Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Bigfoot and the underpants gnomes

By Peter Nowak, CBCNews.ca

The latest Bigfoot hoax raises several interesting questions. As a few readers have pointed out, this latest scam received quite a bit of mainstream media attention, whereas a few years ago it would have been fodder for tabloids such as the National Enquirer. The question, then, is why? Why did the mainstream media, ourselves included, give this story the time of day?

We first mentioned the "story" here in this blog, which is a place where we tend to let our hair down and sometimes mention tidbits that are outside the mainstream news flow. We figured we'd draw attention to it because it was one of those silly, offbeat stories that some people would get a kick out of. Mostly, it was an excuse to link to the underpants gnomes and Mitch Hedberg (that clip has apparently stopped working and we can't find another one, so click on this link and look for the Bigfoot joke instead. It's funny, trust us).

We judged that a follow-up story reporting on the scam was necessary, given how much attention the whole thing had received. So again, why did it receive so much attention? A few theories:

1. Slow news day. When this happens, even the smallest and oddest stories can get blown out of proportion.
2. Too much news. On the other hand, with the proliferation of bloggers and news sites, there is just too much competition between people looking to attract reader traffic. That could mean some sites are running crazier and crazier stories.
3. The X-Files defence. Like Mulder, perhaps we truly want to believe. Over decades of exposure to conspiracy theories, there are many people out there who really, really want to see evidence of Bigfoot or aliens or that Elvis is still alive and running the Tilt-a-Whirl at the CNE.
4. Speaking of which... maybe the whole thing was a very clever marketing ploy to get people talking about the X-Files again. The new movie hasn't been doing so hot at the box office, after all.

Any other theories?

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Monkey

Winnipeg

Gotta go to work, work all day, search for underpants eh? We're never gonna stop until we find underpants, yum tum, yummy tum day!

Posted August 20, 2008 02:26 PM

Nick

Markham

Phase One: Collect Underpants. Phase Two: ? Phase Three: Profit!

Posted August 21, 2008 08:55 AM

Matt

Winnipeg

What's phase two?

Posted August 21, 2008 10:04 AM

Claudio

Windsor

I think all the attention was mostly due to the "what if..." factor. What if this is the real deal? This didn't just appear to be another snippet in the local newspaper or the 11:00 news. I mean, there was even going to be a press conference announcing the findings. Then there was the revelation that there wasn't going to be a body available for inspection until someone forked over some cash. 'Ooookayyyy' was probably what came to mind for alot of people, but I bet the "what if" was still nagging for some of us. I know it was for me, I'm not ashamed in admitting it. Do I believe bigfoot exists? Nope. Would I find it fascinating that a cryptozoological creature could exist to this very day without having been found before? Heck ya.

Posted August 21, 2008 01:32 PM

Dave

Niagara

I STILL WANT MY UNDERPANTS BACK.. PLEASE AND THANKS

Posted August 21, 2008 02:19 PM

Mike Farner

I always suspected many of the powers that be in the CBC tend to decide what is news by looking to see what other news-organisations are reporting. They should be thinking about it for themselves.

I also wish journalists studied more science, and had better training in critical thinking and skepticism. Believe it or not, you are in a position of trust. You report to a public where many of us (or more accurately all of us -- just at different times and about different things) are rather gullible.

Posted August 29, 2008 10:14 PM

« Previous Post | Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

On Day 100, Trump slams 'fake news' media at Pennsylvania rally video
U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday issued a scathing attack on the national news media at a Pennsylvania rally he organized for the same evening the White House Correspondents' Association hosts its annual dinner.
'Explosive device blast' kills U.S. service member in Mosul video
A U.S. service member in Iraq was killed Saturday by an explosive device outside Mosul, according to a statement released by the Pentagon.
Without Trump, White House Correspondents' dinner to focus on journalism
With Trump's absence, WHCA dinner organizers say they're putting the focus on the First Amendment and the role of the press in a democracy.
more »

Canada »

