Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A band musician received a fatal head injury from a trombone slide.
Example: [Weekly World News, 1996]
Origins: If there were competition for the title of "America's wackiest newspaper," the this link Weekly World News would probably win the award hands-down. Unlike other supermarket tabloids, which primarily offer a mixture of celebrity news and gossip, shocking scandals, and health and diet tips, the WWN's stock in trade is the bizarre. Extraterrestrials, ghosts, cannibals, vampires, and half-human animals populate the pages of the WWN; articles about alien visitations, unusual deaths, Bigfoot, and impending planetary doom can generally be found in every issue. Facts are infrequent visitors to the WWN, rude party-crashers who occasionally succeed at sneaking in through the back door and are quickly hustled off the premises.
Despite the mostly playful, tongue-in-cheek style of WWN articles, occasionally a WWN story will "escape" into the wild and be circulated on the Internet as a genuine news article (because it has been stripped of its attribution, or because a forwarder wasn't familiar with the essence of the Weekly World News); on rare occasions, a WWN piece will even resurface in the "legitimate" news media, reported as a factual account of a real-life event. In the last several years, all of the following topics which originally appeared in the Weekly World News were widely circulated as true:
Last updated: 10 November 2004
This material may not be reproduced without permission.
snopes and the snopes.com logo are registered service marks of snopes.com.