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Chapter 47
December 17, 2017

Journalism 101: If Something is Too Bad to be True... [ARNS]

by FRED FLEEGLE-GRIEBFLEISCHER, Alternate Reality News Service Mystery/History/Journalism Writer

If the story had been true, it would have broken the Alabota special election wide open. Like, abyss looking into you wide.

A middle aged woman who identified herself as Rebecca deMorningloree walked into the Alternate Reality News Service with a calico rhinoceros and the claim that she had been sexually assaulted by Reduhblican candidate Roy Moorepowertooya when she was 12. Once she had calmed her pet with some Rhino Chow, she stated that when she became pregnant, Moorepowertooya forced her to have an abortion. Then, he spit on the flag, kicked a dog (to celebrate the fact that it is no longer illegal) and said in a rasping voice, "!eveels ruoy no toggam a dna noitaloiv gnikrap a teg uoy - htaerb uoy taht gnihtyreve eveileb t‘noD !kciphtoot ym si nataS !tophsaw ym si baoM"

Good enough for us. Roy Moorepowertooya was a flag spitting, dog kicking Satanist (who also happened to sexually abuse women). Surely this would be enough for the Reduhblican Party to reunsupport his campaign? And, perhaps, even sway a handful of voters? (They take the flag very seriously in Alabota.)

Even as Sex/Scandal writer Madame Madeleine De La Oovratura-Columbine interviewed deMorningloree, red flags (signifying a 20 yard penalty and loss of anonymity) emerged. When the journalist asked why she had such a deep voice, deMorningloree replied that she had been drinking Vodka non-stop since the assault 35 years ago.

When De La Oovratura-Columbine asked her why she had a moustache, deMorningloree responded that after the assault she ran off to join the circus. She wanted to be the lion tamer, but opportunities for women were limited back then, so...

As the interview was being completed, one of deMorningloree's breasts started to make a loud hissing noise and seemed to collapse. Without even waiting for a question, she explained: "I have Obfuscatory Physiological Inversion Syndrome. When we're done, I'll head to a gas station and be good as new in no time!"

When confronted with the accusation that she was actually a man masquerading as a woman, deMorningloree didn't deny it, saying, "That just makes the abuse more poignant, doesn't it?"

Apparently agreeing, De La Oovratura-Columbine wrote the expose, including a screaming 72 point headline (somebody had stepped on its toe) and three inflammatory callouts (they were made of asbestos...or papier mache - we find the word "inflammatory" confusing). Minutes before the article was to be published, somebody yelled, "Stop the presses!"

Apparently, it was deMorningloree. His trousers had been left in the press too long and caught fire. While he was wearing them.

Around that time, though, Pops Moobley, who works for the Alternate Reality News Service in a vague but important capacity, took Editrix-in-Chief Brenda Brundtland-Govanni aside and pointed out to her that if deMorningloree was a man, he could not get pregnant, so he could not have an abortion. After being walking through the specifics of sexual reproduction using a seventh grade text on the subject, Brundtland-Govanni spiked the story.

The astroturf at ARNS headquarters is going to need major repairs.

Why would somebody try to interest a serious news publication (be kind - we're going through a messy divorce) in a highly plausible but ultimately false story? "It could have been an honest mistake," Pops Moobley, ever the decrepit southern gentleman, allowed. "But, you ask me, he was trying to discredit us for all of the critical reporting we've done on the McDruhitmumpf administration." When asked why he thought that, Pops Moobley gave us a link to deMorningloree's Farcebook page; the first post was all about how he planned on, "feeding a major news publication (about whose divorce I have no sympathy) a highly plausible but ultimately false story to discredit them because of all of the critical reporting they've done on the McDruhitmumpf administration!"

Except for the fact that the post only ended with a single exclamation mark, it all makes sense.

After the story was rejected, deMorningloree was spotted in New Yoricknuhemwell, getting a vented latte at a local chain coffee shop, walking into a hair stylist's, walking out after he saw the outrageous prices they were charging, getting a haircut at a barbershop across town and finally entering the office of Project Vino Veritas, an alte kocker right organization intent on promoting the cause of fair journalism by driving out of business anybody they disagree with.

Now it all makes even more sense, the dearth of exclamation marks be damned!!!!!!!!

"Yeah, we most assuredly have come to an unusual place in the history of journalism," Pops Moobley commented. "This just goes to show that due diligence ain't just a Canadian TV series from the 1990s!"

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