You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Life vs The Onion: Or, Deadeye Dick

It started as a joke and ended up as a shot heard round the Internet, with the joker losing his job and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, suffering a blow to its credibility.

A man in Nashville has admitted that, in trying to shock a colleague with a joke, he put false information into a Wikipedia entry about John Seigenthaler Sr, a former editor of The Tennessean in Nashville.

Brian Chase, 38, who until Friday was an operations manager at a small delivery company, told Mr. Seigenthaler on Friday that he had written the material suggesting that Mr. Seigenthaler had been involved in the assassinations of John and Robert Kennedy. Wikipedia, a nonprofit venture that is the world's biggest encyclopedia, is written and edited by thousands of volunteers...
- Katharine Q Seelye, "A Little Sleuthing Unmasks Writer of Wikipedia Prank", New York Times (11 December 2005)

Telling reporters and critics to "stick to the issues that matter," Republican presidential candidate George W. Bush declined to answer questions Monday concerning his alleged involvement in a 1984 Brownsville, TX, mass murder, in which 17 people were ritualistically murdered and skinned.

"I will not stoop to discussing that," said Bush during a campaign stop at a Bay Area software-packaging plant. "We've got people across this country without health care, a broken educational system, taxes that are way too high, and all you want to talk about is something that may or may not have happened 16 years ago? I'm sorry, but I find that offensive."

The Bush campaign has found itself increasingly dogged by what is being dubbed "The Mass-Murder Issue." On April 3, 1984, 17 members of Children Of The Fold, a fringe religious group, were found brutally murdered in the basement of the Brownsville apartment building they used as their temple. The bodies were badly mutilated, many with skin removed, and numerous severed legs were nailed to a wall in the configuration of a seven-pointed star, the cult's symbol. Many of the victims' hearts and brains were cut out.

Bush, who lived in the same neighborhood as the sect and reportedly attended several of its meetings, disappeared the night of the slayings and resurfaced three days later, saying that he had "taken a trip to clear his head." A pen from Bush's oil company was found to have been used as a gouging tool in a victim's eye socket, and bloody footprints at the scene were found to match a pair of Bush's shoes. The future governor of Texas was never formally charged, and in October 1984, after a six-month investigation, the case was ruled a mass suicide...

According to political pundits, Bush's dodging of the mass-murder question has damaged his campaign.

"When Bush refuses to answer one way or the other, he comes off as a shady politician who cannot be trusted," said Robert Novak of CNN's The Capital Gang. "He also comes off as an insane mass murderer who kills lots of people and eats them"...
- "Bush 'Refuses To Dignify' Mass-Murder Allegations: 'That's Not What This Election Is About,' He Says" 36(8) The Onion (8 March 2000)

UPDATE: From "Cheney shoots man on Texas quail hunting trip: Man wounded in accidental shooting said to be ‘alert and doing fine’," The Associated Press (12 February 2006):

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and wounded a companion during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, spraying the fellow hunter in the face and chest with shotgun pellets. Harry Whittington, a millionaire attorney from Austin, was “alert and doing fine” in a Corpus Christi hospital Sunday after he was shot by Cheney on a ranch in south Texas, said Katharine Armstrong, the property’s owner...

Didn't King Ludwig of Bavaria used to engage in similar activities?

Further comments:

"What? It was DAMN QUAIL you were telling me to shoot at?" -- Cheney to Lloyd Bentsen.

"Next time, have the courtesy to invite him to a family dinner before you shoot him." -- Saddam Hussein

"We can certify quite categorically that the Vice-President of the United States had no involvement whatsoever in this shooting" -- Earl Warren

"No more Brokeback Mountain jokes, smart alec. This was a bona fide hunting trip." -- Mary Cheney

"Whittington was Cuban?" -- Teddy Roosevelt

"That's one-all for the Vice-Presidency now." -- Aaron Burr.

"I can't remember anything clearly... it's a blur... I heard Harry say 'Shoot that bush over there' and the next thing I know, I was screaming 'You damned Manchurian Candidate traitor!" -- Cheney

"Ach, Rishchka, for head-shot, duck gun is useless, no? Glock will do job much faster, yes, more humane." -- Vladimir Putin

"You can't spell 'Corpus Christi' without a 'corpse'..." -- Captain Kirk

"Only an idiot would go duck-hunting with Cheney" -- Antonin Scalia

No comments: