A nine-month FBI sting operation inside National Public Radio has resulted in the arrest of a correspondent who produced fake news stories in his spare time to help the Borg collective recruit new members.
Shankar Vedantam, NPR social science correspondent and the host of the Hidden Brain podcast, was taken into custody and charged with treason for collaborating with the Borg, a “collector” species that turns captives into cybernetic organisms. Vedantam reportedly used his knowledge of the human brain to write fake news articles that would expose people who were “Borg material.”
“We excel at repurposing simple-minded zealots from post-literate societies,” promises the Borg’s website.
Human distinctiveness overrated, Borg claim
Vedantam admitted the charges were true, said FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder. “Mr. Vedantam became overwhelmed with the complexity of human contradictions. He couldn’t see a way out. The Borg convinced him that human biological and technological distinctiveness was overrated. ‘Stop thinking so much’ they told him, and eventually he did.”
The fake news articles from Vedantam, published on numerous sites under the pen name Moe Jojo, would have been easily discernible to an educated populace in normal times, said Mulder. “The mass hysteria of the 2016 U.S. presidential election, however, made it easy to fool people.”
In exchange for each Facebook “like” that his fake articles received, the Borg promised Vedantam 1 million Facebook likes for his real stories on NPR. Vedantam said he was deceived. “Because the Borg think and act as a unit, all I ever got from them was a single lousy Facebook like per story,” he complained to the FBI.
NPR co-workers praised Vedantam and could not understand what drove him to the dark side. Newscaster Lakshmi Singh, however, remembered Vedantam being devastated in 2009 when he was not selected for Gryffindor house while attending Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. “He never saw himself as a Hufflepuff,” she said.
President Trump to negotiate with Borg
Informed about the Borg presence, U.S. President Donald Trump said he would personally communicate with the alien species. “You’ve got to be impressed—although not necessarily positively—with their record of assimilating or killing off species in many top-rated galaxies,” he said.
Still, President Trump expressed confidence. “I’ve struck great deals everywhere I’ve gone. The Borg are doers. I’m a doer. I think we’ll get along great,” said the president.
To help Americans separate real news from fake news, the Department of Homeland Security released a video featuring a real kitten and a cardboard kitten. “We keep it real simple. Black and white. Real and not real,” said Director Gen. John Kelly. Until fake news is back in the bottle, he urged citizens to rely on reputable news organizations such as Humanity Death Watch.
The FBI also took into custody Ben Hantoot, co-creator of the party game Cards Against Humanity. “We don’t have any evidence of his involvement, but we can do pretty much whatever we want,” Agent Mulder said. “We’re the FBI.”
Photo credits: 160404-G-MR731-050 by US Coast Guard Academy, Borg by Robert Cooke, NPR by Kim Wolf, the X-Files by Sam Howzit, The face of China by Issac Mao, licensed under CC 2.0. Anyone not recognizing the above article as satire, please report immediately to the Department of Homeland Security.