Let’s Talk with Karla Darcy

If it’s in print is it true?

by Karla Darcy

While shopping for Thanksgiving dinner at the grocery store I began to wonder how much of what we see in print is true. As a writer I try to write accurately and research my facts but I’m not convinced that the rest of the world is “on the same page.” This became pretty apparent when I hit the checkout line and noticed the glaring headlines of one of the magazines. “DOG RESCUES FOUR CHILDREN AND TWO CATS FROM BLAZING INFERNO” This tabloid is one of those publications that entertain you with provocative headlines. In most cases I think the truth is nonexistent.

“ALEC BALDWIN DISCOVERS SECRET OF GROWING HAIR WITH RADISHES.” Late at night when I’m trying to sleep, these sensational headlines come back to haunt me. I find myself wondering if it can possibly be true. About midnight, I become angry contemplating why our scientists haven’t discovered this secret. At three in the morning, I am trying to decide if the radishes are ground up or used whole.

“FOOTBALL QUARTERBACK HOLDS KEY TO MIDEAST PEACE.” That one really intrigued me. I tried to decide if he got this enlightenment during a play or after the game. The trouble is when a guy like this comes across invaluable information, nobody but a tabloid is going to listen to him.

Most of the problems of the world are solved either by the tabloids or my cousin Dennis after he’s had five beers. Dennis is usually described by his social set as being deep. At four in the morning I find any statement short of “goodbye” very deep indeed.

The headline yesterday was: “MAN ABDUCTED BY UFO FOR THE FOURTH TIME.” This guy, who’s bound to be named Calvin, must have a pretty understanding wife. You can just picture Cal out in the wheat field showing his friends where he was standing when – whoosh, he’s gone again. His wife is either naïve or extremely trusting when he comes up with the same old excuse for being late to dinner.

Now, the first time my husband came home after two days and told me a UFO abducted him I might overlook it, assuming the aliens just had good taste. However, by the third and fourth time I figure I’d begin to get a little bit suspicious. You can’t be any too careful these days, especially with husbands.  A man on our block was gone for a couple of months and told his wife he was kidnapped by groupies who thought he was Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Actually, that seems a little more logical than UFOs.

A lot of people believe in UFOs and have seen and talked to people from outer space. I had a friend who once met a talking rabbit. But even Judy never admitted to seeing that rabbit more than once. After that she did say that a squirrel looked at her strangely, but then so did most of her friends.

The main thing that bothers me about the UFO headline is why they picked up the same guy four times. I don’t mind them picking up an occasional person. I’m sure they need all the information they can get. But to abduct the same fella four times seems redundant. How much information can you get out of one person? Besides, if he’s so dumb as to get caught all four times, I suspect the most brilliant idea they’ll get out of him is that you can grow hair using radishes.

Maybe everything you read isn’t true. What do you think?

Comments

  1. tinawhittle says

    I’d rather read your version of the truth, no matter what Alec is doing with radishes. For the record, I always thought those Baldwin boys were sketchy.

  2. It really seems like even “real” news articles are using shady practices to get people to click on articles. I hate the trend of sensational headlines, if the story is strong or interesting enough people will read it .

  3. I don’t believe anything in the tabloids. They’re sensationalist to make sales, but it’s fun to read the absurd headlines.

  4. In graduate school we had to “validate & verify” everything AND provide at least 2 sources if possible for all “sources” though sometimes we had only one available but still this brings me back to “journalist integrity” when I read anything today. I immediately think of my proffesors, either you plaigorized or you outright made-up garbage… 🙂 Sadly, nobody cares today and “journalists” take this to the bank literally… Why do we allow this when we would have been kicked out of university in my day without anyone backing up our pathetic behavior?

  5. karla darcy says

    You’re right about that. It’s always good to double check the sources.

  6. Denise Boyd says

    LOL, I agree with you and sometimes it is just a silly choice of words that makes a statement untrue. For example in one book that I read the author wrote that the heroine did a “365” degree turn. I almost fell off my chair when I read that one.

    • karla darcy says

      My favorite was reading a historical romance and the author mentioned there was a “mote” around the castle.

  7. elainehroberson says

    A lot of what we read isn’t true, but you have to consider the source.