“In Japan, it's the new fad of showing affection...Eyeball Licking,” cries out the headline on an abc2news.com (the website of WMAR-TV Baltimore) article. While the news report’s title alone is an eye-full, the Huff Post, Gawker, and Medical News Today, say there is a lot less to this weird and widespread claim of a Japanese eyeball licking trend than meets the eye. All three ran similar pieces but have since changed their stories in light of an article by Tokyo-based journalist, Mark Schreiber, as well as the damning verdict on the urban legend-debunking site, Snopes.com. Perhaps abc2news will take a second look at this cock-eyed story and set the record straight.
(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)