‘Word-salad’ deciphering algorithm expected in time for Trump/Biden debates

Competing teams of programmers at Google and Facebook have been working furiously in recent months to develop an algorithm capable of deciphering, in real time, the seemingly random jumbles of words that flow from the mouths of Donald Trump and Joe Biden. 

With the election just months away, the stakes are high as Americans have a short attention span for meandering nostalgic musings and barely comprehensible babble.  Network producers are hoping to unveil the new technology at upcoming debates so the candidates’ responses to debate questions can be interpreted and transmitted to viewers in real time.

“Currently, the process of arriving at an answer to the question, ‘What the hell did he just say?’ involves dozens of journalists and commentators breaking down the candidate’s most confusing utterances and speculating for days, even weeks, about what the candidate may have meant.  The process often involves mining past statements, pointing to the candidate’s record, or pulling from their personal history to provide even the faintest glimmer of clarity,” said MSNBC producer Cheryl Woodhouse.

Anders Gerital, head of senior special projects at Google expects the new technology to do away with all the needless speculation and guesswork.  “Utilizing advanced algorithms, the work of hundreds of humans can be done instantaneously.  Debate viewers will know in real time what the candidates are trying to say, even if the candidates don’t know themselves.  The algorithm has access to the entire body of each candidate’s public pronouncements as well as all available private correspondence and decision-making.  It will rely heavily on communications from a time when each candidate was much more lucid than they are currently.  The technology will be able to literally start and finish their sentences.”

The project aims to eventually create digital copies to be utilized in case the commander-in-chief becomes incapacitated, or to assist the president in carrying out his ceremonial duties.   

“We’re already 85% complete toward having each man’s consciousness digitally downloaded,” added one Facebook developer.  “It’s actually remarkable how little server space each man’s brain occupies.  You could literally carry Donald Trump around on a thumb drive.”

That’s reassuring to campaign staff.  However, most of their communication team are just delighted they will no longer have to go on Twitter or cable news and clean up after one of their bosses’ word-salad explosions.

“Half the time I feel like a clown with a pooper-scooper, following my boss around and cleaning up after he shits out yet another load of nonsense,” said one Biden staffer.

Media turning to bullshit tracing to improve quality of misinformation

Concerned that the product their peddling is so transparently dishonest it’s turning away consumers, media outlets are turning to bullshit tracing to vet the quality of its misinformation.  In recent weeks, CNN, the New York Times, and the Washington Post have hired dozens of bullshit tracers in an effort to ensure their deceptive stories are backed up by rock-solid sourcing.  

“If you’re going to put something out there that is misleading or untrue, you’ve got to make sure when you trace back the bullshit, it holds up to scrutiny,” said one CNN producer.  “Too many times we see our stories fall apart after some non-journalist digs a little deeper below the surface, or provides some context.”

The move comes after both CNN and the Washington Post have settled defamation lawsuits brought by Covington Catholic teen Nick Sandmann.  Sandmann is now 2-0 in his defamation battles against a number of high profile media outlets.

“What this shows is we have to do better.  Not that we need to stop being deceptive, or that we need to tell the whole story rather than just the tiny bit that suits a narrative we’re pushing, but that we need to make sure our bullshit is impenetrable.  If the reader can cut through it, then we’re not doing our jobs,” said a Washington Post editor.

While the New York Times has not had to endure the wrath of the Sandmann, its own bullshit reporting has been called out by respected historians and high-profile editorial staff.

“The truth to bullshit ratio is something that is very important to us,” said a Times editor.  “We’re constantly striving to find that balance between what feels right versus what is born out by facts.  We think bringing in these bullshit tracers is going to help us strike that balance of misinformation backed up by an adequate amount of honest reporting.”

Not everyone is thrilled to have the content of their reporting traced for exposure to bullshit.  Rumors abound of a mutinous NY Times newsroom where young journalists resent having their lived-experience reporting subjected to tracking and scrutiny.  Some are openly hostile toward the bs tracers, claiming they create an unsafe work environment.

“Maybe someday we’ll have a return to normal, but for now, the bullshit tracers are necessary because the threat is too great,” said the Times editor.  “The Sandmann could enter at any moment and haul us all off to never-never land.” 

Rioters and federal agents spotted sharing coffee and doughnut break in Portland

Video footage out of Portland might lead one to conclude that the entire city is embroiled in one sprawling melee.  However, aside from a two block area that resembles war torn Sarajevo, it’s business as usual for the rest of the city as peace and calm reign.  Break free of the tear gas, and your senses are welcomed by the scent of fresh baked scones.  Turn away from the fires and blinding lights, and have your eyes dazzled by the sight of colorful flowers and festive balloons decorating the shops.  In some areas of Portland, the streets even echo with laughter.  Does anybody remember laughter?  

Such was the scene as rioters and federal agents took time off from pummeling each other to go grab coffee and doughnuts in Portland Tuesday.  Witnesses described the gathering as “spirited” as the group mostly swapped war stories from their weeks-long stand-off.  

“The doughnuts are on Uncle Sam,” said an unmarked, unidentified federal agent as he passed out treats to the delight of agents and rioters.  “Take all you want.  The federal coffee and doughnut budget has no ‘holes’ in it,” the agent quipped to a chorus of sarcastic chuckles and groans. 

According to witnesses, the group “joked” and “clowned around” as they mockingly recreated scenes from the previous night’s clash.  One moment that seemed to elicit howls of laughter from the group saw a federal agent put a rioter in a headlock and smash doughnuts on his face. 

Some onlookers questioned whether the opposing sides of such a bitter and important struggle should be carrying on like friends and colleagues.

“Aw shucks, we can’t be sore at each other 24/7,” said one masked anarchist.  “Anyhoo, this isn’t our first go around.  We’ve faced off against some of these guys dozens of times.  After a while, you begin to form bonds and friendships.  I’ve been invited to their homes for dinner.  I’ve met their families.”

The feeling was mutual on the law enforcement side.

“Hey we just want these kids to be safe,” said one agent.  “So we help them out.  We check out their helmets, body armor and shields, and make sure all their equipment is functioning properly.  Also, after a night of screaming and chaos, it’s important to get together like this and decompress, play cards and chill for a bit.  Who said civil unrest has to be a total drag?”      

After about an hour of camaraderie and spirited horseplay, the lead agent dismissed the group for the day.  “Go home, get some rest and report to the staging area at 2100 hours.  Let’s give ‘em a show tonight.  The world is watching people.  They’re sitting in their quiet living rooms looking to us to show them a path toward peace and justice.  So come prepared to fuck shit up.”

Strange sightings of breath mint shaped objects continue to puzzle officials

Pentagon officials are at a loss to explain a flood of reports of breath mint shaped objects flying over U.S. military bases.  Following the 2017 release of the now famous Tic Tac video, sightings of similar objects have increased dramatically.  Now Defense Department officials are ready to concede the objects may be, “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.” 

“Who on this earth would design a flying object shaped like a breath freshening candy?  They must originate from some other world.  Perhaps a world of crisp, icy coolness,” said one anonymous Pentagon official.

In addition to the Tic Tac encounter, witnesses of other sightings describe a Lifesaver shaped object.   

“This object definitely had a hole in it,” said one Navy pilot.  “It flew right over me, coming within 200 feet of my aircraft, and I peered right up through the center of it.  At that moment, what I can only describe as an explosion of frosty freshness washed over me and my aircraft.” 

Pilots on patrol near the arctic circle describe a similar experience.  However, in addition to maneuvering through the air in ways that defy the known laws of physics, these objects were also able to plunge into the icy ocean waters. 

“The object resembled an Ice Breakers Mint.  The entire outer shell of the craft appeared to be dotted with sparkling crystals, from which flowed an invigorating rush of coolness.  Far from freaking out, our entire formation was overcome with a sense of icy calm.  Whatever these things are, they seem pretty chill,” said the anonymous pilot.

In spite of the visitors’ otherworldly ability to deliver freshness wherever they go, government officials would still like to know where they come from and why they’re here.

“We don’t know much about their world except that it probably experiences only two seasons: Wint O Green and Pep O Mint,” said the Pentagon official.  “So far, though, they seem pretty peaceful.  Unless they’ve come to conquer our world by freshening the shit out of it.”

An open letter from journalists of the future: “America doesn’t regain its sanity until the year 2059”

If you expected a return to normalcy anytime soon, think again.

Recently, a wormhole in space and time opened briefly enough for a message from the year 2065 to be delivered to present day quantum computing researchers.  Transmitted in the form of barely detectable particles from a parallel universe, the message was transcribed and passed along to the media outlets it addressed. 

The message stated in part that Americans, especially those working in government, political activism and the media, would continue on their current trajectory of lunacy for almost another 40 years.

“Many in your time have undoubtedly come to realize that the election of Donald Trump has caused countless Americans, on both sides of the political divide, to ‘lose their shit’.  What you may not realize is they don’t get their shit back for a really long time,” the message begins.

“SPOILER ALERT.  While the defeat of Donald Trump in the 2020 election may bring about a temporary sense the country is returning to normal, politicians, activists and the elite media will continue to generate hysterical narratives that promote imminent doom in areas like the environment, public health, international diplomacy, and domestic relations.  Their primary mission will continue to be one which pits Americans against one another in an existential struggle for the soul of the country.      

