True or false?
The following headlines and stories published during the past year are either taken from so-called serious news websites, or from satirical publications. It is your job to work out which are which. Some are easy, some are not. Scroll to the bottom for the answers.
Can you spot the truth?
1: VEGAN SINGLE MUM DRINKS SPERM SMOOTHIES EVERY DAY TO GIVE HER ENERGY
We start with a spurious health claim. These sort of stories are much beloved by the tabloid press, and here we have a headline combining two of their favourite things: It is both a sexual scandal and health fad. The question is, did this really happen, or is it a line from the imagination of a satirist?
2: AFTER BRUSSELS: WORLD LEADERS MEET TO AGREE ON BEST EMPTY SLOGAN
Was the response to the atrocities in Brussels Airport last year so callous? It certainly seems possible given the way the world has gone…
3: CORBYN LOOKS BACK ON BEST-EVER YEAR OF JAM MAKING
The UK Leader of the Opposition is known for his obscure interests. Is jam making just the next step after growing the marrows he does on his allotment? Or is this the sort of scurrilous codswallop we need less of?
4: KREMLIN NAMES TRUMP EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
The Russians are clearly happy at the election of Donald Trump, but does their shameless sense of humour know no bounds?
5: BAN ‘VEGETARIAN’ SAUSAGES BECAUSE THEY ARE CONFUSING CONSUMERS, SAYS GERMAN GOVERNMENT MINISTER
We know that the stereotypical German enjoys a sausage or two, but are they really this against the meat-free alternative? Surely a member of the government would have to be more impartial than that?
6: JEAN-CLAUDE JUNCKER BLOCKED EU CURBS ON TAX AVOIDANCE, CABLES SHOW
The top EU mandarin surely wouldn’t be such a hypocrite? The Brexit hoards surely couldn’t be right about the incompetence of even one politician?
7: UK FOREIGN OFFICE CONDEMNS ‘DEPLORABLE’ HOMOPHOBIC TWEETS FROM RUSSIAN EMBASSY
The Russians again. Surely both of these headlines can’t be true? Perhaps one of them is… But is the combination of Russia, Homophobia and a rogue Twitter account just too obvious fodder for the satirists?
8: MOVIE ABOUT IRELAND’S WIN OVER NEW ZEALAND ANNOUNCED
The Irish rugby union team beat world-leading New Zealand recently. And we know the Irish both enjoy drinking too much, celebrating sporting victory, and combining the two. However, is it really believable that someone has commissioned a film about this? If it’s good enough for Leicester City and Jamie Vardy, maybe!
9: NIGEL FARAGE’S ANTI-EU POSTER DEPICTING MIGRANTS RESEMBLES NAZI PROPAGANDA
Would the face of Brexit really do this? How low do you think the debate got? Last June seems an awfully long time ago, it did get pretty horrific, but is the rise of fascism currently as obvious as this?
10: CARBONARA WARS: WHY ITALY IS RIGHT TO BE MAD ABOUT A FRENCH FARFALLE TRAVESTY
Both the French and the Italians love their food, we know that. So it’s pretty plausible that they’d be engaged in a culinary skirmish or too. That said, surely the language in this headline is too much? It sounds like a creative writer was suddenly very hungry? What do you think? (We’re off to order some food…)
And in case you are taking this quiz a little too seriously:
TIE-BREAKER: GRAN WITH SHOVEL FIGHTS GIANT FOX
No chance in hell this one is true. No chance at all. If it were, it would have been front-page news the world over, right?
1: TRUE, 2: FAKE (Private Eye, April 2016), 3: FAKE, 4: FAKE, 5: TRUE, 6: TRUE, 7: TRUE, 8: FAKE, 9: TRUE, 10: TRUE.
And the Tie-Breaker is TRUE.
How did you do? If this was too easy, kindly send your complaints somewhere else, we are bad at replying to emails.