Bogus trend smorgasbord: sack-tapping, vodka eyeballing, and "little girl" parties.

Media criticism.
June 3 2010 5:41 PM

Bogus Trend Smorgasbord

Sack tapping, vodka eyeballing, and "little girl" parties.

(Continued from Page 1)

How many vodka eyeballers does the Daily Mail interview? One. How many people—other than the eyeballer interviewed—tell the Daily Mail they've witnessed vodka eyeballing? Again, one. The paper reports, "Another woman I spoke to this week recalled seeing her former boss … 'drinking' vodka through his eye at an advertising party."

Gawker took the vodka eyeballing trend down on May 16 with a brief swipe, noting that the primary evidence that eyeballing is trending is the depictions of it on YouTube. Yet news organizations continue to peddle the Daily Mail's nonsense—Washington Examiner, May 25; WCBS-TV, May 27; Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, May 30; Toronto Sunvia CHealth, May 31; and others.

As you can imagine, vodka eyeballing is hugely dangerous. Only a moron should consume his beverages in such a manner—or read articles about it.

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The final entry in our bogus trend smorgasbord is served by our friends in the Great White North. In late May, newspapers in Vancouver, Chilliwack, and Toronto warned readers to be on the lookout for "little girl" parties in which sexual predators invite middle-school girls to parties, get them drunk, and then deflower them.

Even though the Royal Canadian Mounted Police helped sound the original alarm, there appears to be no evidence that a little-girl party has ever taken place. The Saskatoon Star Phoenix put the record straight on May 29, reporting, "Chilliwack RCMP spokeswoman Const. Tracy Wolbeck said police do not know of any students who have participated in such parties or any occasions when these parties actually occurred."

******

Shameless plug for a friend: Be the first to preorder Jon Cohen's Almost Chimpanzee: Searching for What Makes Us Human, in Rainforests, Labs, Sanctuaries, and Zoos. Thanks to all the bogus trendspotters, too numerous to mention, who goaded me into cooking this smorgasbord. Keep sending those bogus spottings to slate.pressbox@gmail.com and watch my Twitter feed for my home-grown bogusity. (E-mail may be quoted by name in Slate's readers' forums; in a future article; or elsewhere unless the writer stipulates otherwise. Permanent disclosure: Slate is owned by the Washington Post Co.)

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