All the news that’s fit to entertain and kill

Our latest column from William Thomas

Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! Is a wonderfully funny one hour program that airs on National Public Radio in the US on weekends. The show presents an odd, but intelligent take on that week’s news using celebrity guests and a phone-in audience. One segment of Wait, Wait… Don’t Tell Me! is “Bluff The Listener” in which each of three panelists reads a very strange news story and the phone-in contestant must guess which one is in fact true. So, let’s play “Bluff the Reader.” One of the following recent stories in the news is true.

Headline from the Toronto Star: “Passion for Possession” sits atop the column of Heather Mallick. She relates the story of a woman who has had sexual relationships with the Statue of Liberty and most recently, a chandelier. This British woman, Amanda was so sexually attracted to the copper sculpture that has welcomed ships’ passengers into New York Harbour since 1886 that she changed her name to Liberty. No longer holding a torch for the 151-foot tall Roman goddess, Amanda Liberty dumped her for a 92-year-old German chandelier. Ms. Liberty claims that she is “an object sexual”, that is a person attracted to objects and that her compulsion should be a “protected sexual orientation” like all the others today.

The British newspaper regulator that heard her complaint against a British tabloid which had mocked her sexual fixation, disagreed. The commission ruled that her relationship with her chandelier, Lumiere (his name is tattooed on her arm) is not a protected sexual relationship and they dismissed her claim. For the record, Amanda Liberty is an open relationship so that, should she choose to do so, she can hook up with other light fixtures.

Headline from the Suffolk Gazette: “Suffolk Man had Sex with 450 Tractors.” According to reporter Hugh Dunnett, Ralph Bishop, 53 was found by police with his trousers around his ankles interfering with a tractor parked in a field outside nearby Saxmundham. He was charged with “outraging public decency.”

After admitting to having had sex with more than 450 tractors all over the Suffolk countryside, police searched his home and found more than 5,000 images of tractors on his laptop.

A police officer said “We couldn’t believe it when we found him in the field. He was wearing a white T-shirt and Wellington boots and very little else. He was clearly

in a state of high excitement at the rear of the machine. The field was close to a primary school, so we had to arrest him.”

The twice-divorced Bishop is free on bail but forbidden to go within a mile of a farm. His movements are restricted to his hometown of Ipswich.

Added the cop: “We are watching him because we are worried about the safety of several street-cleaning machines. Also he needs to keep away from the town’s gardens. If he takes a fancy to a lawnmower he might find he loses more than is liberty.”

Okay, so which story do you believe? Amanda Liberty and her lascivious desire for her ceiling-mounted lover Lumiere or Ralph Bishop who has ruined the word ‘crankcase’ for tractor aficionados the world over?

Sorry, but Amanda with her lust for an ornate lamp is a true story. This news item appeared in the Toronto Star which is a reputable and trustworthy source of news. A purveyor of liberal ideas and policies, the Toronto Star is exactly as far left as the Globe and Mail and the National Post are to the right. All three are publications that can be trusted for honest news reporting.

The Suffolk Gazette is a “send-up” publication that intentionally publishes outrageous but believable news articles in order to get a rise out of readers and a laugh once they realize they have been spoofed. The reporter’s name “Hugh Dunnett” and the “twice-divorced Bishop” were a bit of a giveaway. Wot? Spot on!

So that’s where we are today in the news – somewhere between the truth and a very nervous tractor. If you’re getting your news from Facebook or Instagram with their conspiracy theories about COVID-19 and how Bill Gates and other global “elites” created and spread the virus, you may not want to drive to Ottawa to shoot the prime minister. But Corey Hurren, a 46-year-old active-duty Canadian Ranger from Winnipeg did. Words matter and misinformation stirs hatred.

If you’re getting your news from social media outlets like 4Chan, 8Chan, Twitter or Alex Jones, America’s Walter Cronkite of Fake News you might not drive to a pizzeria in Washington, D.C. to save children being held in a sex-slave ring operated by Hillary Clinton. But 29-year-old Edgar Welch from Salisbury, N.C. who shot up the Comet Ping Pong restaurant did. Fake news is funny until people start to die.

Most people would dismiss the popular QAnon group for what it is – a far-right, white supremacist organization that is spreading the theory that a cabal of Satan-worshiping pedophiles are plotting against Donald Trump which will lead to a “day of reckoning” with mass arrests of all journalists and democratic politicians. Right now there are no less than five pro-QAnon, Republican candidates in the United States running for Congress.

The busiest man in the business of trust is CNN’s Daniel Dale, formerly of the Toronto Star who caught President Donald Trump telling 20 lies in his nomination acceptance speech, a total of 20,000 since taking office.

Be careful where you get your news and please, leave the lamps alone. Okay?

Any of the ten books written by William Thomas are available at www.williamthomas.ca