Oh boy. Where do I even begin?
You’d think by now that people would know that The Onion is a fake news organization that parodies the real news. But as Literally Unbelievable has showed us, that’s sadly not the case.
So today when The Onion‘s Twitter feed began live-tweeting about a fake hostage crisis on Capitol Hill — linking to a fake news story on its website accompanied by a photo of John Boehner holding a gun to a child’s head — people FOR REASONS KNOWN ONLY TO THEM AND GOD took it seriously. Capitol Police are even reported to be “investigating” the fake incident.
Others were offended — OFFENDED — that a media outlet known for having no sacred cows would dare to attempt to make a statement about the gridlock in Congress and the proliferation of guns in America. HOW DARE THEY?! You’d think that, of all people, people following The Onion on Twitter would know better and not hesitate to wonder, “Is this real?”
From the OBVIOUSLY FAKE Onion story…
Shaken witnesses reported that the ordeal broke out around 10 a.m. this morning, when in the midst of a Capitol tour, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) suddenly burst into the National Statuary Hall with a pair of black panty hose over his head and began firing a Beretta 9 mm handgun into the air, shouting, “Everybody down! Everybody get the f*ck down!”
The schoolchildren were then led into the nearby Great Rotunda at gunpoint, where an agitated, profusely sweating Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) bound their hands and feet and duct-taped them to various sculptures, including a monument to women’s suffrage and a marble figure of former president James Garfield. Although cell phones were confiscated immediately, one student managed to tweet a short video showing what appeared to be Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pistol-whipping a chaperone who attempted to yell for help.
Cue the avalanche of righteous indignation!
Reports the Washington Post:
Twitter users immediately responded by asking whether this was a joke or if the site had been hacked. In recent months, hackers known as the Script Kiddies have hacked the Twitter accounts of Fox News, Wal-Mart, Unilever, Pfizer and NBC News, often posting fake news with “BREAKING” at the front.
The Onion office in New York confirmed that the tweet was not a hack, however, saying, “This is satire. That’s how it works.”
In Washington, people didn’t find the tweet so funny. One person wrote, “I work at the Capitol and I just yelled at my coworkers that there was gunfire… you scared the [expletive] out of me #fakenewsscares.”
If only people got as worked up over actual gun violence as they did today over a fake news organization’s gun violence spoof, the world would be a better place.