All the news that's fit to abuse, desecrate, adulterate, skew, twist, embellish, warp, humorize, fictionalize, satirize ... and print.


President's message: 'Get off your butt'

By John Breneman

Warning that America has turned into a nation of "flabby lard-asses," President George W. Bush unveiled a national fitness initiative on Saturday after leading White House staffers through a grueling "Abs of Steel" video workout.

An estimated 60 percent of U.S. adults are overweight, said the president, who challenged Americans to get 30 minutes of exercise each day, whether it's running, walking the dog or just spanking the monkey.

"Either you're with us, or you're with the terrorists," said Bush, noting that our national appetite for nachos and fried food contributes to the country's dependence on foreign grease.

"Our nation's health depends on every American doing his or her part," said the president, who also cautioned citizens to avoid "risky behaviors" like smoking cancer sticks and crack, shooting heroin or getting so drunk that you choke on your own vomit.

America's obesity also impacts her astronomical health care costs. For example, the nation now spends an annual $183 billion to fight heart disease alone, almost as much as we spend on Chicken McNuggets each year.

The president's high-profile fitness extravaganza also featured a 3-mile run on Saturday. After clocking in at 20:09, the president issued a bold challenge, daring other world leaders to race him.

"Forget the nuclear arms race," he said. "Hussein, Arafat, Pervez Musharraf ... I'll leave all of 'em in the dust."

The president, a self-described gym rat who likes to spend up to four hours a day playing T-Ball, plans to give a major speech on Wednesday encouraging Americans to eat more spinach and yams.

Bush is also expected to announce new federal funding for liposuction during Wednesday's first-ever presidential "Weight of the Union" address.



Apollo crude

By John Breneman

Osama bin Laden made a mysterious appearance on the Home Shopping Network last night and announced that he is slashing prices on his vast inventory of duct tape. Amid all the excitement in Baghdad, you may have missed the explosive front-page headline:


Somehow this astonishing news was not uncovered by investigative reporters at The New York Times or The Washington Post.

Even the most sensational TV news teams lag behind the media trailblazer that broke this literally unbelievable story.

Weekly World News is reporting that an unmanned NASA space probe has discovered at least 270 trillion barrels of "black gold" beneath the lunar surface.

"Gas prices will fall to 10¢ a gallon as Arab oil becomes obsolete!"

This is great news for us all. And reporter Michael Chiron would surely receive a Pulitzer Prize for his "scoop," if only there was a shred of truth to it.

Unencumbered by traditional journalistic trappings like facts and sources, his story is a peephole into the freakish world of tabloid journalism - a yellow-hued parallel universe where a California teen can buy a working Tomahawk missile for $250 on the Internet and where heavily armed "killer apes" are being trained to help finish off the war in Iraq.

Of course, no self-respecting tabloid newsrag would be complete without a story about aliens. This week's entry - "Space aliens are sending their kids to earth's universities" - depicts a lanky, bulb-headed alien walking alongside some college students while sporting a backpack.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have been known to make up stories for laughs (aka satire) and publish them under the heading "Fake News."

But these tabloid folks take it to the next level, unabashedly presenting fiction as fact with BIG, BOLD CAPITAL LETTERS and EYE-GRABBING EXCLAMATION POINTS!!

And their stuff is truly priceless. Astute readers of the Weekly World News are exposed to fascinating "information" that is conspicuously absent from the mainstream media. For example, an anonymous "CIA source" reveals a terrifying al-Qaida plot to kill thousands of innocent Americans with poison gas farts.

There's also an exclusive interview with two guys who claim they used to beat up Osama bin Laden (a "mama's boy") and swipe his lunch money. "One time we stuck his head in a toilet and flushed it," says Yanbu Qafat. "His turban became stuck in the bowl and he nearly drowned." Priceless.

Other highlights:
-- A picture of Saddam Hussein wearing a New York Yankees uniform and cap, flashing a smile and a big thumbs-up.

-- Headlines like: "First Interview With a Talking Fish - Miracle Carp Says the End is Near!"

-- Frank the Chimp, a financial wizard with an IQ of 150 who answers questions from readers.

But back to the story that caught my eye on the newsstand - oil on the moon. Apollo crude.

You haven't heard this anywhere else because, the paper reports, "notoriously secretive NASA officials are still sitting on this mind-blowing discovery."

The only source cited in the story is the "respected astronomer" Dr. Gary Wiltts, who has "close ties to the space agency." You can tell he's for real because he uses words like "neutron spectrometer."

The amazing "discovery" means we no longer have to pussyfoot around with Iraq and those pesky oil-rich countries in the Middle East. "Now we can just nuke them back to the Stone Age," says Dr. Wiltts.

Good thinking. But wait there's more.

Dr. Wiltts explains that petroleum on Earth comes from organisms, from plankton to dinosaurs, that "died millions of years ago and decayed over the eons."

Now that we've found the mother lode on the moon, he concludes, it can only mean one thing: "Similar life forms once existed there." Ahhhh, yes. Aliens.


Back to PAGE ONE

Contact the Humor Gazette: