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Trivia / Private Eye

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  • Old Shame: For years, Private Eye campaigned against the MMR vaccine based on Andrew Wakefield's word that it caused autism, at one point running a 33-page "special report" supporting his claims. After it was discovered that Wakefield's claims were part of a hoax, the paper printed a column in which they admitted they "got it wrong."
  • Technology Marches On: The Eye used to be known for publishing extracts from newspapers where the type had been set wrong, often producing a hilarious or bizarre juxtaposition. Now that newspapers are written electronically, this doesn't happen so much anymore; the modern equivalent, usually less funny, is when newspaper journalists put in filler text for a caption and forget to replace it with the real caption. These mistakes (together with Accidental Innuendo examples) used to be collectively known as 'boobs' and, amusingly, a compilation was published called Private Eye's Bumper Book of Boobs. In the following years, they started moving on to compilating screenshots of absurd contextual advertisements in newspapers' websites, such as ads selling a holiday cruise in an article about a cruise crashing and sinking.
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  • What Could Have Been: Parodied with the "First Drafts" cartoon series, which features famous authors either in the process of inventing their distinctive style or trying to write before having discovered it (such as Philip Roth starting a book with "I'm Jewish; I don't see much mileage in that, so, moving on...")

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