The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Opinion & Letters to the Editor

June 30, 2014

You can fool me some of the time, but I’m not that gullible

Sunday, June 29, 2014 — I don’t consider myself gullible in the least bit.

But I used to be.

Growing up on a farm in rural eastern North Carolina, you didn’t get exposed to many new things. So when someone told you something, unless they were turning blue in the face and biting the inside of their cheeks to prevent themselves from spilling the beans, you pretty much took people for their word as the gospel truth.

(Speaking in my old grandpa voice) Plus, back in my day, we didn’t have those fangled encyclopedias on a TV you call a computer. We had actual encyclopedias you had to read. We couldn’t go bee-boop-bee-boop and look something up on that thing you call the Internet. We had to flip through hundreds of books to get the answer. Hundreds!

And you had to trek 20 miles in the snow uphill to get those encyclopedias, too.

Needless to say, the Internet has changed things when it comes to news, information and other forms of communication. It’s very easy now to look things up quickly on your computer, tablet or even have the news delivered to you in the form of a message to your phone.

At the same time, when I was growing up, we didn’t really need to worry about hoaxes, half-truths urban legends and other forms of news and information that just wasn’t true or completely made up. You took Walter Cronkite for every word he said, you believed Tom Brokaw, you trusted Dan Rather ... until he went bat crazy and tried to paint President Bush as a nutzo in the Air National Guard story he essentially concocted.

Of course, you did have the occassional unexplained UFO sighting, ghost story or tall tale that you may have wanted to believe was true but really wasn’t. And, in truth, politicians told whoppers almost as big then as they do now. We didn’t believe them then, either.

So it’s not often that someone gets fooled by something they read or (think) they see somewhere.

But every once in a while ...

Earlier this week, I saw a news story that made me do a double-take. It was about a woman in Portland, Oregon, who was eight months pregnant with a girl. The woman was experiencing pains that made her think she was going into labor. She went to the hospital and was examined by her doctor, who determined her baby ... get this ... was pregnant herself.


I was completely baffled by this and read on with increased interest. The report said that the doctor had never seen anything like this before and was stumped at how this could even happen.

The story stated the youngest person to ever become pregnant was Lina Medina, a Peruvian girl who gave birth at just under 6 years old. Medina was diagnosed with Precocious puberty, a rare disorder that causes puberty in extremely young children.

After I read the full story, I began to wonder. Sure enough, after entering a search term in Google I found what I was looking for.

This story was a hoax. I had been duped.

It turns out the website where I read the story,, was a satirical site. Several other websites had quickly debunked the story and the ruse was exposed.

The part about Lina Medina was in fact true. The rest was not.

For a brief moment, I felt stupid. And I guess I should have. I mean, who’s ever heard of a baby having a baby? Then again, these days, I’m quite astounded by some of the things I read.

And I’m not talking about the things I read in the National Enquirer or in the Weekly World News, that of the famous stories like how Hillary Clinton adopted an alien baby.

Then again, the Enquirer did expose John Edwards as a cheater and baby-daddy to one Rielle Hunter. So you see where I’m coming from?

I guess I sometimes put too much faith in what I am reading only to get burned by the harsh and bitter taste of reality when it hits me.

So, if you read this particular story, too, and were hoodwinked at the same time, I’ve got good news. I’ve looked up some other recent news topics that have been discussed lately and I’ve found the answers to those, too.

For example, did you know giving your dog ice water won’t cause him to bloat. There’s been several stories that I’ve seen about how ice water was bad for dogs for this reason. But vets have debunked that as untrue.

Other things I’ve discovered as false include:

n Stephanie Courtney, the actress who plays Flo in commericals for Progressive Insurance, did not die in an automobile accident. Neither did Justin Bieber or half a dozen other actors and celebrities we’ve read about recently. Elvis, unfortunately, is still dead.

n Tom Hanks took photos in a bar with a drunk guy. I saw this story the other day and didn’t believe it. The myth says Hanks saw the guy, sat with him and used his phone to take the photos. In truth, the fan was real and decided to appear drunk and passed out in the photos. Whatever.

n 9/11 was an inside job by the government. Anybody who believes this should find the nearest insane asylum, enter a padded room, pull the door shut and never come out again.

n Hillary and Bill Clinton were indeed not in the poor house when they left the White House in 2001. Bill, however, did have a little black book of babes as big as one of those encyclopedias I mentioned earlier.

n Lois Lerner’s IRS emails have unexplainably disappeared and the computers used to send those emails crashed and were destroyed.

Yeah ... and you take me as being THAT gullible?

To submit story ideas, contact Jason O. Boyd at or (704) 982-2121 ext. 21.


Text Only
Opinion & Letters to the Editor
  • Doug Creamer Friends and contentment

    Last week I made my annual trip up the mountain to Sparta. My friends have a secluded home near a babbling brook. Their home and property are a haven for peace. It’s a two-plus hour ride to their home that doesn’t feel that long because I look so forward to my time with this great couple. When I arrive, the conversation seems to pick up right where we left it the last time we saw each other.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thanks for the honest deed

    I would like to thank the person that found my wallet in the parking lot of Harris Teeter on July 23 and turned it in to the Albemarle Police.

    July 29, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • We need your help

    Hurray for the Albemarle City Council. Council plans to battle N.C. Department of Transportation’s ranking of all 13 projects in Stanly County to the bottom of their priority list. Council is setting up petitions in various city buildings for citizens to sign.

    July 28, 2014

  • Council asks veterans to seek office

    The terms of office for the leaders of the Stanly County Veterans Council ended June 30. A call is being sent to veterans council members requesting candidates for the four elective offices of the council. A meeting has been set for 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 at the DAV building. All council members are urged to attend.

    July 28, 2014

  • Mike Walden The gains and gaps in our economy

    Twice a year, I pull out my cloudy crystal ball and attempt to make some predictions about the direction and pace of the North Carolina economy. I just finished my latest effort and, as usual, the results are a combination of pluses and minuses.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jason O. Boyd Yellow journalism takes on new form, people are dumber for it

    Time to get on the soapbox for a few minutes.
    Let me clear my throat. Eh ... hem!
    People are dumb.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Brent Laurenz Special election adds to the mix

    RALEIGH – A busy slate of judicial elections this November got even busier recently when Judge John Martin of the N.C. Court of Appeals announced his retirement.
    A special statewide election to fill Martin’s seat will be added to the general election ballot, joining the four N.C. Supreme Court seats and three N.C. Court of Appeals races already slated for this fall.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Patrick Gannon Fake news or sign of some more trouble?

    RALEIGH – Of the three situations I can recall where agencies receiving large sums of taxpayer dollars wouldn’t divulge employees’ salaries, two of them ended badly. The third – involving a group of charter schools in Southeastern North Carolina – is playing out right now.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    WASHINGTON - The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 23, 2014

House Ads
Seasonal Content