A fake news report going viral on the Internet claims that teens are getting high by smoking crushed-up bedbugs.
To the frustration of local, anti-substance-abuse speaker Shane Watson, the hoax uses video footage of him from the bogus report on dabbing by ABC 15 we told you about on Thursday.
As Valley Fever detailed yesterday, Watson had complained to us about the way ABC 15 and reporter MaryEllen Resendez had portrayed him in a September 2013 broadcast piece about dabbing, a term for smoking hash oil made from marijuana. Watson said he'd told Resendez he'd dabbed -- once. Her report makes him sound like he was addicted for years to dabbing.
The ABC 15 report on the "dangers" of dabbing went viral last year, drawing heavy criticism from marijuana advocates. Earlier this month, footage from the piece was assembled into the hoax video on smoking bedbugs. It features Watson prominently, and through editing and narration makes him appear to be discussing what it's like to get high on bedbugs.
Watson noticed the video recently and shot us a link. An Internet search shows that the video has been posted on numerous sites, including on LiveLeak.com, where it's garnered an impressive 355,000 views as of this afternoon.
That one or two teens might try to smoke bugs isn't so far-fetched, to judge by the many Internet videos we've seen in which teens do something stupid. Indeed, several website authors seem to have bought into the idea of the fake trend, at least initially. But it's fairly obvious BS.
Still, in the last couple of days, the likes of Wired magazine and Snopes.com have felt compelled to debunk the report.
The fake-news video actually requires a double-debunking, as New Times readers know, since the original story was nearly as unrealistic.
Below: The LiveLeak version of the "smoking bedbugs" report:
Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.
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