by: Bob Magee

In the last 48 hours we've seen what can happen when "Internet journalists" forget to read...

PWBTS printed a series of CLEARLY MARKED April Fool's Day Stories on its newsboard on April 1. One of these was a "story" that ECW was folding, and that Paul Heyman was going to announce this fact at the CyberSlam convention occurring April 3. Others went after some of our "favorite" targets; such as Mark Madden, Jose Lothario, and "World Extreme Wrestling".

We're hardly unique in that respect, as even Bob Ryder did so on #WCWChat with a "rumor" that the only reason that the WWF had won recent Monday night ratings was that "a hacker had gotten into the Neilsen computers and altered the results". This "story" also was CLEARLY MARKED as an April Fool's Day Story.

So what happens when "Internet journalists" forget to read? They wind up making total fools of themselves.

Two versions of this "ECW folding" story made their way onto the LordsOfPain.Net page, one of the sites that this column is posted on. One by someone named "Jonny Fairplay" who does a RA show and posts items on the LOP newsboard. I don't know him and have never met him; so I've no right to an opinion one way or another about the man.

But there's a little charmer named Marc Middleton, who I definitely have opinions about. Middleton's the one who runs the Chris Candido and Tammy Sytch site. He's also the person who claimed Dave Scherer and Bob Ryder made up the story about Tammy Sytch's arrest. We all know how THAT one came out.

One version of the Middleton/Fairplay "ECW Folding story" has Cyber Slam being the "farewell" show, and the other has the Hardcore Heaven PPV being the "last show".

It's pretty obvious that one of three things happened:

1) One or the other (or both) lifted this "story" from our April Fool's postings, without citing PWBTS as a "source".

2) One or the other (or both) didn't completely read the April Fool's statement at the bottom, stating CLEARLY that all the items were exactly that and nothing more.

3) In the version (Fairplay's) that claims that Scott Bigelow told him this story, perhaps Bigelow read our "story" and decided to have some fun working an "Internet journalist".

This "story" has gotten carried away beyond anything rational, to the point of needing to be denied by the semi-official news source for ECW,

What are the lessons to be learned here?

If you're a wrestling fan, look for credible sources for the wrestling news and rumors you read on the Internet.

If you're a wrestling fan, assume that a worker that "tells you an inside story" could be doing just that...working you.

If you write for a website, READ what is in front of you before citing it or stealing it.

If you're anyone reading this column, please remember to take it a bit easier about the things that don't matter in this life. This would certainly include stories that are written on websites on April Fools Day. That way you'll remember to take the things that DO matter seriously, and keep each in their proper place.

Until next time....

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