Like the Timex Social Club, I spend a lot of time lamenting the rumors that surround me every day. How do they get started? And where do they get crazy? In Truthmonger, I’ll try to suss out the kernels of truth in the rumors that are taking up airspace in gossip columns, blogs, and our tips inbox.
THE RUMOR: Kanye West is dead, killed in a “bizarre car crash in Los Angeles.”
TRUTH THRESHOLD: Sigh. You guys.
HOW THIS RUMOR GOT STARTED: Last night, some online pranksters concocted the below “front page of Fox News”:
Thanks to the speed with which news can travel around the Internet—and the seemingly insatiable hunger for dead celebrities sparked by the passings of Michael Jackson, Billy Mays, etc.—the story made its way to other forums, and “RIP Kanye West” quickly became a trending topic on the fake-news magnification service Twitter.
KNOCK IT TO ITS KNEES, BABY: So the “Fox News story” was a Photoshopped copy of the site’s front page, and it spread like wildfire thanks to people not realizing that yfrog.com—the image-hosting service that was one source for the above mock front page—. Denizens of the Internet, the navigation toolbar on your browser is there for a reason! (Not to mention: Do you really think Fox News would put Kanye’s death as the lead story on its homepage without some sort of gloat-filled Bill O’Reilly “commentary” as the first link below the mainbar? C’mon now.) Kanye’s girlfriend Amber Rose took to Twitter to refute the rumor and tried to get #LongLiveYeezy to trend on the microblogging service. As of now? It’s losing out to Balloon Boy and “happy hump day,” because the Internet’s celebrity bloodlust is only matched by its, uh, lust-lust. (Which may be why she gave up her crusade for the purposes of celebrating Hump Day.)
This all seems like a calculated grab for more hacky Internet-comedians to Twitter-snicker “Imma let you finish, but Balloon Boy was the best hoax of all time!” Sigh. And to think that the last set of Balloon Boy/”Imma let you finish” jokes disappeared into the abyss of instantly outdated humor only 48 hours ago….
["Fox News" screengrab via Miss Info]
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