A pemmican quotation:
Consider the recent announcement – almost certainly bogus – by movie director James Cameron that he discovered boxes that once contained the bones of Jesus, his alleged wife, Mary, and their alleged boy, Elroy, or whatever his name was. This news item is a combination of two common "not-news" stories slammed together.
1. Headline Contradicted by Actual Article. Headlines of most of the articles about this subject stated that Mr. Cameron had found a box with Jesus' bones in it. However, the actual articles tell us that there were no bones inside after all, and we don't have samples of Jesus' DNA. Headline Contradicted by Actual Article is either an editorial oversight or an intentional misleading of the public to draw attention to an otherwise lame article. In this case, however, the article wasn't just lame, it was inflammatory because of its close relation to our next type of bogus media article.
2. Ad Masquerading as Actual Article. Several hundred publications ran this article, so it's not likely that anyone was paid off for placement. But this isn't a news article – it's a commercial. Most articles tell us that the "startling" claim about Jesus will be examined in-depth in a documentary Cameron produced. And they helpfully remind us what channel it's on and what time to watch. That's an ad in my book. Figuratively and literally. (Sharp readers will see what I just did there.)