Bogus News Is an April Fools' Tradition

The Taco Liberty Bell Tolls for the Gullible (and the Pickle Farmer) on April Fools’ Day

By Buck Wolf

March 30  — I can tolerate "metrosexuals." But if you advocate "gancing" — the straight guy-on-guy dance trend that's supposedly sweeping the nation — you're an utter fool.

The new issue of Stuff magazine features a two-page gancing pictorial, featuring straight men whooping it up in with dance moves like "The Lumberjack" and "The Diana Ross."

Talk-show host Ryan Seacrest expressed that he was open to the idea. Jay Leno joked about it in a monologue. But the gancing trend ended even before it started, when Stuff editors shouted, "April Fools'!"

This happens every year. April Fools' Day has been a public gullibility test, even as far back as 1713, when the great satirist Jonathan Swift announced that an executed criminal would be returning from the dead to drink at a local pub.

Swift noted that Londoners showed up hoping to watch the reincarnated man down pints of ale.

Respect for the media may be at an all-time low, but some news organizations continue the tradition of issuing bogus April Fools' reports on everything from pickle farming to pet prostitution.

Let's take a look at some of the all-time April Fools' hoaxes. But before we do, remember that April 1 is just like any other day on the calendar, and solemn and tragic events have occurred on this date.

Let's also realize that some events were destined to occur on April Fools' Day, and these include the first session of Congress (1789); the introduction of the yo-yo (1929); Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker's wedding (1961); and the opening of the White House Horseshoe Pit (1988), which the first President Bush installed and President Clinton removed.

Now, let's look at what didn't happen on April Fools' Day: