Friday, 6 March 2020

Shock Horror Express Readers in Meteorite DISASTER

The way the readership of the Daily Express went from the dizzying heights of what it had been - nine or ten, I suppose - to zero, in two weeks, was a salutary lesson in the dangers of fake news.

You can't blame them. Every two weeks for decades, the Express  website had carried headlines like  "Asteroid SHOCK - NASA admits killer asteroid could be heading somewhere near earth".

While every day from October to March, it would proclaim "KILLER STORM could wipe out life in Leith, WARN meteorologists".

And so the Express readers - much derided as gormless gammons by the average Grauniad reader - came actually to be some of the most sophisticated readers of all web newspapers. As they read the warnings, they would smile smugly knowing that, the last 400 times the same warning had appeared, nothing had happened. They knew that the people of Leith were still wandering around saying it was surprisingly mild for the time of year, and no genuinely scary space rock had come anywhere near close enough to earth to cause any trouble.

So when the latest headline appeared - "KILLER ASTEROID to hit LEITH. Nigel Farage SLAMS NASA expert with brilliant put-down" - the expert readers of the Express smiled and joked and went to Wetherspoons.

They didn't notice the headlines on the other sites:
"Killer asteroid causes stock markets to crash" - Financial Times
"Carol Vorderman flaunts toned beach bod as killer asteroid causes house prices to fall" - Daily Mail
"Pleased to Meteor" - The Sun
"My blind date was ruined by a meteorite" - The Guardian
"Lord Lucan stole my sandwich" The Star
"Snowflake Britain can't cope with a little asteroid" - The Telegraph
"Brexit will be great" - Laura Kuenssberg for the BBC
And so as Londoners headed into Tube stations, Yorkshire people went down disused mines and Geordies put a vest on, Express readers went about their daily lives the same as normal.

50% were wiped out when an asteroid unexpectedly landed in Leith.

The other half perished in the two-week snowstorm that started the next day.

Want to support this blog? Want a good laugh? (or to shudder at death at any rate? Then here's two ways you can keep the Archdruid in doilies...
If you want someone to share the terrors of death while making you laugh, we have "A Hint of Death in the Morning Air" - 97 poems to make you wonder, laugh or shake your head sadly. At only £1 on Kindle. Or if you want to know what the people in the pews really think, and you prefer your words printed on paper, why not try "Writes of the Church"?  The letters to the Church magazine the vicar really didn't need.

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