It has been an interesting week when it comes to Fake News, and NO, this is not a rant about Donald Trump. But in fact I was about to read a story about the Donald on the website of Esquire, and off to the right was a headline that was difficult to ignore. It seemed to be suggesting that Sidney Crosby was being benched by the Pittsburgh Penguins, because he was being investigated by the NHL for using a strange-sounding performance enhancing drug.
The byline on the story was someone named Ryan Hasman of ESPN. That’s a reputable brand that persuaded me to read a few more sentences, but the story was quickly morphing into a pitch for this same wonderful supplement that can supposedly increase your strength by 145% .. Wow, where do I sign? A quick check with Mr. And Mrs. Google revealed that Ryan Hasman does not exist, and the story is a very dumb scam. Interesting that when I went back to the same page in Esquire, that link was no longer there.
Stories like this are on the rise, and if anything they are less believable all the time. There’s another one out there that has linebacker Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers extolling the wonders of something called ‘Xtreme Testrone’? I kid you not. The writer once again was the mythical Mr. Hasman.
Hollywood stars are also being affected by this kind of stuff .. surprise, surprise. Robert Downey Jr. posted a message on Twitter warning his fans about scam artists who have been impersonating him and asking for money. He had to carefully explain that while he opens his wallet and lends his name to a number of very worthy causes, he does not communicate in this way.
The internet has long been the wild wild west, but the incursion of more and more social media is making the truth a very scarce and precious commodity. Is it any wonder that the master of The Apprentice got elected?
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
I’m Roger Currie