In a place as strange and wonderful as the Internet, it can be tough even for web-native publications to get all the facts straight, but old media seems to have a special talent for fucking them completely sideways. Take, for example, the Associated Press and New York Daily News, who yesterday reported a brazen attack by bicycle terrorists in New York, using a tweet from a clearly identified parody account as their only source.
Early Tuesday morning, an unknown party replaced the American flags atop the Brooklyn Bridge with bleached white ones, an act that @BicycleLobby—which mocks Dorothy Rabinowitz's insane comments last year about the all-powerful "bike lobby"—jokingly took responsibility for:
Having never heard a joke before (and failing to read the part of @BicycleLobby's bio that reads "parody account"), the AP and New York Daily News treated this claim as legit news, running the headlines "Bikers say they put white flags on Brooklyn Bridge" and "White flags on top of Brooklyn Bridge hoisted by pro-bicycling group."
By Wednesday, the outlets had realized their error and scrubbed the headlines, but not before they had been screencapped by journalismism fans for posterity. Luckily for the AP, @BicycleLobby was willing to turn their confusion into a unique business opportunity: