Truth: Stranger Than Fiction
January 22, 2016
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2016 is not even a month old yet, and already the news needs a reality check. Sean Penn leads the Mexican authorities to "El Chapo," the world's most wanted man. Absurd but true, proving once again that fact is stranger than fiction. So this week, I'm offering you a little game. Take a look at the following pairs of headlines and see if you can tell which are real and which are spoofs. It might be harder than you think. Then scroll all the way down for the answer key – no cheating, please! Enjoy.
1A) The U.S. Will Start Tracking Secret Buyers of Luxury Real Estate in Manhattan and Miami
1B) We Hate Wall Street
2A) Universe Honors David Bowie with Emotional Starlight Vigil
2B) Performance of David Bowie's "Lazarus" Musical Becomes a Memorial
3A) 'El Chapo' Blue Shirt Becomes a Fashion Sensation, Sales Skyrocket in L.A. Shop
3B) Reporting on Arrest of "El Chapo" Es Estupido
4A) Workers 'Won' $949M Powerball - for 20 Minutes
4B) Learned Sage Points Out that Powerball Not as Much After Taxes
5A) BCS Computer Takes Over Every Screen in Country During College Football National Championship Game
5B) College Football Playoff Championship's Viewership Down Nearly a Quarter from Last Year
6A) Corporation Proud of Origins as Small Business that Would Never Survive in Modern Economy
6B) Small Business Failure Rates Are Declining
7A) Cher Donates 181k Water Bottles to Flint, MI.
7B) Cher Produces Benefit Concert for Flint, MI.
8A) Women, Minorities Changing the Look of the Academy
8B) Leonardo DiCaprio Screamed and Cried Good Enough In 'The Revenant' to Win Oscar
9A) The Amount of Plastic in the Ocean Could Outweigh Fish by 2050
9B) Study: Floating Heap of Trash Now Ocean's Apex Predator
10A) Snow Shoveling Tips
10B) Looming Snowstorm Threatens at Least 50 Million Across U.S.
10C) Winter Storm Shuts Down Washington D.C.
10D) Bipartisan Accord Finally Reached - Both Sides of the Aisle Will Weather Storm Together
7B) FICTION (This one's all Marcum)
On another note: winter has finally arrived in the Northeast. This weekend's storm is expected to cripple the East Coast from New England to the Carolina's. And as fate would have it, again with a major storm approaching, I'm out of harm's way. As my older children will attest, ever since any of us can remember, I've somehow ended up traveling on business and being away for most major snowstorms, hurricanes and other significant weather events. It's really uncanny. This time I am in Las Vegas, where I arrived on Wednesday for an accounting industry conference and filming of the fifth installment of the Jason Bourne movie franchise (more on this next week), and I won't be back home until next Friday. So, for those of you not as fortunate as I, who are stuck in the path of the coming blizzard, be warm and be safe.
The opinions expressed in this column are solely those of Jeffrey M. Weiner and do not represent those of Marcum LLP, its partners or its employees.
Meet Jeffrey M. Weiner