Long-time op board readers certainly remember the infamous SCOTS VS. THE NET REPORTERS feud, where everyones favorite odd-voiced Canadian took on the various news reporters and sites (lets face it, both reporter and site have to be in quotation marks when the terms net, news, and wrestling are being grouped together). The reason for this was the belief that wrestling reporters would print any old lie or rumor in order to fill a page regardless of whether its true, whether the facts have been checked, or even whether its so obviously fake that no one capable of dressing themselves or using the big peoples potty shouldve believed it. It was a momentous undertaking, but it ushered in a new era where no one would ever again post any old piece of bullshit without at least taking the cursory extra step of attempting to verify it, successfully bringing about an end to cut and paste reporting.
Last week none other than PW Torchs Wade Keller and 411s Ashish jumped upon a scoop that Roughkuts favorite wrestler, Edge, was going to be appearing in the upcoming Batman movie as Egghead. Considering that Egghead and Edgehead are pretty close terms, that the character was British, and Edge has never appeared in a movie for more than a couple of minutes there shouldve been red flags going off all over the place. Instead the story went up basically as fact, with the only out being that it was credited to a reader rather than from the site itself.
Problems were that a) the original source for the story was not credited, and (more importantly) b) IT WAS A PARODY STORY! Yes, TRPs own Der Kommissaar had reported it in our News Under the Influence section (read the story HERE) months ago. In fairness to Ashish, he really had a good sense of humor about it all and removed the story as soon as he was informed. Torch, unrivalled paragons of truth and honesty they are, have yet to remove it as of this writing 5 days later (HERE
is the link. If this FINALLY prompts them to remove the post you can still see a screencap HERE).
Holy Rumor Omelette, Batman! Wrestler rumor makes the rounds. November 06, 2003 - Pro Wrestling Torch claims that wrestler Adam "Edge" Copeland might be in the running to play the villainous "Egghead" in director Chris Nolan's forthcoming Batman film. Bat-fans will recall that Egghead was created for the campy 1960s TV series and portrayed by the late Vincent Price.
Edge's photo can be seen to the right. Obviously, he bears no resemblance to either Egghead or Price. That means these rumors are bogus, right?
Batman-on-Film thought so, too, until they started asking around. "While no one will confirm the rumor, nobody can shoot it down either," they report. One of BoF's sources suggests that, if the rumor is true, then "it's for an extreemly small role. I know for a fact that there is not one bit of camp in this film. Not one bit. That was mandated from on high."
In related news, BoF also points out that the official site for Pinewood/Shepperton Studios lists a Warner Brothers project entitled Intimidation Game as being in pre-production at the British studio. Intimidation Game has long been the rumored title for the next Batman film.
This was confimred by EDGE himself on Byte This show today. He hasn't been offered ANY role to star in a BATMAN film. For that matter he doesn't even have an AGENT. So for all of you who couldn't tune in today this is finally confirmed as, drum roll, FALSE! Thank you and have nice day. Would you like fries with that?
As Eric Bishoff asks if he's ok I get this message ------------
ssjaj23: Goldberg: What's wrong? I can't sell, I'm sloppy in the ring. I don't like being heel. I have no ring phycology
Just had to sign up to say that seeing CRZ cracking up over my post made my day. Five years later, I finally get to pay you back a little. Long-time fan, used to print up your recaps during the few minutes I had at work on a computer to take home and enjoy.
Wait'll you see part 2, where 1wrestling and loads of others posted it AFTER we'd exposed it, prompting Edge himself to have to answer to the rumor. :)
Lethalwrestling.com: If you don't read us, you're probably gay.
Those of you who read my LAST POST are already familiar with the story behind the rumor of Edge playing Egghead in the upcoming Batman flick (Good Lord, just typing that sentence cracks me up that ANYONE believed it). Haha, another bogus net rumor, lets laugh at the guys who get more hits than us, time to move on right? Certainly I sure assumed that was the end of it.
Not by a longshot, buddy.
24 hours AFTER it was first exposed here 1BigPoS bit on the story, using a comic book site as their source (What? Torch? Never heard of them). Now, I can understand their staff not reading Lethal, since opinion boards have sort of been making it one of their unwritten mission statements to mock Ryder and company at every single opportunity dating back at least 5 years now (to the point that if youre having a conversation with either Ryder or Scherer and so much as mention my name youre immediately blocked hehehehe). However, at this point the word was already starting to get around to the messageboards where the story had originally come from, and for a site that boasts how many sources they have in the industry it sure wouldnt have taken a whole lot of research to find out the tale was complete bunk. HERE is the screencap. If you type in the link youll see the page still exists, but now is only reporting news about the next film role for The Rock. Nice retraction guys, very professional.
