking about his dog," said Fred Tarshbuck, professor of Dylan Studies at Berkley.

Dowd's column takes Dylan to task for going to China where, she wrote, he "sang his censored set, took his pile of Communist cash and left." However, there's no evidence that the Chinese government censored Dylan, and several media pundits have reported that Dowd has never actually heard a Dylan song. She's also been rumored to have written the column on her Blackberry in a cab just minutes before her deadline.

Asked whether she did any actual reporting for the column, Dowd responded, "Do you know who I am? I'm Maureen Dowd, goddammit - I'm a columnist for the goddamn New York Times!" Columnists for the New York Times are prohibited from doing any actual reporting, according to a representative from the Newspaper Guild.

Dowd also defended her musical pedigree, claiming to have once had coffee with Celine Dion.

[Read the rest at CAP News.]

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

AT LARGE Fake News Tuesday: Study: More Than 80% Of Internet Is Pictures Of Cats

WASHINGTON (CAP) - A sizable majority of the Internet is taken up by pictures of cats, according to a new study out of the Pew Research Center.

"Cats have always taken up at least half the Internet, but they've really pulled away in this study," said Dr. Francis Spitznagel of the Pew Center, who noted that when the center conducted a similar survey in 2009, pictures of cats led videos of people injuring themselves by only a relatively small 18 percent margin.

"Now nobody's within 30 points of the cats," he said.

1) Kittens;
2) Fat cats;
3) Cats canoodling with other animals (dogs, mice, babies, other cats, ferrets, etc.);
4) Cats wearing clothes (mostly hats);
5) Cats wielding lightsabers;
6) That cat with the lime peel on its head;
7) Catwoman (NSFW).

"The bandwith required for the kittens and fat cats alone is greater than that taken up by Amazon, Google and the Pentagon combined," said Spitznagel, who noted that it took researchers more than a year to compile the information. "Although we were able to carry over much of the Catwoman data from our study of superheroine breast size," he noted.

Pew researchers were hard pressed to explain the feline photo surge, but Stanford University economist Wendall Wuffie says the state of the economy could be the cause, in much the same way the economic collapse of fall 2008 led to a run on cardboard turkeys.

"During tough times, people turn to stress relievers that make them feel more relaxed despite an uncertain future," said Wuffie. "And what makes people feel more relaxed than a picture of a soft, fluffy, happy kitty?

"Aside from all the porn, I mean," he added.

[Read the rest at CAP News.]