MY WIFE SURPRISED ME yesterday morning with headline news she was reading on her iPhone.
She said they found the remnants of an Egyptian army in the Red Sea. She started reading the news: “Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry announced this morning that a team of underwater archaeologists had discovered the remains of a large Egyptian army from the 14th century BC, at the bottom of the Gulf of Suez.”
I said I had just checked the top news from the Associated Press, Reuters, and the BBC – part of my morning routine – and I hadn’t seen anything reporting that. And I said news like that would of been substantial enough that it would make the major news outlets.
I told her it sounds like a hoax.
She said they found over 400 skeletons, along with weapons and armor and two war chariots all scattered over an area of about 200 square meters (yards).
I asked, “What’s the source?”
She said it was Egypt’s Antiquities Ministry.
“No,” I said, “Who is reporting this news?”
She checked and saw it was World News Daily Report.
I said, “Never heard of it. The source of the information is important.”
I went to their website and clicked the “About Us” link. There wasn’t much there.
I did an Internet search with one of the names listed in the article. It took me to Biblical Archaeology, a well-known and reliable source of archaeological information related to Bible times. It identified the story as a hoax, made up by a satire website.
Search “World News Daily Report,” and you get the title line “World News Daily Report – News You Can Trust.”
You can’t trust it. It’s a satire site.
When I checked it yesterday, for this article, the lead story was about a Cooper County pumpkin rapist who was “serving a six-year sentence for committing 60 public sexual assaults on pumpkins and other squashes.”
That changes the whole context for the story about finding an Egyptian army in the Red Sea.
There’s so much information out there now that it’s hard to know who to trust. We’ve got satire sites. We’ve got news organizations that exaggerate because it attracts more viewers, which attracts more advertisers, which lines the pockets of media moguls with more money, while diminishing our ability to know what is actually going on. And we’ve got liars who make stuff up from out of nowhere and spew them into a microphone as though it’s God’s honest truth.
All of this makes it harder to find the truth.
But we should not stop looking, researching, thinking for ourselves, and asking God’s Spirit to nudge us in the right direction when we need a good nudge.