MCLEAN, VIRGINIA – The national newspaper USA Today shocked the world on October 10, 2018, when it debuted its new “Fact-Free USA Today” format.
President Donald Trump's op-ed, which claimed that the Democratic Party wanted to gut Medicare and use the money to send illegal immigrants to college in a sinister plot to turn every American citizen into a gay Muslim, received the most attention. However, further investigation revealed that the entire newspaper was filled with incorrect information, such as “Senator Schumer Terrorizes Kindergarteners with Pogo Stick,” “Motor Oil to Replace Coca-Cola as the Nation's Favorite Soft Drink,” and “Fox News Receives Golden Calf of Excellence from Jesus Christ.”
The newspaper was the subject of intense media backlash, condemning the paper for its new approach.
One notable exception was PolitiFact, who rated the entire paper “Mostly True.”
USA Today Editor in Chief Nicole Carroll appeared unfazed by the unflattering coverage.
“Change is a part of life,” Carroll explained. “Sure, things like 'facts' and 'education' and 'journalistic integrity' may have been enough in the 20th century, but we're in the Digital Age now! Our readers don't want to be informed! They want pizzazz! They want ninjas! They want boobs! Why worry about what's right or what's wrong as long as the readership is happy!”
Carroll looked at her monitor. “Hmm... Staff Reporter Donovan Black just submitted an article: 'Senator Elizabeth Warren Pees Antifreeze, Poops Spiders.' Hmm... we'll put that on page A6,” she mused.
Carroll then continued, “When it comes to media in the 21st century, Fox News paved the way. They successfully sued for their right to lie on the airwaves. Sure, we panned them at the time, but they're growing like wildfire! If we don't follow the leader, we'll fall behind!”
Carroll checked her monitor again. “What's this? Ah... Maeve McDermott, our Entertainment Writer and Editor! What does she have for us... 'Joss Whedon Greenlighted for 'Buffy the Certified Public Accountant,'” Carroll muttered. “No. It sounds too true. I'll have her rework it.”
Carroll then expanded, “Let's face it. The truth isn't entertaining. The truth is an unnecessary burden. It's a handicap. It's even a liability! Why... just think of the chaos of what would happen if we were to claim that Judge Kavanaugh committed a crime by lying under oath? We'd be sued! Or worse... mocked by Sean Hannity!”
Carroll checked her monitor again, muttering, “Here's something from Tech/Money Reporter Mike Snider. 'Unnamed Wanderer Wearing Napoleon Hat and Tutu Announced Release of iPhone Model Made Out of Rat Eyeballs.' Yes! We have ourselves tomorrow's main headline!”
Carroll then concluded, “This is going to be an exciting new era for the Fact-Free USA Today. We'll follow in the proud legacy of improvements and continuations, like 'Basic Instinct 2,' 'Zelda: Wand of Gamelon,' and the book 'Scarlett.'”
Carroll checked her monitor one last time, whispering, “A submission from Maureen Groppe, our Washington Correspondent. 'Study Shows That 61% of Trump's Twitter Followers Are Bots, Spam, Inactive, or Propaganda?'”
Carroll trembled in rage. “How dare she sully the reputation of our fine newspaper with such... such... truth?!?”
Growling, Carroll began to type frantically, growling, “I've got the perfect story for below the fold on the front page: 'Former Reporter from Fact-Free USA Today Arrested for Arm_Wrestling a Flamingo!'”