A press release that reads like it was written by the Onion's junior-varsity squad apparently tricked some people into thinking Governor Jan Brewer was trying to turn Arizona's gay schoolchildren straight.
"Beginning November 1st of this year, the state of Arizona is implementing a mandatory school program designed for all children grades K-12 to help homosexual males and women become straight," the "news" story says. "The controversial conversion therapy will be used in all of Arizona's 2,325 public school curriculums and is already gathering a large amount of criticism as well as those who approve of the new program."
-Here Are 100 People Freaking Out Over Arizona's Fake "Gay-To-Straight Programs"
The story purportedly quotes Governor Jan Brewer, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, and the guy who runs an organization called People Can Change, which (actually) advertises itself as "Men who have resolved unwanted same-sex attractions supporting others seeking similar change."
It's hard to see how anyone read through the fake quote from Arpaio without any skepticism (although we suppose it's plausible):
Sheriff Joe Arpaio who runs some of the toughest jails and prisons in the country applauds Brewer's decision. "Less gays in our jails makes for a smoother running prison system. There will be no more prancing around along with all the other gay activities that homosexuals like to do," Arpaio said. "More importantly, we as parents can now sleep a little better at night just knowing there will be less gays out there wandering the streets trying to molest our children. I'm excited about this and I know all Arizonians are too."Judging by our Facebook feed, and various other forums, people ate this up.
Let us reiterate: It's the fakest fake, written by the fakest fakers in Fakeville.
In fact, People Can Change has since updated its website to try to tell people that the whole Arizona thing is fake:
If you fell for this one, we have a question: Did you know gullible is the only word that's not in the dictionary? Check it out.
If you want to read the whole "report," click here.
UPDATE 10:49 a.m.: For those still not convinced the story's fake, see the evidence on the next page.
The author of the fake-news story sent us a link to more of his work, here.
Locals may remember a rumor last year that Bill Murray was planning to visit Phoenix for the sole purpose of crashing parties. Same dude.
Also, we remember people falling for the "Banksy Arrested In London, Identity Revealed" story. Again, same dude, who just signed his e-mail, "Paul."
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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.