The World Around Us

The End of Batboy?

It’s been all over the blogosphere that the Weekly World News is shutting down in August.  It’s a shame; when I was in high school, my friend Barry and I would stop by the grocery store and pick up a copy on the way to the bus stop, and snicker over the stories which we knew some people were accepting as true.  And now, it’s folding.

I think there’s more to this story, though.  Bob Greenberger, an editor at the WWN, wrote Friday on his blog:

Friday morning, Jeff Rovin comes in for a meeting and then the staff was to be called in. He’s looking harried, not at all relaxed. At 11:30, we’re finally shown into an office where we are told the Board of Directors has chosen to close Weekly World News. The reasons given make no sense. We’re stunned and shell-shocked. We’re to stay on through August 3, finishing the reprint issues and then we’re done. A glorious, funny, odd publication, born in 1979, will go out with a whimper and all I can think is that something’s going on that they’re not telling us because it just doesn’t make sense.

Did you catch that?  "…it just doesn’t make sense."  What this reminds me of, more than anything, is when Art Bell "retired" (for the first time) in 1998, sparking speculation that government agents had threatened him and forced him to retire (the truth — that he was taking time off to resolve some legal issues — was much more mundane, but as I recall Bell did nothing to defuse the initial speculation).

I’m betting that this thing with the Weekly World News shutting down is a publicity stunt.  In true WWN fashion, I predict that they’ll be back and running within a few months, with a story that the government had forced them to shut down because they knew too much about how the aliens were working with Bigfoot to cover up the Kennedy assassination and how that tied in to the imminent arrival of the arch-angel Gabriel along with seven secret prophecies of Nostradamus that prove that the earth will end next Tuesday.

But, then, I’ve been wrong before…