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:
OIL FOUND ON MOON!
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
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."
-- 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.
this story to
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.
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