Adventures in Fake Journalism: Chain Letter (Part 2)

While researching two further articles on the subject of Chain Letter I happened to notice that when compiling my first article concerning its endeavors into the field of fake journalism I'd missed a number of examples of same featured in the stage-setting opening credits montage.

This article, while purporting to be about an elite special ops team being ambushed is, upon closer inspection, just a wikipedia article about POWs during the invasion of Iraq. There are a few puzzling notes, however - first off, the correct date of the invasion that appeared in the wikipedia piece (2003), has been replaced in the fake newspaper with the year 1998 - when there profoundly wasn't an invasion of Iraq. Also, what does 'North National' mean? Is that supposed to be a city? An area of the country?

More importantly, though, what the hell is a picture of the twin towers burning doing in an article about POWs?

'Trenches of Afganistan”? First off, that's not how the country's name is spelled - shoddier editing than you'd expect from North National's oldest paper, don't you think? Also, Afghanistan's battlefield isn't exactly cobwebbed with man-made trenches.

Note that there's another explosion pictured here, which is just as inappropriate given the story as the last one had been. The text of the article is the same as last time, but now I'm able to make out more of it - in addition to that brief segment about Iraq POWs (with the date now corrected), the remainder of the article is filler text about a European Junior Football Championship game between Belgium and Holland.

Jumping backwards in time, the next photo-negative headline is about the Y2K crisis, which is kind of a weird thing to bring up in a movie about dangerously pervasive technology. I mean, if your point about the dangers of a world oversaturated with computer technology, why would you point out the one time everyone one was scared of technology and then nothing happened?

The text, again, is about that same football match.

Also, that's one of the most confusing newspaper mastheads I've ever seen. According to the mid-line, the Herald's section E is 'International News At It's(sic) Best' - overlooking the typo, why is a Y2K story in the international section? Small insets also promise 'Daily Scores & Statistics' and 'financial highlights and more', suggesting that section E, in addition to international and tech news, also contains the business section and sports.

That's one hell of a fat paper.

The text this time starts off talking about technology - in fact, it offers the definition of the word 'technology' offered by a wikipedia article (among other sources) before moving into more text about the battle of Basra. At least this time the smoke makes a little bit of sense, as it may be representative of the tear gas used on the protesters.

The text here is yet another mixture of POW stories with Footie results, the one puzzling element is 'Financial Breakthrough', which doesn't have anything to do with either the purported subject of the story, or the actual filler text that was used. This one's just weird.

Look, it's a new fake newspaper! Illinois' finest, apparently! Too bad they use the same 'definition of technology/pow stories' filler text as North National's best newspaper does. The real question here is how this story about a single vet who hasn't committed a crime hooking up with some Luddites is a worth a giant banner headline. Also, how did they know about it? Did the criminal organization put out a press release concerning the addition of an AWOL soldier to their ranks?

1 comment:

DM said...

"War Vets Over Take Software Company" Like, they're over Take Software, which is the name of a software company that has somehow offended them? Or did the war vets overtake the software company, like in a race, but the copy editor was asleep and missed the typo.