16 Feb 2017 03:49 PM EST
One interesting development that this past election introduced us to is fake news. We knew it existed before, but it had never been given much credence before.
It didn't take long, though, for people to figure out how to profit off of it, that is people other than politicians and the Onion.
Who is profiting and why is the biggest surprise from a new fake news story. New Regency and Fox are promoting a new film, A Cure for Wellness, and to help promote it they have pushed out a fake news story about President Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, a story that seems so real it probably didn't occur to very many that it was created just to help publish the film.
The film, a psychological horror thriller, revolves around a young executive who travels to a wellness center in the Swiss Alps searching for the CEO of his company.
The news story states that the President and Putin met up at the fictitious Vomer Institute in the Swiss Alps before the past election that was decided in Trump's favor. It carried the headline, "BOMBSHELL: Trump and Putin Spotted at Swiss Resort Prior to Election." It was published on the Sacramento Dispatch website, which Snopes calls "part of a new network of fake news sites that masquerade as the online outlets of big-city newspapers." The sites are actually marketing outlets for A Cure for Wellness.
The same site carries ads for the film along with the Houston Leader, the NY Morning Post, and The Salt Lake City Guardian sites. There is also a story about the film's viewers being left in a "catatonic state."
When controversy arose over the fake news story, Fox and Regency issued a statement: "A Cure for Wellness is a movie about a 'fake' cure that makes people sicker. As part of this campaign, a 'fake' wellness site healthandwellness.com was created, and we partnered with a fake news creator to publish fake news. As our movie's antagonist says, 'There is a sickness inside us. And only when we know what ails us can we hope to find the cure.'"
An employee of the fictitious Volmer Institute, Nathan Sjogren, is quoted in the fake news story as saying, "I couldn't, in good conscience, keep this information to myself. This is bigger than me, this is bigger than my job, and while I know I am very likely putting myself as well as my loved ones in danger of coming forward, I don't know that I would have been able to live with myself had I kept quiet."
A Cure for Wellness is set to arrive in theaters on Friday.