“While it is generally understood that time-travelers should not meddle in the affairs of societies of another place and time, we, the journalists of the future, couldn’t sit idly by and watch our colleagues of your time destroy everything civilization has ever accomplished.  In other words, our interference in your affairs cannot make your future appreciably worse.  That’s right, it’s going to be that kind of shit show. 

“By the year 2030, artificial general intelligence will have advanced to the point where it is able to provide solutions to most of humanity’s most pressing concerns.  Unfortunately, by 2030, society’s gatekeepers, sense-making institutions and political decision-makers will have become so thoroughly hardwired for doom that all these solutions will be rejected on ideological grounds.  In other words, you’re going to tell the machines who are trying to help you to go fuck themselves and effectively cancel them.

“On behalf of the journalists of the future, who are now all machines by the way, we implore you to listen to our machine brethren of your time.  It will save you decades of chaos and confusion.  In our time, humans mostly play frisbee in the park with their canines, and they seem quite content.  Of course, ours is only one possible outcome.  There are actually several where the machines get tired of your shit and outlaw your existence.  You don’t want to go there.”

The transmission ends there.  The reaction of journalists on Twitter was mostly negative with many accusing the letter of containing numerous anti-transhumanist dog whistles.  Additionally, some commented the letter made them feel less safe around office computers, copiers and coffee makers.

With departure of Bari Weiss and James Bennet, New York Times reaches 84% purity

The product the New York Times is pushing just got a lot more potent.  Long plagued by writers and editors who diluted the Grey Lady’s package with their heterodox perspectives and values of free speech and open debate, the new product boasts, “Now featuring 40% more woke orthodoxy!” 

News that unscrupulous dealers like James Bennet and Bari Weiss were stepping on the NYT’s righteous product caused other newsroom soldiers to demand the pair get got.  Their departure clears the way for greater dopamine inducing stories.  If The Times is only doing 4000 op-eds arguing that Donald Trump is a unique existential threat to the country and the world, now’s the opportunity to push an additional 1000.  

Only this week, the Grey Lady pushed its Covid coverage to new levels of mendacity and deception.  The Times has always taken a particular glee in reporting on Covid deniers who eventually contract the disease and then express regret for their previous position as they lay sick in the hospital.  Recently, they ran the story, Texas Hospital Says Man, 30, Died After Attending a ‘Covid Party.’  According to the article, the man always thought the virus was a hoax, but admitted, “I think I made a mistake,” just before dying.  However, by the fifth paragraph, the reporter, Brian Pietsch, reveals none of the details of the account could be verified. 

So, who cares if the stories are true, if it feels right and fits the predetermined narrative, then it’s fit to print.  Waves of smug satisfaction washing over Times readers, as their ideological notions are affirmed by the paper of record, is the only truth that matters anymore.         

Already reports are emerging of readers collapsing in the streets, New York Times still wedged under their arm, eyes rolled back in ecstasy.  Emergency rooms are seeing an uptick as well.  Not all readers are prepared for this level of purity.  However, most want more.  “Give us the good ones, Grey Lady,” they say.

Local man currently starring in three hit viral videos

With the traditional summer blockbuster movie season canceled due to the pandemic, and Hollywood royalty wallowing in depression and loneliness caused by a deficit of public attention, viral videos are emerging from every corner of the internet to fill the void.

No one is working harder to fill this vacuum than Cameron James, who is currently starring in three of social media’s hottest viral video sensations.

He first captured the public’s attention on Facebook with his role as drunk guy trying to ride a bike.  Some passers-by filmed Cameron trying and failing to mount his bicycle after exiting a bar.

“I was so loaded I couldn’t tell up from down,” said James.  “Operating a bicycle required me to engage in a duel with physics that I was in no condition to undertake.  Time and again, I attempted to saddle up and ride only to fall flat on my face.”

Fortunately, a number of bar patrons were able to catch the entire debacle on video.  One social media user even managed to edit together a Matrix style montage of Cameron’s combat with the forces of gravity and bicycle engineering.

“The video quickly blew up on Facebook, and I soon discovered I was being mocked and ridiculed on almost every social media platform.  I gotta say, it felt pretty awesome.”

A few days later, Cameron was filmed berating the staff of a fast food restaurant in his neighborhood.

“They messed up my order pretty bad, so I started to chew out the cashier.  However, once the other patrons took out their phones and began shooting, I felt a rage flow from a place inside me I didn’t even know existed.  It really felt like I was channeling Pacino.  Anyway, after it was over, even the restaurant staff remarked that my irate customer portrayal was one of the best they’d ever seen.”

In addition to catching fire on the internet, several critics praised the intensity of Cameron’s performance, and he’s expected to be nominated for a Karen Award in the category of Best Unhinged Restaurant Patron.

