Is it just me, or is the news that erupted this past weekend concerning the adult entertainment industries’ acquisition of a sextape starring Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton being the biggest news event in history if it ever actually happened, the greatest story ever?
Ha ha, made you click, sucker.
I rarely fall for clickbait, but when I do, my level of annoyance varies wildly depending on the context and content.
Like, if the headline says, “You won’t believe what happened when these adorable puppies were left home alone,” and then I’m treated to a clearly handheld video of two adorable puppies wrestling, I’m not going to fire off an angry missive to the offending website’s internet hosting provider or hire a collective of elite eastern European hackers to launch a devastating denial of service attack.
Of course it’s not shocking that the puppies were wrestling; wrestling, eating everything that they can get their mouths around, indiscriminate pooping and being adorable is what puppies do. And someone had to be holding the camera, so there’s no way that they were actually home alone. Unless there was a third puppy behind the camera filming, because the puppies have an elaborate plan to slowly leech away marketshare from WWE’s near monopoly on the US wrestling business with PWC (Puppy Wrestling Challenge). I’d watch that. I look forward to their “Attitude Era”. But I digress … CUTE PUPPIES, so I say it’s a victimless crime.
When it starts to suck, though, is when “internet journalists” make shocking implications via a headline and photo combination that never materialize in the article that follows. For instance, this story from Cyber-Breeze.com via TMZ about famous bisexual people that promised “you won’t believe #12” and showed this pic above the headline:
Okay, I don’t normally click on this kind of bullshit as I don’t care what constitutes the boundaries of anyone’s personal sexual spectrum, but when I see a pic of what appears to be Roger Murtaugh (Danny Glover) making out with a dude at some kind of entertainment industry event, it peaks my curiosity. Interpret that however you like.
But after scrolling through the entire article, Danny Glover is nowhere to be found, so why did post author, Junior W, use that photo? Are Shutterstock and Getty Images having fire sales in their “Completely out of context celebrity photos for clickbait articles” sections? What did Danny Glover ever do to you, Junior W? You know he’s been too old for this shit since ’87; why you gotta bust Danny’s balls?
Oh, and #12, author Sapphire, was not remotely shocking as she has been candid about her sexuality in the media. Just like everyone else on the list.
Ditto on the suckage of anything that violates Betteridge’s Law (which, if you’re unfamiliar, states that “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no”) because it means that the author has no supportive facts for their story, so they had to phrase the headline like a Jeopardy answer to avoid litigation. Like this one from radaronline.com …
Headline: “007 Bust! More Heartbreak For Tom! Hiddleston Dropped From James Bond Movie After Swift Split?”
NO! The author, Radar Staff, not only offers no evidence that Hiddleston was signed for the film, but none that his relationship with Swift cost him the role.
In fact, the only “supporting material” offered, and I use that term with all of the sincerity of someone describing a Courtney Stodden bra, is the opinion of “former Bond Man,” actor Marcus Gilbert:
“’Posh actors like Tom are handsome, but they tend to lack the hardness you need,’ Gilbert … said.”
For those unfamiliar with Mr. Gilbert’s filmography, go here to see that HE HAS NEVER BEEN IN A BOND FILM IN ANY CAPACITY. Not even as fluffer!
According to Gilbert, he allegedly had two meetings with the producers back in the 80s before ultimately losing the role to this handsome bastard …
Prince Barin of Arboria.
I actually kind of feel bad for this author, Mr. or Miss Staff, though. When the Staffs decided to give their child the first name “Radar” they really kind of pigeon-holed him or her into a career in clickbait.
Even reputable, mass media standards, sources like FOXNEWS.com are sometimes guilty:
Headline: “Foul play suspected in widespread death, disappearance of Texas city’s cats”
I thought that this was an actual piece of journalism, until the author shared the horrifying detail that most of the cats were found half-eaten and then revealed a police sketch artist’s rendering of the suspect …
Okay, I made up that last part in a transparent attempt to keep all of you interested and clicking. Sorry, but it’s the only way that I could keep up with rockstar internet journalists like Junior W and Radar Staff; I had no choice but to get all Stephen Glass with it.
Please excuse that fabrication, and join me next week when I ask …
TOM INCONSOLABLE OVER TAYLOR AND KIM JONG-UN’S PDA AT NOBU?
Tony Marion is a writer and filmmaker who splits time between Lancaster, PA and Baltimore, MD. He lives for the work of Descendents (the band), Chuck Palahniuk and Rian Johnson. Check out the digital embodiment of procrastination he calls his website here.