|| This explanation may be incomplete or incorrect: Created by a WEIGHTLESS CHIP DUST - Please change this comment when editing this page. Do NOT delete this tag too soon.|
If you can address this issue, please edit the page! Thanks.
When writing a news article that "debunks" a claim (shows why it is false), writing its headline in the form "X is false" is discouraged. The reason is that just repeatedly seeing "X", even if negated or followed by "is false", can make readers subconciously believe it.
To avoid this, Journalist Randall has worded his debunking articles in a positive sense. This makes for a confusing read if the reader has not heard of the original claim. The "original claims" allegedly being debunked here don't actually appear to have been made anywhere, and can only be inferred from the debunking.
Much of the debunking relies on setting simple facts straight, making for bizarrely banal headlines.
||Possible claim being debunked
| AP Photos show that Dr. Fauci's office contains a normal amount of microwaves
|| That Anthony Fauci's office contains an unusual number of microwaves. Whether this refers to microwave ovens or microwave radiation, most offices don't have any of either, so "a normal amount" is an odd thing to say.
| Singer Billie Eilish was born years after the TWA Flight 800 Explosion.
|| A conspiracy theory linking Billie Eilish (born December 2001) with the TWA flight 800 crash in July 1996.
| Vaccinated people can remove their hats without trouble by tugging upward, say doctors.
|| That vaccination causes one's head to swell, making hats become tight.
| Physicists say Dorito powder is affected by gravity.
|| A claim that Dorito powder is not affected by gravity.
| Steering wheels will work normally on Dec 12th
|| Faults (perhaps due to failures in the power steering system, triggered for example by solar storms) will cause cars to steer erratically on that date
| Santa's skin is dry and healthy this year, with the same amount of oil as before.
|| Santa is suffering from oily skin, that can cause acne.
| (Title Text) Mark Zuckerberg has only neutral feelings toward Peppa Pig...
|| That the founder of Facebook has paranoia concerning the character Peppa Pig, believing her to be a real talking pig and the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic. May be a reference to a recent speech by UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson in which he expressed admiration for Peppa, much to the bewilderment of journalists
|| This transcript is incomplete. Please help editing it! Thanks.
[Several news headlines shown in boxes]
[Box 1] AP Photos show Dr. Fauci's office contains a normal number of microwaves.
[Box 2] Fact Check: Singer Billie Eilish was born years after the TWA Flight 800 Explosion.
[Box 3] Vaccinated people can remove their hats without trouble by tugging upward, say doctors.
[Box 4] Physicists say Dorito powder is affected by gravity.
[Box 5] Steering wheels will work normally on Dec 12th; Make left and right turns as usual.
[Box 6] CNN Investigation; Santa's skin is dry and healthy this year, with the same amount of oil as before.
[Comment below the headline boxes reads:]
I don't know whether the "Don't repeat the claim in the headline debunking it" thing works or not, but it definitely makes reading the news weird.
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feels like we should address the factual accuracy of the headlines in this comic, ie point out which actual headlines/claims are being referred to by each, if any? - Vaedez (talk) 05:35, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
If CNN comments on Santa's skin situation, doesn't that implicitly mean they are claiming Santa to be real (Spoiler alert: he isn't)? 18.104.22.168 08:49, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- or else they're simply avoiding "giving away the secret" to younger readers; though yes, in that case why publish the counterargument at all? - Vaedez (talk) 08:53, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
i'm sorry I seem to have lost my place Arachrah (talk) 10:08, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
In the table it is mentioned that normal offices do not have microwave radiation. However, mobile phones use frequencies in the microwave band for communication. The same holds true for wireless networks (2.4 or 5 GHz is microwave radiation). 22.214.171.124 10:32, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- Is the 'number of microwaves' in the headline a reference to intensity of electromagnetic oscillations, or is it intended to be short for 'microwave ovens'? I had totally assumed the former (especially given the context). The idea that it could be referencing an appliance did not occur to me at all until reading the suggestion in the table that there would normally be "zero, with perhaps one or two in a break area," which took me a few beats to process. Personally I'm more fond of my original interpretation, but I'm starting to feel that it could be, uhm, debunked (although I suppose with digital technology and the right junction bandgap 'microwave photos' could be a thing).
- Doesn't this have to do with the whole craze there was about COVID being caused by 5G towers? 126.96.36.199 08:56, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
The Dorito debunking may be related to a rumour you can find via the search term dorito-powder-hoax. 188.8.131.52 10:45, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- I'm thinking the headline would be along the lines of Doritos, the company, intentionally making powder that somehow defies gravity in order to cause irritation to consumers of the chips, in some kind of exotic mass social experiment about people's addiction to chips vs their exposure to unpleasant hygiene. I'm betting that most of the headlines here are some kind of 'extremification' of existing conspiracies. 184.108.40.206 11:37, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- I think the Doritos myth has simply to do with the fact that it's so sticky 😂 220.127.116.11 08:56, 11 December 2021 (UTC)
I think Randall missed an opportunity here to tie this into the Real Name of the Bear comics - refuting a conspiracy theory about bears while simultaneously refusing to name the theory or the animal involved. 18.104.22.168 11:39, 7 December 2021 (UTC)Pat
Is there any reason why the Peppa Pig/Zuckerburg headline is cut off? Kvarts314 (talk) 12:02, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- Doesn't seem cut off to me. Fabian42 (talk) 14:55, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- In the table with the possible original claims that are debunked22.214.171.124 15:52, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- Oh. Probably to not make that row of the table too high. You can edit it, if you want. Fabian42 (talk) 16:12, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- yeah, i was aiming to fit the headline on a single line; i wasn't sure how else to abbreviate it other than ellipses - Vaedez (talk) 18:00, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
- Pff, it's easy to put it on two lines even! "'TT:MZuckHasOnlyNeutr.feel.tow.PeppaPig,whoHe u-st.isAFict.char.&heBl.t.cor-v.pand.onOth.factors." Totally understandable! Fabian42 (talk) 23:46, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
I see these kinds of headlines all the time recently: "Corona vaccine does not cause higher probability of [random obscure side effect I've never heard about]" Fabian42 (talk) 14:55, 7 December 2021 (UTC)
Since this comic was published in December 2021, "Dec 12th" is probably intended to refer to 12 December 2021, which I suspect might be a reference to 21 December 2012, the reported "end date" of the Mesoamerican Long Count (see 2012 phenomenon on Wikipedia). I wonder if someone's source had "21/12/12" or the like and this was misinterpreted... --126.96.36.199 05:42, 10 December 2021 (UTC)