From the Spanish-language blogs, something from the “You Learn Something New Every Day” department: on December 28, the equivalent of our April Fool’s Day, Spanish journalists write bogus news stories that seem plausible – except that they tip readers off to the joke by including one absurd “fact.”
In this tradition, Barcelona-based blogger Jorge Ferrer wrote an item on December 28 titled, “Secrecy around visit of Fidel Castro to El Rincon yesterday afternoon.” He described a visit by Castro, his entourage, motorcade, and ambulance to a chapel just outside
“Witnesses” in his story said he was dressed either in sackcloth or a beige track suit; they differed as to whether Castro approached the chapel on his knees, or crawling. Ferrer thought that was enough to let readers in on the joke, but for good measure he threw in an unrelated paragraph about Raul Castro’s daughter implying that her father is gay.
It didn’t work, as Ferrer describes in amusing detail here. La Nueva
Ferrer says that
This is a reminder of the editor’s maxim that when you start to fall in love with a story, that’s when you get in trouble. I had a minor experience along these lines when I wrote this fictitious letter from Fidel Castro to President Bush, and heard from readers and news organizations who thought it might be real. It wasn’t. But that was some time ago, and I wonder if Fidel feels he has properly thanked President Bush for a few other things that have occurred over the past year. We’ll see.