We live in an age when fake news is often more informative than the real thing—we get more information out of the imitation gravitas of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert than we do from the cable-news personalities they're spoofing. And satirical website The Onion's absurd headlines often expose our current condition better than any factual report.
We also live in an age when politics in the U.S. have reached such a state of absurdity that almost anything is believable. You can't make this stuff up, as they say.
A website called The Stately Harold published a story nearly a week ago with the headline "Ted Cruz: The Texas floods are caused by Native American rain dances."
What a crazy thing for Texas Senator Ted Cruz to say! Did he really say that? It sounds crazy, but then, it's Ted Cruz.
Many Natives on Facebook shared the story around, and we received the link from numerous readers. It's a story that wasn't out of the realm of plausibility. Ted Cruz really could have said something like that.
But don't believe it. The Stately Harold is a satirical news site. Ted Cruz did NOT say that "the heavy rain is obviously caused by Native Americans doing their rain dances and what not, and if we don’t address the Native American issue better in this State, we’ll be seeing further flooding in years to come." He also did NOT say that "Native Americans have been practicing black magic for centuries and this is no doubt their work." Those are fake quotes.
Now, the fact that many people didn't pick up on the fakery, assuming it was just Ted Cruz being Ted Cruz, is an issue that maybe should give Ted Cruz pause. It won't, but maybe it should.
The post has been shared 655 times on Facebook (click to read an entertaining debate in the comments thread) and tweeted almost 4,000 times.