Media

Dead Celebrity Mad Libs

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Paul Krassner, who knows a thing or two about fake news, probes the false reports of Jeff Goldblum's death:

I scrolled down to the bottom, where this admonition appeared: "This story was dynamically generated using a generic 'template' and is not factual. Any reference to specific individuals has been 100% fabricated by web site visitors who have created fake stories by entering a name into a blank 'non-specific' template for the purpose of entertainment. For sub-domain and additional use restrictions: FakeAWish.com."

The logo for "Fake a Wish—Celeb Fake News Generator" is a solid red circle with the warning, "Bullshit." I'm instructed to "Enter a celebrity name to see a list of fake news items about them. I type "Jeff Goldblum," only to find out there are three other ways he died: "Actor Jeff Goldblum hospitalized after traffic altercation." "Luxury yacht sinks off coast of Tropez, France. Jeff Goldblum reported missing." "Jeff Goldblum presumed dead in private plane crash."

Plus there's a link to "Back By Popular Demand! Jeff Goldblum is new Masturbation World Champion!"

Fake a Wish has been around for years; essentially, it inserts any name you request into a series of pre-written stories. If you want to launch a news hoax of your own, the site is here. On an unrelated note, I'd like to congratulate Vice President Joseph Biden on becoming the new masturbation world champion.