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.