Entertaining the Audience Licks Telling the News
“You know, it’s after 12:30. We can tell any story we want to,” says ABC2 News’ Jamie Costello on a news segment that aired on Baltimore's WMAR –TV back in June of this year. Viewers knew it was going to be good and no doubt every eye that was open in Charm City that night was riveted to the TV screen.
In fact I can see their eyes popping out of their heads as the veteran newsman charmed the audience with a tale of a “new fad out of Japan,” called, wait for it, “eyeball licking!”
I guess they really can tell any story they want to, even ones that aren’t entirely true. That is if you believe the Huff Post, Gawker, and Medical News Today, who say there is a lot less to this weird and widespread claim of a Japanese eyeball licking trend than meets the eye. All three carried similar reports to ABC2 News but have since changed their stories in light of an article by Tokyo-based journalist, Mark Schreiber, as well as the damning verdict of the urban legend- debunking site, Snopes.com. I guess at ABC2 News entertaining the audience licks telling the news the way it really is.
(Portions of this post have appeared in related MediaBugs reports filed by JT Cassidy)
If you want a real eye-opener, take a look at "Lick This!" by Mark Schreiber and read how the tale of a fake fad made in Japan made its way into online publications like MNT as well as the pages of newspapers, magazines, and more all around the world.
Also see: "In the Public Eye" on Snopes.com
Related MediaBugs reports:
Didn't Get the Memo (New Zealand Herald); Here is the Thing (MSN News Canada) Fatal Error (CTV News Canada); Time to Correct? (Time Magazine); More Than Meets the Eye (New York Post); A Cock-eyed Story (New York Daily News); Faking It (Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard); Bucking the Trend That Wasn't (The Times of India); If You Can't Lick 'Em Join 'Em (Fox News); Not a Lick of Truth (The Telegraph); Eye Network Lacks Nose for Fishy Stories (CBS News); Calling Out the Daily Caller (The Daily Caller); Code Brown (Medical News Today); Gawk at This! (Gawker); Not a Thing (The San Francisco Chronicle); Less Than Meets the Eye (The Guardian); A Blind Eye to the Truth (Huffington Post); Falling for a Fake Story... (The Washington Times)
Disappeared (story deleted by news org.):
Faking It (Syracuse.com/The Post-Standard)