This Will be Believed by so Many People That...
It'll SCARE You.
(Personalized on request---be "Chief of Operations",
or the "23rd Car to Drive the Span")
Supplement, 03-16-01: We recently did a promotion in which we sent out several hundred copies of this article to news agencies all over the country, with a one-line note which said:
"We'd like to see you cover more important stories such as this."
We are still receiving replies from reporters and editors which apologize for not covering the story of the Pacific Bridge, saying it was "just too far out of their news area".
Ahhhh..... our media.....
We told you you'd be scared. We are!
The following is an actual email we received.
The sender's name has been blocked:
Subject: Re: Please cover the really important news stories
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 08:34:34 +0000
Dear friend, We have not covered this story because first we had not heard of it, and second, we would need a political or environmental angle on it. Is there such an aspect? It does not seem so from the story. If you know more, please let us know. thanks, XXXXX X for the Free Press
Article Text Below, Feel free to copy and make changes to the story you submit to us.
New bridge scheduled for completion in mid 2006
Pacific Bridge Progress Ahead of Schedule
Airlines Fear Loss of Revenue; Call Span "Unfair Competition"
Yourtown---- (NOTICE: Any names of towns, locations, people, institutions, etc., used in these sample fake newspaper stories, are purely fictional, chosen at random, and are not meant to portray or represent any real person, place or deed. Remember that no matter what name a writer chooses to use in any fictional story, there is a real person (or many persons) SOMEWHERE who have that exact name.)
Project authorities announced today that the "Pacific Bridge" project (sometimes referred to as the Pacific Span) is ahead of schedule and under budget---good news for taxpayers.
"We expect to see traffic flowing from Coos Bay to Hawaii in mid 2005," said Paul Kimble, chief architect for the project. "We're very pleased with our progress, and we think we can maintain the pace through completion."
Constance Construction, the primary contractor on the project, openly admits that the rapid progress has been due to "irregular" weather---meaning lighter winds and fewer winter storms than normal, a possible side-effect of global warming.
"Weather is critical to a floating span," said Mr. Kimble. "The calmer the ocean, the faster we can fit floating span segments, and the more miles we can cover each week."
The toll for the bridge is expected to be hefty---perhaps as high as $250 for one car and two occupants, each way. Still, major US airlines are calling foul on the Federal Government, citing 'unfair competition'.
"We need a certain reliable flow of consumers to keep our trans-Pacific flights operating," lamented Jane Hellings, spokesperson for a conglomeration of airline-oriented corporations. "We're concerned that this (new bridge) is going to leech customers away from the air travel market, which will ultimately cause some of those carriers to fail and collapse. We don't feel the Federal Government has any business funding projects that compete with us---and this bridge is a blatant example of direct competition."
Government officials counter that the bridge has been needed for decades, and that construction is for the greater public good, and therefore warranted.
In any case, Pacific Island Real Estate values are expected to soar, while tourism in the Coos Bay area is expected to increase by as much as ten thousand percent within two years of the completion of the bridge.
"This is America's 'Chunnel'," commented Senator Bill Campbell. "England has its great historical bookmark, which is the tunnel under the English Channel from the UK to France. Now we (Americans) have something just as romantic and impressive in our resume.
See End of an Era? Page D-5
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