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Sunday, April 06, 2003
Looking back on April 1st

Ever since the famous spaghetti tree spoof, introduced by Richard Dimbleby on the British TV programme 'Panorama' in 1957, I have kept my eyes open for examples of deliberate hoodwinking. The Guardian managed a series of delightful hoax articles, starting with the famous Sans Seriffe supplement in 1977. Read about it here and a follow up article by the Guardian here.

I came across this Guardian contribution a few days ago and wondered if the paper was up to its old tricks:
The Vatican published an ethical dictionary yesterday saying homosexuality has "no social value", warning against concepts such as "safe sex" and "reproductive health" and insisting that condoms don't protect against sexually transmitted diseases.
The book, one of the Vatican's most scathing attacks yet on what it considers deteriorating social values, caused outrage in Italy's gay community, among some Italian politicians and even at certain levels within the Vatican itself.
The article concluded:
Fabio Canino, a popular gay television presenter in Italy, refer[red] to the Vatican's message to the world's one billion Catholics on condoms..."The irony of this vicious message against homosexuality is that there are more gays per capita inside the Vatican than in most other countries," [he said]
Perhaps it wasn't a spoof article, after all. Read the whole thing here and decide.

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