COMMENTARY: Irresponsible Journalism is not Funny

At long last, a mea culpa from a man who has been prepared from birth to blame others. Art Bietz admits faking several news stories in earlier articles this afternoon, and begs forgiveness from the Jared Lorenzen Fan Club, the Pillsbury Corporation, Tastykake, and Browns fans the world over. It's kind of sad and pathetic, really.

We are very, very, very sorry.

This morning, we ran a series of stories, starting with a bold statement on my part that a new sponsor, Pilsbury Foods, would not effect our "fierce editorial independence".

Following that appeared a hard-hitting commentary comparing Browns football to a "delicious waffle just soaking in tasty syrup", a scoop on the team's desire to draft Jared "The Pillsbury Throwboy" Lorenzen, and a discussion of the horrors of pre-made bakery products (as opposed to the great stuff you can make at home).

Fortunately, a proposed article blasting the Adkins Diet as a communist plot backed by Art Modell was never published.

Publishing these articles was very irresponsible of us. None of this stuff is true.

We probably made it worse by suggesting that three-day-old crescent rolls could be effectively used via giant slingshots to bean stadium troublemakers. It was completely reprehensible that we would suggest that Oreo, which is actually "the official cookie of the Cleveland Browns", would suffer due to the packaged cookie dough manufactured by Pillsbury. Furthermore, it was wrong to Photoshop the Pillsbury Dough Boy, a trademarked entity, standing at the podium for a make-believe Cleveland Browns press conference.

Probably nothing was worse than our fake news story that the Browns were targeting Jared Lorenzen since he was 288 pounds and can serve as his own left tackle. We were wrong to say that Butch Davis intended to work him out at center so that he could hike the ball to himself.

As far as the comment that Lorenzen has "the arm and touch of a bazooka", we just said that because we thought it was funny. It has no basis in fact.

Personally, I blame the dawgs in the Drunk Guy Planning Forum, who are just a very, very bad influence. Particularly T-Dog. Come to think of it, it's all their fault and they made me do it by threatening to replace my supply of real beer with Iron City.

Lorenzen is a legit mid-round prospect and it will be a lot of fun to see how he does as a pro prospect. The Browns have scouted him, and he might actually wind up in Cleveland. He had the misfortune of being the center of all this because it gave the irresponsible doofballs behind this site the opportunity to poke fun at corporate tie-ins, Browns offensive line strategies, the "2003 Tasty Kake Riot", and other weirdness in a neat package. In reality, he's an interesting pro prospect who does actually have good speed and mobility for his size.

The whole thing about Pillsbury being a sponsor as intended to poke fun at how easy it might be to buy off a "fiercely independent" Browns magazine and web site. If Pillsbury or whoever makes Eggo Waffles paid me enough money, that paltry chunk of change where my kids college fund is supposed to be might convince me to write an ode to waffles. All satire, or even a lame April Fools Day prank, needs an element of truth.

I also blame everyone who slapped me last year for not doing anything for April Fools. It's your fault as well.

To be quite blunt, it's everyone's fault but mine. I'm just a tool of the system. Or a just a tool. Either works.

Anyhow, we might as well come clean since everyone has figured it out anyway.

It was very bad of us, and we'll never do it again. Honest. Really.

- AB


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