This is True®

Randy Cassingham, OK for editorial use. Click for larger version.
This is True header/logo. OK for editorial use. Click for larger version.

This is True® is a non-partisan “weird news”/news commentary text feature by Randy Cassingham, running weekly since 1994. Its stories are short and stand on their own, so it has this super-flexible advantage: you can run as many stories you have space for without having to run them all. Every story is sourced from a “legitimate, mainstream” news outlet, which is identified. Stories can be from anywhere in the world, but are mostly from the U.S.

While Randy turned down two offers for syndication (including by Creators Syndicate), he has previously self-syndicated This is True to print publications in several countries.

Format

  • Each week’s column includes 5 stories of about 125 words each, which you can run one/weekday, or combine into a weekly feature. (All 5 stories will be emailed to you once per week.)
  • Each story starts with a slug (in bold), the story, the source used, and a tagline comment (in italics). It should be set this way in your publication. See samples below.

Restrictions

  • May not be edited beyond obvious typos. If any story does not fit your news hole or editorial requirements, it may be omitted in its entirety. Taglines may not be removed: that’s what makes it stand out from other such columns.
  • Stories may be run only once — and must be published within the time span shown. It may never be used again without prior written permission from the creator.
  • You may only use stories sent to you by Free Syndication, and you may not use any additional stories that might appear in the This is True newsletter or web site.
  • The footer included each week must run with any use. (E.g., “Randy Cassingham has been commenting on the news since 1994. For more see thisistrue.com.”)
  • It is not required that you use the logo header or creator photo shown here, but they are provided if needed for your format. Either way, the ® registered trademark symbol must be included with the title.
  • Any use of this feature constitutes agreement with these restrictions.

Sample

This is True® by Randy Cassingham

Higher Education: Hartford (Mich.) High School got a tip that a student had brought pot-laced brownies to school. The adulterated brownies were alleged to have been distributed to the football team in homecoming week “goodie bags” put together by a 17-year-old cheerleader. Her apparent motive: she wanted the team to vote for her as Homecoming Queen. In a letter to parents, school administrators are asking them “to talk with their children about the dangers of drugs.” (WXMI Grand Rapids) …Which they’ll be happy to do during their evening cocktail hour.

Darn You, Autocorrect! “Lavalette, Keep Left.” says a sign erected by New Jersey’s Department of Transportation outside Lavallette. It’s not their only recent typo: they’ve put up signs for “Mount Ephriam” outside Mount Ephraim, “Parispanny” near Parsippany, and “Pattenbug” on the way to Pattenburg. (WNBC New York) …Still, the state fully supports the DOT’s Hire the Dyslexic job program.

Namefreak to the Nth Degree: “I’m the good Hitler,” says Hitler Alba, who is running for mayor in Yungar, Peru, a farming village in the Andes. Alba says his father named him that without knowing about the Nazi dictator, and he embraces the name while rejecting fascism. A neighboring politician objects to Alba’s name being on the ballot and petitioned for it to be removed, but election officials refused as it’s Alba’s legal name. The complaining politician’s name: Lennin Vladimir Rodriguez Valverde. (Reuters) …Commissioner of Elections Kim Jong-un Garcia had no comment.

Yeah, I Know What He Metaphor: “Multiple emergency crews” from Colerain Township, Ohio, rushed to the Richardson Forest Preserve on a report of a dead body lying at the bottom of an embankment, partly covered by a body bag. But when the first crew finally reached the blond woman, the response was called off: it was a “recreational mannequin,” police said. A what? “A sex doll in a garbage bag,” explained police chief Mark Denney. Police released a photo of the “body” — with the plastic doll’s naughty bits blurred out. (WLWT Cincinnati, WCPO Cincinnati) …The perfect allegory for our times: use her then cast her aside, and the only shame is over someone maybe seeing her ladyparts.

Pafetic: Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong’s “flag carrier” airline, admitted it made quite an error after one of its jets was painted. In large letters across the fuselage was its name: “Cathay Paciic” — without even a space where the F should have been. “Oops,” the airline posted on its Facebook page, “this special livery won’t last long! She’s going back to the shop!” The airline was also embarrassed a few years ago when the paint shop applied the company logo to a plane backwards. (South China Morning Post) …Man, nobody gives an F anymore.

Randy Cassingham has been commenting on the news since 1994. For more, see thisistrue.com.

Editors Note: These stories expire 3 weeks after the issue date, and may not be used after that.

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