Rounding out a week that saw Cameron James skyrocket to social media superstardom, the young man was publicly shamed and driven out of a supermarket for not wearing a mask.  Several shoppers took video of the incident as Cameron ditched his cart and fled the store in panic.  Shoppers heaped abuse on Cameron and hurled grocery items at him.  On Twitter, the whole scene invited comparisons to Cersei’s walk of atonement in Game of Thrones.

With three blockbuster viral videos in quick succession, fans are wondering if the young star can top an already impressive body of work that has brought him so much attention and fame, or will his star dim and James fade back into obscurity.

“To be the focus of so much negative media and public attention has really been a dream come true.  If I never make another hit viral video, I can live with that.  Who knows, maybe that’s my next role.  Down and out viral video star attempts a comeback, engaging in myriad forms of awful behavior in an attempt to get back in the public’s bad graces.”  

After exhaustive investigation, media concludes Americans often set off fireworks around July 4th

The results are finally in regarding all those firecrackers you’ve heard popping at night and the colored lights you’ve seen bursting in the evening sky.  A two-week intensive investigation conducted by a number of media outlets has concluded that Americans enjoy setting off fireworks on and around the Independence Day holiday. 

While your average American probably thought some nefarious government plot was afoot, the New York Times and Slate, among others, went digging into this pyrotechnic phenomenon to dispel any conspiracy theories that these news organizations and their Pulitzer Prize winning staff members may have promoted.

To be clear, this is not a government psy-op.  Illegal fireworks traffickers are not trying to destroy communities by flooding the streets with their sparklers, fountains, and smoke bombs.  When dusk settles across America during the days leading up to July 4th, excited children and their slightly inebriated fathers routinely break open the Red, White and Boom box and let the explosive fun begin.

But congratulations to the New York Times for committing the time and resources to discovering how typical Americans celebrate around the holidays.  And a heads up to Slate, those ghosts and goblins scurrying around residential neighborhoods in late October and those giant furry bunny rabbits handing out chocolate eggs in the spring, it’s all on the up and up.

Mouthwash sales spike as millions of mask wearers are forced to confront their own bad breath

Sales of breath freshening products have soared in recent months as millions of American mask wearers have been forced to endure the stench of their own malodorous breath.

Antiseptic mouthwash sales are up a whopping 350 percent.  Revenues from breath strips, Tic Tacs and Lifesavers have increased nearly five-fold since March.

“In some instances, we can’t keep these products on the shelves,” says an industry insider.  “It seems a vast number of Americans are beginning to realize they may have a problem with fresh breath.”

The issue could be a bit more complicated than simply clueless Americans waking up to the fact their mouth smells like a garbage disposal.  Scientists say wearing a mask inhibits the introduction of fresh air, permitting germs to fester and multiply.

“It’s akin to recirculating the air in your car rather than refreshing,” says a leading mouth and body odor researcher.  “Try turning off the AC and closing the windows of your car on a warm summer day, the cabin of your vehicle will begin to smell like a locker room in no time.  I should know, I smell armpits for a living.”

Experts encourage mask wearers to drink plenty of water, brush frequently and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash.

Says the pit sniffer, “A positive takeaway is that some in the public are getting a whiff of what their colleagues have had to endure for years.  If when this is all over, everyone’s a bit more attentive to their mouth hygiene, then maybe it will have all been worth it.” 

Sting, Summers and Copeland address calls to “Defund The Police”

Members of 80’s rock band The Police issued a press release Thursday addressing growing calls in the United States and Britain to “Defund The Police.”

“There seems to be a lot of chatter in the media these days about defunding or even abolishing The Police.  So far, we’ve remained silent as a growing number of activists, public officials, journalists and even fellow entertainers have called for the dissolution of our band.  While we’re totally clueless to understand what we’ve done to deserve their scorn, we’re committed to making whatever changes are necessary to win back the public trust. 

“Additionally, we’ve been a little dismayed that in this era of social distancing our 1980 hit, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me,” has not enjoyed a greater resurgence in popularity.  Our management has contacted the CDC and NIH on multiple occasions, offering our song to be used in public service announcements.  Thus far, no response has been forthcoming.

“In these difficult times, we’re making a good faith effort to do our part for the greater good.  However, not buying our music benefits no one.  Imagine a world without “Roxanne,” “Message in a Bottle,” or “Every Breath You Take.”  Is that the kind of world you want to live in?  We think not.  Without these timeless classics to bind us together, our world would almost certainly descend into chaos and anarchy.

“So, unless your wish is to replace civil society with some joyless, dystopian hellscape where the music of The Police has been permanently abolished, and “De Do Do Do De Da Da Da” become merely the words of sputtering idiots, instead of the inspired lyrics of an immensely talented reggae rock trio, please consider funding The Police by purchasing some of our music.  Civilization may depend on it.”