SF Weekly's Fake Story on Barry Bonds Causes a Stir

october 2, 2007  08:26 am
"Steroids Confidential," penned by newbie Weekly writers Nic Foit and Ira Tes (anagrams of "fiction" and "satire"), promises to tell the "deepest secrets of the trainer behind baseball's new home run king," and it certainly delivers. Among the story's anecdotes: In 2002, Bonds "injected human growth hormone directly into his genitals;" in 2003, he "suddenly began lactating, forcing doctors to excise his mammary glands;" and he "now supplements his diet with 'Barry's brew,' a homemade high-energy drink made of elk semen." SFist sniffed out the fake story last week: "The anecdote about Bonds lactating from his steroid-enhanced breasts in the dugout is where we were like, 'heeeeey, wait a minute!'" But famed blogger Josh Wolf didn't take the Weekly's joke so lightly. "Satire is an integral part of the press, but it is of critical importance that readers are able to recognize where the 'real news' ends and the fiction begins," Wolf writes at CNET. "While 'Steroids Confidential' starts out in left-field and expands into the absurd, there's no 'gotcha' to reveal to the reader that it's all just a ruse."