This image appeared in my twitter feed a couple of times yesterday. I skipped over it not knowing the context since it was obviously a fake:

Turns out it’s real. CNN actually put this on TV. This is very scary for a number of reasons, the most of which is that we’re now beyond Poe’s Law.

Poe’s law is an adage of Internet culture that states that, without a clear indicator of the author’s intent, it is impossible to create a parody of extreme views so obviously exaggerated that it cannot be mistaken by some readers or viewers as a sincere expression of the parodied views.

The original statement of the adage, by Nathan Poe, was:

Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is utterly impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone won’t mistake for the genuine article.

It was bad enough not knowing what was real vs. what was basic satire for the past 20+ years in America, but now that what should be exceptionally obvious and stupid satire may actually be real means we’ve passed into a new phase of American stupidity. We live in disturbing times.

Further Reading: