reader, beware

In these days of economic recession, credit crunch, financial crisis, or whatever term the media are using today, it’s logical that we should look back to the Wall Street crash of ’29 in an attempt to make comparisons and perhaps find solutions.

However, in these days of electronic media, blogs, wikis, archives and resources written by “the unwashed masses”, it’s all too easy to get confused by what’s real and what isn’t. We’ve all laughed at ingenuous friends who believed in the bonsai kittens, and cursed the ones who’ve jammed our in-boxes by forwarding baseless e-mail chains, but sometimes even professional journalists can be taken in.

Such seems to have been the case on the Spanish TV programme Cuarto Milenio, broadcast on Sunday night. What was supposedly an example of investigative journalism discussing the panic generated by the Crash, showed a series of vintage newspaper headlines. Someone should, perhaps, have pointed out that the archives of “America’s Finest News Source”, The Onion, are of doubtful veracity, and the banner headline “Stock Market Invincible: ‘Buy, Buy, Buy!’ Experts Advise“, from a front page dated October 22nd, 1929, is in fact a spoof.

The Onion features around minute 4:20 of the programme video here. I particularly like the detail of foxing the page to make it look genuinely old.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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