Newspaper runs Borowitz satire as news story

My former employers at the Boston Herald somehow managed to read Andy Borowitz’s story about Dick Cheney challenging La Hillary to a shooting contest as a real story. Here’s the top of what Borowitz originally wrote:

Cheney Challenges Hillary to Hunting Contest
‘Meet Me in the Woods,’ Says Veep

One day after Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton professed an abiding affection for guns and hunting, her love of firearms came under attack from another sometime hunter in Washington.

Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Vice President Dick Cheney said that a hunting contest between him and the New York senator was “the only way” to determine whether Sen. Clinton’s tales of her gun prowess were for real.

The only thing that’s better than that is the correction the paper ran:

An article in today’s Herald regarding comments purportedly made by Vice President Dick Cheney was inaccurate and should have noted that it was based on a blogger’s satire and was not provided by the Associated Press.

The story about the non-story was broken by Boston Daily, the blog of another one of my sometime employers, Boston Magazine. (No matter what you might otherwise have been told, Boston is in fact a small town.)

We were bamboozled,” Herald publisher Kevin Convey told Boston Daily. He explained that the item got picked up as straight news in Google, and was folded into unrelated wire reports from the AP, and appeared online and in the print edition.

“We failed to double-check the item against the Meet the Press website, which we should have done. We have changed our policies a bit to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Convey added.

My sympathies, Kev, because you have to explain someone a mistake made by someone else but let’s make it clear: you weren’t bamboozled. That suggests malicious intent on the part of someone else. This one was self-inflicted.

BTW, Borowitz rightly makes a big deal of the fact that he is “Winner Of The First-Ever National Press Club Award For Humor” but I think this is an even better honor


I hate it when they’re funnier than I am, Part 2: Social Terror Networking

Damn you, BOROWITZ!!!

After successfully sponsoring several of the presidential debates, Facebook is spreading its wings once more, announcing today that it would become the official co-sponsor of the United States’ war on terror.

In snagging the coveted anti-terrorism sponsorship, the popular networking site beat out two of its rivals, MySpace and YouTube, who had also vied to co-sponsor the global struggle against Islamic extremism.

As if that wasn’t enough to piss me off, he’s also written:

Obama Wins Country Music Entertainer of the Year … Coming off a weekend in which he racked up victories in Nebraska, Washington, Louisiana, the Virgin Islands and Maine, Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) extended his amazing winning streak today by being named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year. For Mr. Obama, who is not a country music entertainer, the award represents a significant upset since it had been expected to go to longtime country favorite Kenny Chesney.

Oh, hell … stop reading me and go read him. I surrender. This blog will now be devoted to knitting and those few other topics I know even less about than politics, marketing & humor.