Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Or maybe not

SENEY NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE  -- Maybe Bigfoot did this. Maybe.

... A tall, thin sapling had been bent into an arch over the path, high above everyone’s heads. Its tip was wedged in the underbrush, holding it down.

After a brief detour into "Bigfoot stick language" (no, really), we get to the why-we're-here:

It's been a busy year for the group. Bigfoot has been all over the news. First, there was a sighting in May of a possible Bigfoot seen on a camera mounted above an eagle’s nest in a tree in Beulah, near the Platte River State Fish Hatchery in the northern Lower Peninsula. It made news all over the world.

Then there was the photo of a Bigfoot-looking something, taken by a trail cam mounted on a tree in the western Upper Peninsula this fall, as the mystery creature was combing through a campsite.

Yes. We know this because some news organizations can't seem to stop covering Bigfoot sightings. It's probably a little kinder to say that every news organization has some particularly beloved fiction that it can't help but pass as news, and that almost every news organization falls for a Bigfoot or Nessie story sometime. 

It's not the sort of "fake news" that has gotten all the heat the past few months, but it does have some indirect effects in common with that more popular brand. What you print tells your audience a lot about what you believe -- even if what you believe is "hey, everybody loves a Bigfoot story." Nobody's hurt by a little Santa Claus on the front page around Christmastide, until you mistakenly elect the guy who's in charge of the naughty-nice list.

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