Well, once it had been on the nets version of the Columbia Journalism Review it was only a matter of time before the rest of our nations future Pulitzer winners were jumping all over each other so their site could have the scoop before the cut and paste site where their friendly rival posts got it. The first was PROWRESTLING.COM, which looks like the reporter was basing the information on discussions with his A-List of Hollywood sources since he doesnt credit ANYONE with the information. From there (or maybe vice-versa), it was on to the 100 sites where MATTHEW BOONE reports who I KNOW will copy and paste at will since when I was starting out we ran a site together and EVEN THEN it annoyed the bejeezus out of me he wouldnt at least put a story in his own words before throwing up on the headlines page.
It even made it outside the realm of wrestling, with movie sites reporting the rumor (both the one that 1pop-up credited and IGN FILM FORCE).
By yesterday, it was strikingly obvious just how big the story had gotten. This is the tease that WWE.com used to shill Edges appearance on last nights ByteThis radio show:
Edge in the next Batman movie?
That's the rumor currently going to [sic] around. Edge puts the rumor to rest and discusses his return date and much more on Byte This! Plus, Scotty 2 Hotty talks about his recent return to the ring.
And a quick recap of the appearance:
Email from Fern in England who asks about a rumor that Edge was going to be in the new Batman film. Edge says that hes heard that rumor also, but it is untrue. He said he doesnt really have an agent, but wouldnt care if he was offered a part because he just wants to get back to being in the ring again. He jokes that he had also heard he was playing the part of Egghead in the new Batman film. He said he has a misshapen head, so it would work well. (thanks to Sexten Effect for being on top of this)
So after a week of watching this comedy of misinformation, Im left with two overriding thoughts. The first is a simple feeling of pride for my homey Der Kommissaar over at THE RING POST. Inadvertent or not, he put one over on EVERYONE (even though hes humble enough to give plenty of credit to the guy who sent in the story to Torch for getting this rolling).
The other thought, however, is far dourer. And REALLY leaves a rotten taste in my mouth.
To EVERYBODY who reported this: Shame on you. You want to know why Dave Meltzer has legitimate respect both inside and outside the industry while you are looked at as a net geek who is doing as much damage to professional wrestling as Stephanie McMahon? BECAUSE HE WOULD NEVER FALL FOR SUCH A LOAD OF CRAP!! Never mind the story itself is so unbelievable for so many reasons that you should feel like a re-re for even allowing your brain to process the possibility it might be true, before this story ever went on the Observer you can bet your ass that either Dave or Alvarez or someone on staff wouldve talked to Edge, or a friend of Edge, or Edges agent and the second he learned that Edge DOESNT EVEN HAVE AN AGENT the story wouldve died right then and there.
Am I making too big a deal about this? After all, its a harmless enough story. It isnt going to affect any upcoming storylines, or put someones position in the company in jeopardy, and it certainly doesnt hurt Edges standing if someone in the movie industry notices how many people believed he's got enough of a star quality to believe such a completely bogus tale. Besides, in a world where Jayson Blair was a top reporter for the NY Times and the horrors that Jessica Lynch endured (which every news source in America reported) are beginning to look completely fabricated is this really anything more than the status quo of news reporting nowadays?
Sadly the answer is no. Still, its bold-faced proof that calling these places news sites is giving them far too much credit. I never took a lot of stock in your average net rumor but when youre watching something like this from the front row it just becomes stunning how a story with ABSOLUTELY NOT A SHRED OF TRUTH TO IT could sweep completely across the net like that. And its not even like these guys were set up. They were all simply too inept, bereft of sources, too lazy, and/or too indifferent to their own accountability for accuracy to take anything resembling an extra step in an attempt to verify it. How big the story was is irrelevant, the important thing next time you visit any of these sites to remember is how little they cared when posting it and to question whether the news story youre reading there went through the same rigorous round of fact-checking the Edge debacle did.
The internet is a wonderful place as long as you dont trust it for anything more than providing shitloads of free porno.
Not enough eggs-pletives in my vocabulary to properly tongue-lash these guys