In 2015, there’s the quality-fake news and the crappy-fake news.
Examples? Of course.
The quality: Fake news source The Onion quoted fake people on a very real, if unbelievable, subject on March 3, 2015: As the Utah Senate weighed legal medical marijuana last week, a DEA agent testified that he came across “rabbits that had cultivated a taste for the marijuana” while eradicating illegal pot farms in the wild back-country. It’s hard to believe, a drug enforcement agent’s encounter with stoned rabbits, but that part’s real. The fake part: The Onion quoted fake people’s reactions to the all-too-real news. “Rabbits are going to be getting high anyway,” one hilariously fake person said. “Better that it be safe, legal, and regulated.”
The crappy: Fake news site The Daily Currant wrote a story under the headline “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37 in Colorado On First Day of Legalization” on Jan. 2, 2014. It began ridiculously: “Colorado is reconsidering its decision to legalize recreational pot following the deaths of dozens due to marijuana overdoses.” How anyone could believe such a story, from such an outlet, is still dumbfounding.
And now some more fake news is on the loose — and it falls on the crappy, lowest-common-denominator side. The Racket Report already has hundreds of thousands of shares on its recent piece, “KFC Gets Occupational Business License To Sell Marijuana In Colorado Restaurants.”
Nevermind the story and its preposterous hypothetical for just one moment — what about the scrolling “News Ticker” above the headline pitching other “news” including “Exclusive Photos Of Miley Cyrus And Justin Bieber’s Wedding!” and “69 People Die After Drinking Bad Coors Lite At A Funeral.” Neither of those headlines threw off the 200,000-plus people sharing this story to their own social media?
The Racket Report’s piece said KFC “decided to incorporate a marijuana dispensary with their Colorado franchise restaurants. Franchisees have the opportunity to expand into the business for an additional $35,000 setup fee. The KFC Corporation was approved on February 3, 2015 for their Marijuana Retail Recreational Pot / Medical Marijuana Occupational Business License. Currently, 42 of the nearly 100 KFC franchises in the state of Colorado have added this ‘option’ to their menu.”
Sounds believable, right?
Wrong. As I wrote a year ago as the “Marijuana Overdoses Kill 37” story was going viral:
We’re all too discerning to believe everything we read online. But you read this and didn’t check (the site’s) About page or proven, local-to-Colorado news sources before Facebooking it. Next time you see a major piece of news being reported by an unrecognized entity, you might think to question its content before spreading it as fact.
The Racket Report’s About page says “some stories on this website are fictitious.” Gee, really?
The beauty of the weed-at-KFC ridiculousness comes in the news that there is a KFC selling marijuana in California — though it’s a Kind For Cures medical dispensary and not a Kentucky Fried Chicken fast-food restaurant, as Inquisitr reported.
The shop’s website even notes, “This ain’t no chicken joint!”