OK, so it’s only my second day back at work after being off for 2 weeks for my wedding and honeymoon, and already the news I’m reading has me feeling like I went to Jamaica and came back to a Bizarro version of my own world. First, let me tell you that I did actually have access to US news for the past week in Jamaica, as my hotel had an amazing array of global channels to watch between snorkeling trips and afternoon naps. However, none of what I saw seemed real when presented alongside truly bizarre Indian variety shows from the 70s:

And creepy, unintelligable commercials for Jamaican snack food:

Yeah. Click on CNN after watching the above and tell me if the story of the McCain volunteer who claimed to be attacked by a fervent Obama supporter doesn’t seem like a hallucination brought about by the combination of too much sun and free-flowing Appleton rum. I took one look at the headline and the picture of that absurd little girl with the backwards ‘B’ carved into her puddingish mug and said to Mr. Panda, “This shit is faaaaake. Put it back on the Trans-Caribbean Countdown.” But now that I’m home, the news doesn’t seem any more legit. After the jump, prepare to see the last shred of journalistic credibility go up in smoke and not even give you a contact high.

Seeing as how I’m still banned from accessing Gawker Media sites at work, Daily Intel doesn’t update enough for my tastes, and Radar is being run by, like, Ted Casablancas’ interns or some shit, I’m kind of SOL when it comes to snarky, funny news sources. So here I am, like a total chump, reading Newsweek. Again. Occasionally there is a decent read to be had from this publication, but in general there’s a whole lot of groaning, teeth-gnashing and eye-rolling going on in my cubicle. (Really. My cube-neighbors probably think I’m gonna go all Linda Blair on them, just in time for Halloween!) Should you ever wander over the Newsweek, though, be warned: do not attempt to read the comments. If you think reading the comments on Jezebel is like stabbing yourself in the eye with a plastic tampon applicator, then reading the Newsweek comments is like being 3-way skullfucked by the guy in the Orange Glo commercials, the ShamWOW guy, and Ty Pennington (the crackhead host of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition). I’m generally prepared for the fluff buffet that is most of Newsweek’s content, but the Health section typically takes the cake when it comes to senseless, directionless, poorly-researched tripe, and today’s standout headline is no exception.

Drop That Corn Dog, Doctor

I’m sure that there’s no good way to title a puff piece that is about nothing more than the author using her limited anecdotal evidence to judge doctors’ eating habits, but come on. This is just silly. As much as I admire journos who refuse to take themselves seriously, this lady either has a pathological desire for her articles to be sneered at, or her editor fucking hates her ass. Maybe the people at the Health tab thought that they were going for “funny” on this one, but I’m failing to get it. It’s that pedestrian, Dave Barry-esque, lowest-common-denominator from of “humor” in which stating the obvious in a somewhat absurdist way while sidestepping cleverness, wit, or even pun for god’s sake = bust a gut. Normally I can overlook this sort of thing and accept it in the same way that I’ve resigned myself to the fact that Everybody Loves Raymond won all those awards and that Tyler Perry is, in fact, a successful director, but right now I’m just not OK with it. It’s a sad age this country is living in right now. Here we are in a time when the qualifications for the highest office in the world include, “I could have a beer with him/her.” Here we are, living in a country where selecting a candidate with bouffant hair and a personality like someone in a Mark Twain story = invigorated voting base. It’s a sad day indeed when people think that a doctor eating a steak dinner is somehow news and that one of the US’s most widely read publications is making the Daily Mail look laudable. Siiiiigh. Normally I’d laugh at something like this and move on, but I’m a little bit weary from holding my breath all election season, hoping America won’t let me down.

Anyway, please to share your picks for Dumbest Headline of the Year in the comments.

Advertisements