Tuesday, December 22, 2009

2009: The year that wasn't

Revisiting the top stories from (fake) 2009. (For the full versions of these stories and more daily news satire, visit CAP News.)

February: Report — Most teens can’t recognize a newspaper

ST. PETERSBURG, FLA. (CAP) — A new study out of the Poynter Institute shows that more than 80 percent of teenagers don’t recognize a newspaper even when one is placed directly in front of them.

Presented with a series of publications and periodicals, most of the 300 subjects between the ages of 13 and 17 could identify comic books, videogame instruction manuals and magazines such as Sports Illustrated and Cosmo. But shown a newspaper, the majority said they’d never seen one before and could not identify its purpose.

“Dude, I know that looks familiar,” said participant Josh Zwybeck, 16, when shown a copy of the Orlando Sentinel. “I think I saw a homeless guy in the park sleeping under one.”

“Some of the participants were even a little frightened by them,” said the Poynter Institute’s Dick Edmunton, who noted that several of the teenage girls “freaked out” and had to be calmed down when the ink came off on their hands.

Of the 20 percent who could identify the publication specifically as a “newspaper,” the majority said they had seen one in a movie or on a television show, such as the ’70s-set police drama “Life on Mars.”

“That’s how people would download their news back then,” said Carla Fredricks, 15. “Or, you know, however it got to them.”

One positive finding from the report, though, is that when shown a newspaper and explained what it was for, many of the teenagers thought it was a “pretty cool” idea.

“It would be kind of neat having all those stories and things together in one place, so you could carry it around and stuff,” said Luke Bertinelli, 16. “Plus, I’m pretty sure you could roll a joint with it if you really needed to.”

April: Goldman Sachs accused of unregulated baby trading

NEW YORK (CAP) — A new report out of the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) suggests that investment firm Goldman Sachs has been taking advantage of loopholes in trading regulations to invest heavily in the future sale of babies, primarily in Third World and African nations.

“By directing investors toward the baby futures market, they’re basically betting that the price of babies will go up dramatically in the coming months,” explained CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler.

Asked whether this could possibly be legal, Gensler responded, “Well, it’s not technically illegal, if that’s what you mean.

“But it certainly doesn’t seem like a nice thing to do,” he added.

Child advocates agree, saying that investing in the buying and selling of babies is “inappropriate and immoral.”

“With its actions, Goldman Sachs is tacitly condoning the sale of babies to the highest bidder,” said Emma Rodstein, president of Babies Without Borders (BWOB), at a press conference attended by a CAP News reporter and one intern from Babytalk magazine, who appeared to be there for the free vegan beet cubes.

Goldman Sachs officials declined to be interviewed for this story, but one executive said off the record that the corporation has done nothing wrong. “We are investing in baby futures, so really these are just paper babies we’re talking about,” he said. “What could possibly be bad about that?”

He then offered to help invest the CAP News reporter’s entire retirement fund in the burgeoning baby market. “You can trust me,” he said.

[Read the rest at North Shore Sunday.]

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