Step 1: A story begins in the real world. In this case, some Nebraska ranchers objected to the longstanding practice—approved by the Supreme Court in 1986—of the use of aerial photography to enforce clean water laws.
Step 2: Their elected representatives raise the issue.
Step 3: Somebody on Twitter mistakenly converts “aerial” surveillance into “drone surveillance.”
Step 4: The conservative website PJ Media puts the error into a headline: “EPA Using Spy Drones to Fly Over Midwestern Farms.”
Step 5: The mistake jumps to Fox News, first introduced by Bob Beckel, the token liberal on the afternoon program, “the Five.”
Step 6: Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reports the rumor as fact, unsourced.
Step 7: The Daily Show mocks Kelly’s report, but treats the use of drones as a genuine fact nonetheless.
Step 8: Republicans in US Congress write furious letters of complaint.
Step 9: The story is by now a US national controversy, without there ever having been a word of truth to it.
One bright, beautiful Sunday morning, everyone in the tiny Midwest town got up early and went to the local church. Before the services started, the townspeople were sitting in their pews. Suddenly, Satan appeared at the front of the church. Everyone started screaming and running for the entrance, trampling each other in a frantic effort to get away from an evil incarnate.
Soon everyone was evacuated from the church, except for one elderly gentleman who sat calmly in his pew, not moving…..seemingly oblivious to the fact that God’s ultimate enemy was in his presence.
Now this confused and irritated the Devil a bit, so he walked up to the man and said, “Don’t you know who I am?”
“Yep, sure do,” the elderly man said.
Satan asked, “Aren’t you afraid of me?”
This time the man said, “Nope, sure ain’t!”
Satan, a little more perturbed at this, asked, “Why aren’t you afraid of me?”
The man calmly replied, “Been married to your sister for 56 years.”
A man wrote a letter to a small hotel in a midwest town he planned to visit on
his vacation. He wrote: “I would very much like to bring my dog with me. He is
well-groomed and very well behaved. Would you be willing to permit me to keep
him in my room with me at night?”
An immediate reply came from the hotel owner, who said, “I’ve been operating
this hotel for many years. In all that time, I’ve never had a dog steal towels,
bedclothes, silverware or pictures off the walls. I’ve never had to evict a dog
in the middle of the night for being drunk and disorderly. And I’ve never had a
dog run out on a hotel bill. Yes, indeed, your dog is welcome at my hotel. And,
if your dog will vouch for you, you’re welcome to stay here, too.”