I almost seriously blogged about this

I almost seriously blogged about this Onion-esque story about Michele Bachmann:

Dr. Stephen Hawking’s recent statement that the black holes he famously described do not actually exist underscores “the danger inherent in listening to scientists,” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minnesota) said today.

Rep. Bachmann unleashed a blistering attack on Dr. Hawking, who earlier referred to his mistake on black holes as his “biggest blunder.”

“Actually, Dr. Hawking, our biggest blunder as a society was ever listening to people like you,” said Rep. Bachmann. “If black holes don’t exist, then other things you scientists have been trying to foist on us probably don’t either, like climate change and evolution.”

Rep. Bachmann added that all the students who were forced to learn about black holes in college should now sue Dr. Hawking for a full refund. “Fortunately for me, I did not take any science classes in college,” she said.

Bachmann’s anti-Hawking comments seemed to be gaining traction on Capitol Hill, as seen from the statement by Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas), Chairman of the House Science Committee, who said, “Going forward, members of the House Science Committee will do our best to avoid listening to scientists.”

Given all the bat-shit crazy things Bachmann has said in her life, this is perfectly plausible. It wasn’t until it was pointed out to me that the author of the article, Andy Borowitz, is a comedian that I realize this was made-up. This is an indictment of a few things. Most obviously, it’s an indictment of my familiarity with Borowitz. It’s also an indictment of the career Bachmann has led, not that this is the worst thing she has ever uttered, whether fictionally or not. (The worst was when she continued the lie about vaccines and autism.) But perhaps most of all this is an indictment of the New Yorker. The reason I posted this on other social media sites first is that I saw the source was what I thought was a serious outlet. I maybe expect some tongue-in-cheek articles if I’m looking at an “Odd News” section of some site, but I don’t expect to see work from The Onion when I’m not actually on The Onion. Why does everyone want to follow CNN’s lead of making shit up?

2 Responses

  1. Well, they do have “keyword: humor” in small print at the bottom… but really, when it comes to posting stories about stupidity among politicians, we really need a large “SATIRE” heading to tip people off that this particular atrocity hasn’t actually happened… yet.

  2. Like all good satire there are a bunch of underlying truths, some of which are unfortunate.

    It’s a sort of cautionary tale, one of the easiest ways to hasten your own demise is to forget the difference between the word ‘theory’ as it’s commonly used, and the scientific usage, eg. The theory of evolution. I’ve heard it said many times, and with increasing frequency, that theoretical physics is less science than it is philosophy, the problem being that science requires poking, prodding, AND pure observation.It’s not proof enough for equations alone to be evidence.

    Science is great but it’s not a magic bullet, so some things are always going to be outside of what we can observe, infer, and test. But it would be a pretty big folly to just throw ourselves down the well that science dug without knowing whats at the bottom.

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