A few issues ago I wrote a “fake news story” about the Ol’ Dirty filling their news editor position with an orangutan named Pat. During a conversation with the Emerald‘s business manager Kathy Carbone, she complimented me on the story as well as asked me, “It’s funny, but can you just write that? Or is there some kind of rules against writing fake, ridiculous quotes?” I told Kathy that anyone who thinks a chimp getting hired at a school paper is real was not worth my time. We never received any complaints.
Unfortunately, the same can not be said for the Vancouver Voice, ran by former OC editor-in-chief Ossie Bladine. In a section titled “Not Real News” they ran a fake story about a local business considering implementing casino games for children as part of their business model. Just wait, it gets better.
Apparently a local citizen called the Washington State Gambling Commission and the business is now under investigation. Now, I can understand Ossie’s problem of readers’ lazy eyes — I have read links to this very blog (mostly from Tea Party people who hate me) saying that “there’s not even an author to this blog!” when clearly, my name is directly under the title.
What is more confusing, however, is how on Earth anyone could think that a news organization like the Voice would run a straight news story about a children’s gambling establishment with no commentary or editorial substance. Is the generation gap becoming so large that The Onion is becoming a dividing line?
This is not the first time this year the Voice has had such confusion over a clearly labeled and clearly satirical article. In their Jan. 21 issue, the Voice ran a story about The Columbian changing its name to The Fort Vancouver Tribune. Apparently this caused some mental anguish for their readers, and Ossie had to formulate a very obvious, simply-worded note for his slower readers that read, We’d like to state that this was not quite real news–as in, we made it up.”
In any case Ossie said, “From an outsider’s view, this is pretty funny. But for Big Al’s, a locally owned business that works hard to keep a family friendly image, not so funny.” But Ossie’s wrong, isn’t he? It’s not funny.
It’s absolutely hilarious.