When news stories pop up about Flat Earth believers claiming to have proof that NASA and every scientist on the face of the the planet is lying about its shape, we tend to lump them all into one big pile of crazy. That’s totally unfair to them because, as a recent Flat Earth expo has revealed, there’s many different flavors of crazy when it comes to people who think we’re living on a sheet of paper… or maybe a diamond.
The conference, which was held in Birmingham in England, was the UK’s first Flat Earth Convention, according to The Daily Star. The momentous event attracted a whopping 200-or-so visitors and featured renowned speakers ranging from some guy who was once a graphic designer to a man who “stumbled across” Flat Earth videos on YouTube two years ago. Yes, it was a veritable who’s who of utter insanity, and boy was there a lot to take in.
The really special thing about Flat Earth believers is that they think everyone else is insane, even other Flat Earthers who don’t believe exactly what they themselves believe. For example, there’s a subset of the Flat Earth community that believes that the Earth is flat and that it is surrounded by a wall of ice that we know as Antarctica. Others, meanwhile, think that there’s water right up to the edge, but that a massive dome covers the entire flat planet like a roof, keeping everything nice and tidy inside.
Still others have even more obscure theories (I know, that’s hard to imagine). One of the speakers at the conference, who spends his days as a dance musician and not a scientist, insists that the planet is actually diamond-shaped, with flat sides but three-dimensional geometry. How would such an object be supported? By massive pillars, he says. It’s so obvious!
NASA and other actual scientists and researchers rarely take the time to address these insane claims, mainly because they’re so laughable it’s hard to even speak about them without breaking into a fit of the giggles.
It must be hard to be a news anchor these days. No matter what network you work for, you’re constantly being told your reporting is either shortsighted or an outright lie, and you just kind of have to roll with the punches and keep doing your job anyway. With all that to deal with, you certainly need all of your supporting cast to be on the top of their game, but it seems someone at Fox News had a brief brain fart that resulted in a rather embarrassing graphic popping up during a segment hosted by Howard Kurtz.
Regarding the topic of fake news, Kurtz was expecting his backstage crew to broadcast a simple graphic showing that the general public believes many news organizations report false information, citing a Monmouth University poll. The poll that popped up on screen also happened to be related to news networks, but rather than giving him a point at which to branch off on a tirade against his competitors, the poll data pointed to Fox News being the least trusted of the major news outlets. Oops.
“This is not the graphic we’re looking for,” Kurtz stammers as he sees what is being shown to the live broadcast’s viewers. “Hold off. Take that down, please.” At that point the graphic quickly disappears and Kurtz continues with his segment.
The incident is obviously pretty funny, but it raises a number of questions as well. Top of that list is why the show’s producers would even bother to create a graphic that very clearly shows that Fox News is, well, a bit of a joke these days. The data in the poll is credited to Monmouth University as well, and since Kurtz was just using the university’s polling to make a point in his own favor, it’s not like the host could reasonably claim bias, right? We find out a little later in the segment, as Kurtz presents the data in a slightly more flattering light.
Rather than citing the obvious, which is that Fox News is apparently the least trusted network of the major three that were included in the poll, Kurtz hedges the data by saying that all three networks are “trusted more than the President.” Well, that’s one way to put it, I suppose.
Wherein we don our Vives and Rifts, hit record, and set phasers to “ridiculous.”
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