Father of Superstore baby says mother didn't know she was pregnant
The husband of the woman who gave birth in a Halifax grocery store says the arrival of little Ezra was even more of a surprise than it first seemed: the mother didn't know she was pregnant.
B.C. Muslim women's shelter becomes asylum haven for U.S. border crossers
A transitional home for Muslim women fleeing domestic violence in B.C. has turned into a haven for dozens of women who have fled the U.S., seeking refuge in Canada.
Police find no trace of Ontario woman and boyfriend missing in Belize
An Ontario woman is missing in Belize along with her American boyfriend, a friend says, and search crews have so far failed to turn up any clues indicating where they may be.
more »

Politics »

Analysis Common interest will ensure Canada-U.S. trade conflicts get solved: Chris Hall
Canada remains confident a deal can be reached with the United States on softwood lumber without repeating the drawn-out trade litigation of the past.
Retired widower's $50K severance stuck in troubled public pay system video
The federal government's new plan to fix its troubled public servant payroll system is getting a lukewarm reception. The strategy is being rolled out, as more stories of financial hardship are emerging.
Analysis What Harjit Sajjan really did while serving in Afghanistan
Truth being the first casualty of war has taken a decidedly different turn with growing outrage in both the political and military community about Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan's characterization of himself as the architect of Operation Medusa.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

13 Reasons Why: Is it 'exposing the truth' or a 'primer' on teen suicide?
Its popularity is undeniable, but the hit Netflix series 13 Reasons Why is facing increasing criticism for its depiction of teen suicide.
Fizzled Fyre Festival promises refunds but partygoers 'skeptical'
Organizers of the ill-fated Fyre Festival have promised disappointed partygoers full refunds and VIP passes to next year's event.
Samantha Bee gets star support for her Not The Correspondents' Dinner event
Late-night TV star Samantha Bee was pulling in celebrities for the first Not the White House Correspondents' Dinner on Saturday — a tongue-in-cheek play on the real bash, where journalists, the president and, in recent years, lots of bold-face names have mingled.
more »

Technology & Science »

Blog Robots boldly go where no one has gone before: Bob McDonald
For space exploration, robots deliver a lot of bang for your buck.
Humpback whale babies 'whisper' to their moms to avoid detection by predators
New research suggests newborn humpback whales "whisper" to their mothers, which could be to avoid detection by predators such as killer whales.
This box can see through walls — and it could shake up home security
Aura looks for intruders based on the subtle disturbances in wireless spectrum their movements make, like ripples in a lake.
more »

Money »

Analysis Everything you need to know about Home Capital's woes and the impact on the housing market video
Canada's housing market is always a hot topic, but this week it was a heretofore little-known mortgage lender called Home Capital that made headlines as clients withdrew hundreds of millions in savings in a matter of days.
'Not for the faint of heart': Why getting a marijuana producer licence is a long shot
The regulatory gates to Canada's legal marijuana regime are open, but only a crack. Health Canada has received 1,630 applications for licences to grow or sell medical cannabis as of March 31. Only 43 licences have been approved so far, representing just 2.6 per cent of the total applications.
Bombardier faces lengthy legal battle with Boeing that could hurt CSeries sales
Bombardier faces a lengthy legal battle with Boeing after the aerospace giant filed a complaint with the U.S. government and the process could hurt sales of the new CSeries commercial jet, say trade experts and industry analysts.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Live Hockey Night in Canada: Penguins vs. Capitals, Game 2
The Washington Capitals host the Pittsburgh Penguins for Game 2 of their series on Saturday night on Hockey Night in Canada. Watch coverage with our free live stream or tune in to CBC-TV.
Recap Pageau scores 4, including double-OT winner as Sens take 2-0 series lead video
Jean-Gabriel Pageau scored four goals, including the double overtime winner, as the Ottawa Senators beat the New York Rangers 6-5 on Saturday to take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal.
Road to the Olympic Games: COC's Smith has Olympian task to counter cynicism surrounding Games video
COC president Tricia Smith has the background to make some headway against all that ails the Olympic movement if she has the guts to make the right choices and the backbone to stand her ground.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »