Haven't we all learned, after Manny Pacquiao was falsely quoted last month as saying all gays should be "put to death," that the Examiner is not a source to be aggregated?
CBS2 didn't get the memo. "Lebowski fans, lift up your white russian!" the local news site wrote this morning. "The much-anticipated sequel to the 1998 hit "The Big Lebowski" is set to start filming in October, according to the Examiner."
And where, pray tell, did the Examiner get its information?
Although there is no sourcing in the story (which should have been a tip-off in itself), LAist points to the possible inspiration: A piece on joke website Super Official News called "Announced - The Big Lebowski 2: The Dude Goes To Washington."
Other stories on the site, which is sort of an indie Onion, include "Joe Arpaio Announces New Zombie Bath Salt Task Force Called SALTS" and "Gay Zombie Attack In Louisiana From Bath Salts Leaves 7 Dead."
Bullshit, clearly. And in the case of the false Big Lebowski 2 story, which was spreading like wildfire despite the site's obvious ridiculousness, the author gave readers a hand in the comment section:
"If you've made it this far, I hope you enjoyed the story. Unfortunately this is not true. And no, this article is not meant as humor. This is kind of like wishful thinking and my own personal tribute to one of the greatest movies ever made... and also to make fun of my friend Steve who thinks I wear Tapout and Affliction t-shirts.
Actually after reading my story again, it doesn't add up. If The Dude's bowling alley ever closed down, I'm pretty sure he would just say "bummer man" and then find another spot to bowl... not go all the way to Washington to fight it. But since his son was a congressman there, you could probably work it in somehow to get him motivated enough to make the journey. Plus with Brandt, Walter and Jesus helping along the way, anything could be possible."
Yet CBS2 treats the entire "report" as vetted journalistic gold. No calls to movie studios, publicists -- nothing. This is probably the worst case of hurried oopsie aggregation we've seen since TV news picked up Christwire.
Perhaps most bafflingly, CBS2 re-reports this entire clause from the Super Official News story, almost VERBATIM:
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It is still unclear if Tara Reid will return to the screen. It's rumored that the Coen brothers were so angry after she leaked the project in 2011 that they pulled her from the film.
In a very blonde moment, Reid herself mistakenly announced last year that production would soon begin on Big Lebowski 2 -- prompting this Funny or Die video in which she plays every part.
As of 2:45 p.m., the CBS2 article was still live and well. It had racked up over 3,000 shares on Facebook.