Giving a skeptical listen to NPR

I feel I now have a better idea of what it’s like to completely mistrust the media, to think there’s a wide ranging conspiracy and what is reported little more than made up.  It’s because I was listening vigilantly to All Things Considered yesterday, April First.

I had been primed to be on the lookout for spurious claims, first by the UW’s claim that famed Bascom hill would soon feature an escalator. Then the Cap Times ran a tribute to its erstwhile master of the phony boloney April First story, Mike Miller.

I knew All Things Considered was famous for the fake story, delivered with sobriety and understatement.  As I ran errands after work, I was ready to cry foul on what came from my car radio.

The problem was I began to doubt nearly everything I heard.  OK, the terrible news of prosecutors killed in Texas I wished were false, but knew there would be no joking about that tragedy.  Then, a seemingly ridiculous story about reintroducing bison to Germany.  Bison in Germany? Not only that, but it was being done by a prince, with a preposterous accent. “Oh, come on,” I was saying to my radio.

But, somehow, despite the improbable elements, the story never reached those sublime heights of true ridiculousness that eventually give it away.  When I reached my final destination, I didn’t know what to believe.

It took a bit of research to track down the true false story, but here it is, and true to form, it also involves an iconic animal.



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