The screenshot above is from an article in The Daily Currant, a satirical newspaper that has once again had one of its stories mistaken for fact, this time by a Maryland police chief who cited it in a presentation on the dangers of legalizing marijuana. Props to Jacek for the link. Annapolis police chief Michael Pristoop subsequently apologized for citing the story, adding, “This does not take away from the other facts presented in opposition to legalization or the good work of the Maryland Chiefs and Maryland Sheriffs Associations.” Actually, chief, it does. Your “good work” mistook a made-up thing for fact, and the other people in the room were, unlike you, immediately able to identify the thing as made-up. You should stop telling the people in that room what’s what. Pristoop can be forgiven for his mistake, however, as The Daily Currant continues to close the gap between “satire” and “false.”
A. Ron Galbraith recently brought to my attention this post in Politico arguing that The Daily Currant is not funny. You may have heard of The Daily Currant in connection with this mistake by the Drudge Report, or possibly this one by the Washington Post. According to founder and editor Daniel Barkeley, the Currant produces a “style of satire [that] is as old as literature itself, but hasn’t recently been applied to news articles.” Apparently one of the satirical conceits over at the Currant is that The Onion doesn’t exist, but that is orthogonal to our discussion. Barkeley’s position is that several of the Currant’s satires have been mistaken for news because what he’s doing is so new. At Politco, Dylan Byers’s argument is that Currant articles keep being taken for real because they aren’t funny. Which brings us to an important question: how funny does satire have to be?