The blind leading the blonde

Categories: Media
Blondes are not going extinct.


That's the big news in today's Pioneer Press. Unfortunately you have to read the "Accuracy Watch" section to learn this little nugget of information. Here's the correction in its entirety:

Local: A Laura Billings column on Tuesday cited new research on the evolution of blondes from the World Health Organization that has been reported in several publications. The agency, however, never performed such a study.

Unfortunately this purported extinction study was the entire basis for Billings's column--a particularly vapid rumination on the dearth of natural blondes still gracing the planet.

Now Billings is certainly not the first journalist to be fooled by an internet hoax. And in some ways she's in good company: gullible reporters at CBS, CNN, ABC, and The New York Post all fell for the blonde-extinction story too. The Washington Post even wrote an article scrutinizing how so many media outlets were duped.

But here's the kicker: that was in 2002.

(By the way, have you heard the one about the blonde who sued her pharmacy because she became pregnant even after spreading contraceptive jelly on her toast?)



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