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You’ve all read the headlines, the super-real but often “Fake News” stories posted to Facebook and other social media. After all, if it’s posted on Facebook it’s got to be true, right? For example, here are a few headlines and stories I found this this morning …

  1. Court orders princess to stop pea-ing her bed after prince files formal complaint.
  2. The family of the Ugly Duckling successfully sued the estate of Hans Christian Anderson for the years of body-shaming endured by the abused duck.

    Ugly duckling.

  3. In a startling disclosure, The Beast announced today that he, too, identifies as a Beauty.
  4. The bodies of a local mean woman and her three ugly, lumpy, and clumsy young daughters were discovered late last night in their home. Each had a burning cinder lodged in their throat. Authorities have released a grainy surveillance photo of what appears to be a large pumpkin fleeing the scene. A police spokesperson believes the alleged pumpkin was used as a getaway vehicle. Missing from the home were two glass slippers and a fancy ball gown. There are no suspects at this time.
  5. Police have arrested 23-year-old Goldilocks (no last name). According to anonymous unnamed sources, the woman is charged with various crimes after breaking into the Bear family home on Pudding Street. A photo posted to Facebook clearly shows the sex offender in a bed with one of the bears. It is believed she used porridge in varying degrees of warmth to gain the trust of the bears, one of whom was a baby. Additional charges are pending, including destruction of property (a stool).
  6. The defendants, teens Hansel and Gretel, were sentenced to death for the brutal murder of Witch Hazel, the kind old woman who made homes for the needy from bits of leftover Halloween candy.
  7. The Three Little Pigs named to host the all-new HGTV show, Blowing Down Tiny Houses. Their first guest is a Wolf from a nearby village.
  8. Breaking News! Alice charged with trespassing in Wonderland. She’s currently in hiding, possibly behind the looking glass.
  9. The dish ran away with the spoon. The spoon’s parents called the police and the dish was charged with abduction. He was recently sentenced to hard time in Old Mother’s Cupboard.
  10. Chicken Little Now Identifies as Turkey Lurkey. Henny Penny Sues for Divorce.
  11. Three Blind Mice Pass California Driver’s License Exam.
  12. Hickory Dickory “Doc” Arrested for Over-Prescribing Oxycontin to Actors and Musicians.
  13. Georgie Porgy Kissed the Girls and Spent Six Months in Sex Rehab with Anthony Weiner.
  14. The House that Jack Built Seized by Courts After Cops Find Large Marijuana Grow Operation Inside.
  15. Humpty Dumpty Sat on a Wall and Was Arrested for peeping through the widow’s window .
  16. Jack and Jill Went Up a Hill. Jogger Finds Jill’s Body Two Weeks Later.
  17. Little Bo Beep Jailed as Leader of Sheep Tail Smuggling Ring.
  18. Little Jack Horner Arrested for Murder of Miss Muffett After Thumbprint Discovered on Muffet’s Tuffett.
  19. Tommy Tittle Mouse Arrested for Trespassing in Other Men’s Ditches. Will Serve 60 Days in Old Woman’s Shoe.
  20. Man in the Moon to Welcome Americans Who Left Earth After 2016 Election.
  21. Teacher Arrested for Having Sex with Mary’s Little Lamb. 22-Year-Old Educator Did Not Reply to Reporter’s Messages.
  22. 2,200 Pounds of Cocaine Discovered on Michael’s Boat as He Attempted to Row it Ashore on the Florida Keys.
  23. Italian Restaurants Ordered to Install Shields on Buffet Tables After Man Sneezes Meatball Onto Floor and Out the Door.
  24. Police Pursuit Takes Officers Over the River and Through the Woods. Ends at Grandma’s House Where They Discover Illegal Edible Marijuana Operation—Pot-Infused Puddings and Pumpkin Pies.
  25. Mary Mary Quite Contrary Burns Mouth on McMother Cupboard’s Hot Pease Porridge. Sues Fast Food Giant for 100 Million.
  26. Man Pops Weasel. Sentenced to 5 Years For Public Sex Display.

    Weasel popping

  27. Same Sex Couple Sues Baker for Refusing to Pat Their Cakes.
  28. Rub-a-Dub-Dub Three Men in a Tub Becomes Legal in North Carolina.
  29. Simon No Longer to be Called Simple Says University President. More Safe Spaces Needed. The Word “Pie” To Be Banned from Campus Conversations.
  30. Skipping Deemed Offensive on Many College Campuses. Lou Organizes Massive Protest.
  31. To Market, To Market, To Buy a Fat Size-Challegend Pig.
  32. Wee Willie Winkie Charged as Pedophile for Peeping Into Windows of Children While Wearing Nightgown.
  33. Yankee Doodle Charged with Fraud After Attempting to Pass a Feather as Macaroni.

What could children learn from Nursery Rhymes? Click here to find out.

Many of you call on me from time to time to answer questions about police procedure and all things related. To do so, I typically draw on my own personal experience and training, and the knowledge acquired through first-hand encounters over the years.

When I respond to such inquiries, and when writing this blog, teaching workshops, etc., one thing I never do is present inaccurate information, especially something that’s intended to sway a writer’s opinion, feelings, or the outcome of a book. I offer fact. I provide fact. This blog is a factual collection of, well, facts.

The same is true in law enforcement. Embellishing a police report to make things seem in favor of one party over another, or to skew how something happened to cover a particularly unfavorable fact, is wrong. Therefore, it’s not supposed to be done. If so, well, there’s termination and possible time before a judge and/or behind bars.

We tell our children to always be truthful. To do otherwise would be wrong, right? That’s what we teach our kids, right? TELL THE TRUTH!!!

Lies hurt people.

Lies are wrong.

Enter today’s media.

Someone should teach them how to report actual fact. Imagine today’s reporter standing at the mic during a spelling bee …

Moderator – “Mr. Wouldn’tknowthetruthifitbithimonthebutt, your word is NEWS. Please use the 2017 definition.”

“News. Um … something somebody tells you and, um … no matter what it is you must believe it. Then, when passing along the information, you are, um … free to make up crap and insert it into the “news.” And so on. That’s what we do—open our mouths and crap falls out. News.”

I know, and I apologize. The microphone was a bit crudely drawn. Other than than … pretty much on the money.

So, to avoid overdosing on fake news, here’s a handy recipe. I hope it helps.

lies

Truth in the News, a Recipe

Step One – Read “news” from all media sources.

Step Two – Try really hard to find eight or ten somewhat credible not too outlandish reports that seem to repeat similar bits and pieces of things you think could be true, good or not.

Step Three – Write down those “could-be-true” items, if any.

Step Four – Compare “could-be-true” stuff. Again, if any.

Step Five – Whittle down the list to the three stories that seem most believable.

Step Six – Thumbtack the three best stories to the family dartboard.

Step Seven – Close your eyes and toss a dart at the board.

Step Eight – Whichever story struck by the dart is the go-to “real news” story for the day. Don’t worry, it will soon change so be sure to keep plenty of paper and sharpened darts handy.

Step Nine – This one is important – Please, please, please, try not to allow emotion to control how a media report is perceived simply because it contains words you like/something you’d like to believe.

Be calm.

Wait for facts from a trusted source, not one that’s pushing an agenda, even if that agenda is one you favor. Yes, today’s media is, believe it or not, agenda driven.

Remember, things are not always as they appear. Take a breath. Step back. Do a bit of research.

Finally, in today’s Wild West shootout-type coverage of almost any topic, it’s certainly best to not read one “news” source merely because they’re “on your side.” It’s not a healthy approach in today’s climate of “Us Against Them.”