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News Media Needs to Check Its Facts on Batman

A high-profile couple of weeks for Batman accentuate the obvious lack of geek fact-checkers among the news desks of the nation’s media outlets.

First, he was spotted near a middle school outside of Phoenix, just before he disappeared into the desert.

Batman. In the desert. Right.

Are we to politely ignore the outlandish idea of Batman going into the desert for any reason other than pursuing desert-dweller Ra’s al Ghul, who would never have any reason for visiting Arizona? No immortal arch-villain retreats to a Lazarus Pit in Arizona. No criminal mastermind hatches a plan to conquer the world from Arizona. I mean, Arizona is so nonthreatening that Sen. John McCain decided the best place to find refuge after his stint as a POW in Vietnam was Arizona.

So, c’mon, Associated Press. If you’re not going to take your reporting duties seriously, find someone who will.

(Yes, I realize Batman went into the desert to track down the Joker, who subsequently killed Robin–the Jason Todd version–in A Death in the Family.)

(Yes. I am really nerding out.)

Then, covered widely by Internet news outlets, a story that earned headlines like “A Tool Worthy of Batman’s Utility Belt” (video), “Student’s Climbing Device Could Make Batman Jealous“, and “Batman’s Climbing Thingie!”, reported that a company called Atlas Devices had created a device that would allow climbers to scale a rope at speeds of up to 10 feet per second.

Up to 10 feet per second? Up to? Sorry, but up to 10 feet per second doesn’t get Batman’s fat out of the fire. At 10 feet per second, Bane easily grabs a flailing boot as the Dark Knight tries to fly to safety. Bane subsequently snaps Batman’s spine like the wing on a balsa-wood airplane. Again.  At 10 feet per second, Batman hangs up his cowl. At 10 feet per second, all of a sudden, having a cold imported beer and watching a game on his 70-inch Bat-HDTV sound pretty damn good.

Listen, I’m not saying I wouldn’t want to screw around with some rappelling device that would let me effortlessly scale the side of an apartment building, escaping the hordes of smelly, smarmy hipsters shuffling through my neighborhood. But, no, Batman is not jealous of this new device. This device could not find a place on Batman’s utility belt. The scientists in Wayne Laboratories probably use this device as a desk trinket and think about how to commercialize it as a children’s toy.

A fancy, fancy plaything for ten-year-olds.

Popular News Media, you’ve had enough problems lately, with your sensationalist reporting, rampant editorializing, and subsequent dip in credibility. (I’m looking at you, Wolf Blitzer, for starters. When exactly did you start hoping you could parlay your CNN gig into a spot on Access Hollywood?) Just keep it out of my backyard, ok?

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2 comments… add one
  • nickolai February 23, 2007, 4:14 pm

    can you imagine batman strapping on that giant box of an ascender to his bat belt? He would need two Robins just to carry that thing around for him.

    And two more to rub bat-balm into his bat-booboos.

  • NinjaJJ October 14, 2009, 8:11 pm

    I totaly agree batmans automatic toliet paper holder goes 10 fps (and you need to get your facts striaght too… batman has a 236″ OLED HDTV)

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