Satire: New Jersey Cancels Trick-Or-Treating Due to Ebola

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A fictional satire article circulating today claims that Governor Chris Christie has canceled trick-or-treating in New Jersey this year due to Ebola.

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This sarcastic commentary was published by satire website the Daily Currant. The fictional story details Governor Chris Christie’s plans to cancel New Jersey’s Halloween trick-or-treating this year due to anxieties about the spread of Ebola. Dubbed “Halloween Quarantine”, the imaginary proposed enforcement strategy involves a sweeping curfew in which children will be arrested and parents harshly fined. Included in the article are slightly humorous, yet fake, quotes from Governor Christie and Head Halloween Patrol Officer Pete Sakes (even the name is a wisecrack).

The article seems to be mocking New Jersey’s compulsory Ebola quarantine policy for aid workers coming back from West Africa. With the quarantine period being 21 days, it is perceived by some to be somewhat excessive.

Ebola and Halloween Satire

Any topic that is dominating the news media will be exploited by satirical news websites. Ebola has been an especially popular subject for satire over the last month.

With Halloween quickly approaching, a profusion of Halloween themed satire articles is also expected.

The Daily Currant

The Daily Currant is one of the more popular and amusing satire sites. Their articles are often so outrageous that it is difficult to take them seriously, yet apparently some people still do. Perhaps this is due to rapid sharing through social media sites such as Twitter where short headlines dominate. It seems that many people give the headlines only a fleeting glance before passing them on to friends. As the headline spreads, the satirical nature of the piece can be lost, and the result is a potentially viral meme which is mistaken for credible news.

On the bottom of every Daily Currant page, there is an ‘About’ link. Visiting this ‘About’ page informs people of the site’s satirical nature. Here is a quote from the page, “Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world”.

Bottom Line

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has not banned Halloween trick-or-treating this year due to Ebola. The article which claims this is a fictional work of satire from the Daily Currant, and appears to be poking fun at New Jersey’s involuntary (and some claim overdone) quarantine for aid workers returning from West Africa.

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