Jack Thompson, one of the best-known and most controversial foes of video games and the culture surrounding them, might be in need of a few extra grains of salt.
On Monday, satirical news site News Groper posted an expletive-filled rant in the guise of its "Fake Samuel L. Jackson" blogger about the tragic Northern Illinois University shootings and Thompson's willingness to connect it to violent video games. Most of the News Groper post by the faux-Snakes on a Plane star is far too foul to post here, but basically, it described Thompson's reaction to the campus shootings as "a laugh-riot."
From what it looks like, Thompson may have thought that it was a real blog post from the real Samuel L. Jackson. Within hours of the post appearing, an apparent response from Thompson showed up in the comments. "Mr. Jackson, I enjoyed your post about NIU and about me. Unfortunately, you could fit what you know about school shootings and their causes in a sleeve of Titleist golf balls. I'm a six handicap, and would love to play you a match anywhere anytime," the notably less profane comment read. "Here's a proposal: Why don't you debate me on this issue of whether violent video games cause real world violence. I'll do it anywhere, anytime. You name it." Jack Thompson, if it really was Jack Thompson, signed the comment with a phone number and e-mail address.
Shortly thereafter, Thompson appeared to do a bit of damage control, adding "Although your 'badass' post was not real, mine is." But was it actually Thompson in the first place, or a clever imposter? It is a fake news site, after all, and I wouldn't put it past News Groper to kick off a "Fake Jack Thompson" blog by having the blogger comment elsewhere on the site. It would be clever.
News Groper's editorial team claims it's likely very real. "No one's heard from a Jack Thompson claiming there's a fake Jack Thompson," founder Greg Galant told CNET News.com, noting that video game blog Kotaku had exchanged correspondence with Thompson about the matter. "So, being experts on the matter of realness/fakeness, we'd say 99 percent chance that (it's) the real Jack Thompson."
And Thompson wouldn't be the first person to fall for News Groper, which contains "Fake Hollywood Celebrity Blogs" and "Funny Satire" in the title of every page. Several months ago, an MSNBC writer quoted News Groper's Al Sharpton blog in a story about the Michael Vick dog-fighting scandal, thinking it was real.