It came to my attention that the fact-checking site Snopes once again saw fit to tell the world one of my Poes is, in fact, a Poe.
The piece in question is Iceland Mandates Mental Health Warnings On Bibles. It contains little gems like this one:
Reading the Bible has been shown to cause an outbreak of Donald Trump.
While the Snopes article, Iceland Mandates Mental Health Warnings on All Bibles? doesn’t say, Andy Hall, you’re hilarious! Please come and perform at my kid’s birthday party! it does state the obvious:
The entry about Iceland and Bibles also featured a few obvious indications that the story was nothing more than a canard. In fact, the article quoted a fictional Icelandic Prime Minister named “Andrew Canard”:
Do you see that, Godless Boo-Hoo Crew? OBVIOUS INDICATIONS.
The Godless Boo-Hoo Crew show up occasionally to wrinkle their noses and state their displeasure at what happens here on Laughing in Disbelief. Their reasoning is along the lines of What about the children? or Fake News!
They typically show up whenever I eke out a measure of success. One commenter addressed the fake news versus satire difference. I originally posted his comment when Laughing in Disbelief appeared on Snopes the first time (this is the 3rd BTW).
Here is the exchange between one of the Godless Boo-Hoo Crew who goes by the name of Poker Face, and someone who gets it, Jerry Chandler.
Here’s what Poker Face had to say:
Trump’s always crowing about FAKE NEWS, so why give him something to crow about? Do you really think people are that stupid?
And here is the elegant reply by Jerry Chandler:
“Do you really think people are that stupid?”
Obviously you are.
There’s a difference between satire- an attempt at absurdity to make a point or simply for humor -and creating false facts and presenting them as truth.
If you need a better understanding of the difference between the two things, go read the Onion as an example of satire. After that, go read Trump claiming as fact the biggest electoral college win since Reagan, Trump claiming as fact crime is at an 40 year high high, or Fox News claiming as fact that a convicted felon with no connection to the Swedish government is an advisor in the Swedish government in order to back a fake claim by Trump passed on as fact that there was a terror attack in Sweden the night prior to his speaking.
See if you can work it out on your own from there.
That exchange occurred on my post-Mike Pence Promises To Create The Department Of Anti-Witchcraft.
The second time Laughing in Disbelief appeared on Snopes was for my story Atheist Iceland Issues A Travel Ban Against White Southern Baptists. Snopes’ article Atheist Iceland Issues a Travel Ban Against White Southern Baptists? once again pointed out the many “winks” to the audience showing the article is a Poe.
When I celebrated on Laughing in Disbelief this second Snoping (?) I waxed philosophical (imagine me in my reading chair smoking a pipe with bubbles coming out of it) on the utility of what I do here:
These little bits I write serve several purposes. I’m a comedian and comics typically hate talking about the nuts and bolts of whatever the hell we do. (I was going to write craft and then realized I’d have to make fun of myself for being a wanker.)
Consider these Poes as skeptical inoculations primarily aimed at atheists. Hopefully, those fooled will learn valuable lessons: Read the entire article — don’t skim. Click the links. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
And remember this famous quote…
Confirmation bias is a hell of a drug. – Rick James
I’m going to guess my Poes help quite a few people be better skeptics. As a bonus, I get to spread laughter at the same time.
If you’re a regular or even casual reader of Laughing in Disbelief I want to say thank you. If you wrote kind words in the comment section here or on the Facebook page, then double-plus thanks.
And, yes, I’m still trying to get the North Korean media to pick up one of my stories about Trump.
Meh, to live is to hope.
I have a Patreon account just in case you wish to show your appreciation for my work here on Laughing in Disbelief.
Andrew Hall is the author of Laughing in Disbelief. Besides writing a blog, co-hosting the Naked Diner, he wrote two books, Vampires, Lovers, and Other Strangers and God’s Diary: January 2017 . Andrew is reading through the Bible and making videos about his journey on YouTube. He is a talented stand-up comedian. You can find him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
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