(NaturalNews) In the aftermath of a nation that was gripped by former Disney child star Miley Cyrus' prime time twerking shocker at the MTV Video Music Awards, the media was again hoaxed by a false event that it covered as real.
A viral YouTube video featuring a girl who falls over and catches fire while "twerking" in her living room received more than 12 million views and widespread media coverage.
As it turned out, the video, billed as "Worst Twerk Fail EVER - Girl Catches Fire!" was a prank set up by late night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel.
"Caitlin Heller," who supposedly made the failed dance video for her boyfriend revealed that she is actually professional stuntwoman Daphne Avalon, who played part in fooling the world and taking in a gullible public who thought it was real.
Kimmel mocked conspiracy theorists but admitted they were right to call the video out as a fraud before it was revealed to the world.
Despite this, hundreds of news outlets picked up the sensational video, covering both its viral status and "real world" fail just days after a grown-up Miley Cyrus put the term "twerking" in the collective pop-consciousness to the point that even the Oxford Dictionary Online officially added the slang dance term.
"Apparently twerking is getting downright dangerous," one news anchor commented. In the follow-up segment revealing the deception, Kimmel highlighted dozens of clips from local affiliates, daytime talk shows, NBC's flagship morning program "Today" and even "The View" where the staged video was discussed as a real event that had captured the public's attention.
But how much of any of our world - as viewed through and framed on a television or computer screen - is real, and how much is just perception?
This light-hearted example of mainstream media fail - in reporting false events as real stories - is only one of many examples where pop-culture drives the news cycle and "officials" are able to script the narrative, irrespective of where the truth lies.
Many "news" stories ultimately become so trivial and automatic, or alternately, so critical and sensitive, that reporters who might otherwise conduct an actual investigation instead toe the official line, and they quickly become highly trained parrots, repeating their lines in rehearsed and convincing voices.
Another late night comedian, Conan O'Brien, put together a comprehensive montage of hundreds of news affiliates who all regurgitated a scripted news story about the tanking economy. Without even the slightest hint of independent confirmation, anchor after anchor across the entire country repeated the same 'clever line': "Economic factors may take some spring out of the Easter Bunny's step this year." The story only gets more shocking the more it sinks in that each one of these supposedly serious reporters are simply reading their teleprompters word-for-word. Watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com
But what's the harm in "infotainment"? In a very practical sense, far more serious "news" also fails to report on actual reality, instead frequently getting caught in presenting details to the public that have not undergone critical investigation as authoritative fact.
The latest example involves alleged Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis. It would appear that early CNN reports "gave" him an AR-15 rifle, which has been widely demonized by the media and gun control advocates, when it later turned out there was no evidence he had such a weapon. Moreover, initial reports appearing on a variety of mainstream sources discussed the presence of multiple shooter suspects, yet only hours later, these reports were dismissed or forgotten. According to Jon Rappoport, who exposed how this latest narrative is crumbling, one of the two other suspects was interviewed and released, while the other was never found or discussed again. Similarly, multiple stories about how Alexis gained entry to the facility, as well as how many weapons he had, were put forward supposedly based on sourced evidence, yet later were changed and shed from the official narrative.