Monday, April 14, 2008

When did newspapers start printing garbage? I mean, didn't they have some semblance of truth at some time in the recent past? Here's reason #756 why I'm not religious: because religious people are the worst liars around. God wants them to lie if it promotes His purposes, they reason, so they spread them thicker than any atheist would.

I offer as evidence Michael Daly's smug little article in Thursday's Daily News, headlined "Our moral victory: No papal scalpers in evidence online." Mr. Daly scoured Craigslist in both New York and Washington D. C., and while D. C. had overpriced tickets on offer, there were none for sale in New York.

Mr. Daly takes it as a blessed sign, like the Virgin Mary performing cartwheels around the sun. "Apparently, not everything in New York has its price after all. . . . Craigslist on Wednesday had any number of people pleading for tickets to the papal Mass on April 20 at Yankee Stadium. But there was not one online scalper offering tickets."

Yes, he declares, this is "proof we really are more upstanding" than D.C. And we all finish the story with a lump in our hearts: I mean, if even the lowly, hard-hearted scalpers recognize that it's wrong to scalp tickets to His Highness, there's got to be hope for all of us, right?

Um, not quite. Because there's one small flaw to this story. TICKETS TO SEE THE POPE ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE. In fact, in a high-tech bid to stem off scalpers, the Archdiocese of New York posted a warning to this effect on that very same Craigslist, posted two days before this article hit print.

""It is important to note the following," the ad says. "Tickets to all events are free. Any tickets for sale on websites or through ticket brokers are fraudulent; Individuals who request tickets will be required to provide name, address, and date of birth; All tickets are NON-TRANSFERABLE. Adult ticket holders will be required to show government issued photo identification at the entrance to the event."

How'd you miss that, Mr. Daly?

So, in the end this isn't quite the moral victory Mr. Daly sees. In fact, it's straight out of the Emily Litella School of Journalism, deserving to be appended with a quavery "Never mind!" But while I'm sure this article will provide comfort for the logic-deprived faithful, to those of us with brains it bolsters our case. Because if writers will fabricate this kind of heartwarming fodder for third-rate fishwrap, what lengths would they go to for a Book?

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