News flash: Wearing clothing keeps you warm

Every so often, I'll run across a statement of the obvious disguised as news and post it to the News flash tag, but the ones I've found have nothing on this collection of the 11 Most Painfully Obvious Newspaper Articles Ever. Just click through and slap your forehead.

Bonus News Flash: Mark McGwire used steroids. I can't wait to see what other breaking news stories we'll have in the coming days. "Pope's religion identified." "Bear feces found in forest."

Comments (12)
  1. John says:

    The solution to the steroids problem is obvious: make steroid use mandatory.  Problem solved.  Seriously, at this point I just don’t care about it anymore.

  2. Marquess says:


    You don’t want to encourage junior (and amateur) athletes to use steroids, do you? They aren’t exactly healthy, after all.

  3. bahbar says:

    The Death one (#7) was sarcastic. Just read the article in there.

    Weird to pick it as part of the series…

    Good laugh anyways.

  4. mvadu says:

    The original article was published on Jan 6th. And it made it to your blog within a week.. and I wonder what makes this so special that it can bubble up the stack!

  5. Cooney says:

    Obvious as it is, how many people think to put on a sweater at home instead of cranking the thermostat?

  6. cool says:

    Putting on a sweater doesn’t fix the fundamental problem: It’s to cold. Only global warming can fix that!

  7. doidydoidy says:

    Julian: the "age 25" one is not the newspaper’s error, as you can see if you can make out the blurry attribution of the quote to former Colorado state senator Mary Anne Tebedo.

    Like bahbar already pointed out about #7, it doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the list.

  8. Julian says:

    I love "Teenage pregnancy drops significantly after age 25"! Not to mention once the individual reaches 20.

    Does *anyone* actually proof-read newspapers anymore?

  9. J. Peterson says:

    Tune in to <a href="">Jay Leno</a> on Mondays to get a fresh set of headlines.  Better do it quick though, they’ve canceled his show…

  10. I’ve worked for a (small) newspaper before as an assistant editor.

    It’s worth noting that headlines are usually written (or rewritten) by editors, rather than the original writers; silly, obvious, or humorous headlines are often intentional, most often to attract attention. A particularly goofy headline will often lead you to at least read the lead paragraph of an otherwise mundane story. Call it the "made you look" affect. (Mysterious/silly/disconcertingly obvious hyperlink descriptions can also lead to the "Made you click" effect).

    In more politically charged publications, obvious headlines can be used to reinforce audience prejudices, or to trivialize the people involved in the story.

  11. Jeff Walden says:

    The Wall Street Journal’s James Taranto often includes two different segments with variations on this theme in an online column, one titled "News of the Tautological" and one titled "What would we do without *?" where * is experts, scientists, sources (referring to an article titled "Explosives in Detroit Terror Case Could Have Blown Hole in Airplane, Sources Say"), etc.:

  12. David Walker says:

    I was surprised by the statement "Mark McGwire admits to using steriods".  It’s the "admits" part that surprised me, not the truth about whether he used steriods in the past.  Those are two different things, the doing and the admitting.

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