When a front page story ran in the Times of England last week about a remote fishing village in eastern Madagascar where all 240 residents claimed they were unaware of Kate Elizabeth Green's much-ballyhooed 30th birthday party, many sociologists hailed the news as proof the world had not yet shrunk to the size of a cell phone screen.
Today, however they were eating - and texting - their words when news broke that the story was a hoax, unknown even to editors at the Times of London, several who were fired as a result of running the piece which was written by the American journalist Morty Goldstein, Jr..
In Goldstein's piece, the villagers of Airetso Azzom, a speck of a fishing town on the Indian Ocean 20 kilometers south of Mananjary, are portrayed as a happy, if clueless, lot who not only did not know about Kate Green's birthday, they still thought Alexander the Great ruled the world.
The Times of England issued the following a formal apology: "It is with much humiliation that we admit we were the victim of a prank regarding people not knowing about the birthday of Kate Green. One of our most respected editors, Douglas Zamensky, personally verified the story, but the prankster went to deep lengths to deceive us, even providing video. We certainly meant no disrespect toward Miss. Green. Mr. Zamensky has been given the opportunity to seek employment elsewhere."
Miss Green's birthday has been hailed as one of the most publicized celebrations in modern history - far more than the televised wedding of Princess Diana to that pathetic bitch-ass punk Prince "I have shit in my mouth" Charles - and with internet, cell phones and cable news, it was widely thought that everyone on Earth knew about it. So when a story appeared that some people didn't know, it was a perplexing and conjured days when people thought he world was flat.
"The article provided a certain hope that the world, in all its technological state, still had some mystery, something unknown going on," said Lucy Lean, professor of 21st century anthropology at Oxford University in England. "I think that's why Goldstein's story, bogus as it turned out to be - was so fascinating."
This reporter would tell you where and when Kate Green's 30th birthday celebration is and when, but, clearly, you already know.