Never before has Yahoo News’ name been more aptly descriptive of its audience.
I’m not sure there’s a word in any thesaurus that captures the level of utter exasperation I experienced (and I’m still recovering from) after reading the scores of overwhelmingly asinine comments posted by obviously illiterate, feeble-minded, and debilitatingly presumptuous dolts from around the country in reaction to an otherwise run-of-the-mill local news story about an unremarkable drug bust in the city of Walker, LA.
It started early Thursday morning when The Advocate posted the online version of a crime story from the Florida Parishes Bureau titled “$10,000 in illegal drugs found in Walker home.” The same, 201-word story about Livingston Parish deputies reportedly finding weed, Adderall, clonazepam, a gun, and $22,216 in cash at the home of Joe Mooney appeared on page 2 of the Baton Rouge edition’s Metro (B) section.
Then, for some reason, Americans started seeing it on their Yahoo News feed. One plausible explanation for this involves the algorithm Yahoo uses to determine what news stories from around the world to feed to its users. It’s probably the same reason why, when scanning the Baton Rouge/state wire portion on my Associated Press mobile app, I’ll occasionally see stories that are totally unrelated to Baton Rouge or Louisiana. For instance, I’ve seen stories about Los Angeles in my state news feed when the headline writer mistakenly abbreviates the city “LA” rather than “L.A.”
In any case, whatever the reason it showed up on Yahoo News, that’s when the crazy train came off the rails.
Outraged conservatives from all over the place began flooding the article’s comment section with all sorts of wild accusations involving the intent of Yahoo, The Advocate, and the underpaid, overworked copy desk staffer who likely wrote the headline that way simply because it fit the allotted space.
I sure hope the cities of Scott, LA, and Walker, LA, never collaborate for an event like — I don’t know — maybe the first annual Scott-Walker Boudin/Crystal Meth Cook-off? (trademarked)
It seems more than just a few Yahoo News users read the headline “$10,000 in illegal drugs found in Walker home” and interpreted it to mean cops found 10 grand in illegal drugs in the home of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as in the current leading Republican White House hopeful. In fact, it got so bad, The Advocate changed the headline on the online story and issued a clarification via Facebook.
It seems Scott Walker’s family name is a lot rarer than I thought. Rare enough that any mention of the name Walker is enough for some people to presume it’s a reference to him.
Man, I sure hope the cities of Scott, LA, and Walker, LA, never collaborate for an event like — I don’t know — maybe the first annual Scott-Walker Boudin/Crystal Meth Cook-off? (trademarked)
I have to say, though, part of me is rather impressed these folks managed to pull Scott Walker out of their asses, given the holes are obviously plugged up by their heads.
At last count, there were 130 comments, several from out of state and mostly berating Yahoo News, The Advocate, and that underpaid, overworked copy desk staffer for being in the back pocket of President Barack Obama. And I regret to say, just like the kids in Stand By Me who studied the lifeless body of Ray Brower, I read every one of those comments out of morbid curiosity.
It’s the same reason I watched the ISIS video showing the beheading of the 21 Coptic Christians in Libya last month. I have to say, that video did not mentally scar me, nor further weaken my faith in humanity, nearly as badly as reading all those comments did.
Here’s essentially what happened. When people clicked the link and discovered the story didn’t match their wild assumptions about a leading Republican presidential candidate’s home being a haven for illegal drug activity, rather than conceding they’d let their imaginations get the best of them and simply closing the browser window, they instead proceeded to publicly proclaim the liberal media had conspired to smear Scott Walker.
Part of me is rather impressed these folks managed to pull Scott Walker out of their asses, given the holes are obviously plugged up by their heads.
Apparently, that’s because, for many people, it’s a lot easier to believe Yahoo News is working with The Advocate and hundreds of newspapers around the country to write misleading, small-town-news headlines in such a way that they irreparably hobble the careers and reputations of conservative politicians rather than simply admit to themselves they’re fucking morons.
Yahoo is too busy desperately trying to keep up with Google in order to avoid becoming the next Netscape, and The Advocate is too busy trying to keep up with Gov. Bobby Jindal’s ass to worry about scuttling the chances of his presumptive rival for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination with a 6-inch news brief buried on the second page of the Metro section between a photo of a truck that cracked open downtown, the local crime blotter, and the second portion of Smiley Anders’ column.
But why let logic stand in the way of good, old-fashioned, unhinged dumbassery?
Seriously, Scott Walker getting busted with $10,000 worth of illegal drugs? I mean, sure, he always looks stoned, but 10 grand?
Look, I know what they were probably thinking: “Man, I’m really smart, but if this headline could fool me into thinking Scott Walker was arrested for dealing drugs in the Wisconsin Governor’s Mansion, just imagine all those people that aren’t as smart as me. They’ll all believe it, too!”
Sadly, for all those people, there isn’t anyone who isn’t as smart as they are. They are the dumbest of the dumb, or at least I pray to God they are. Just read some of these actual comments from actual people who can actually vote, and you’ll be joining me in that same prayer. (Click images for full-size stupidity.)