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- Bill Maher booed on own show over defense of Bloomberg Saturday 3:37 PM
- The Sun allegedly deletes negative Caroline Flack story after her death Saturday 2:48 PM
With President Donald Trump and his opponents constantly fighting to control the narrative around “fake news,” it’s hard to consume journalism these days without considering whether the source can be trusted. But, unlike y’all, the people on the vanguard of good new memes get their news from a very RELIABLE source: Nintendo’s WiiConnect24 News Channel.
The News Channel, launched in 2007 as part of Nintendo’s fairly useless online service WiiConnect24, delivered the news to Wii players via a clunky world map interface. It wasn’t the best way (or even a good way) to read the news, and it was discontinued in 2013 along with the rest of WiiConnect24. Now that we’re four years closer to the end of the world, Wii News is back… as a meme.
People on Reddit are jokingly bragging about getting the real news from RELIABLE sources—”unlike y’all”—and the Wii News Channel is central to the meme.
Not every Reliable News meme needs the Wii element (although it helps). There are also a number featuring other totally non-fake news sources Spongebob Squarepants‘ “Bikini Bottom News” and the Pokémon News Channel from Pokémon Alpha Sapphire and Omega Ruby:
There’s even one about YouTuber Keemstar’s “drama alert” series, which focuses on gossip and conflict in the YouTube community:
And one with a newspaper from the now-defunct social game Club Penguin:
Any news source from a game, show, or other made-up source—the more ridiculous, the better—can be slotted into this meme. The joke is that if “fake news” is going to be a Thing, and President Trump is going to keep repeating it, we might as well give people news that is literally fictional.
There’s no shortage of examples, especially on the r/dankmemes subreddit, which seems to be the primary driver of the Reliable News meme:
The template is simple and obvious, and spinoff memes are already on the rise. The Wii’s inclusion in the original post has created a sort of revival of now-dead Wii Connect apps, like the “check Mii out channel.” Turns out it’s a much better dating app than Tinder:
Or the Wii Shop Channel, which makes Amazon Prime look like a joke:
Or the Internet Channel, which … well, it actually doesn’t make sense to compare it to Google Fiber, because it’s an application and not an internet service provider, but let’s roll with this anyway:
Speculators who participate in the meme economy, treating each new meme like a stock to invest in, are excited by both the Reliable News meme and the seeming resurgence of the decade-old Wii as a source of good material. Posters on Reddit’s r/memeeconomy subreddit are building it up as the biggest thing to happen to memes since “whomst” blew up in February.
“NOW is the time to invest on the general wii menus. I see this a dank meme that the normies won’t corrupt. BUY LOW, SELL HIGH!!” one poster wrote.
Could this be the breakout meme of the month? Reliable news sources say yes.
Jay Hathaway is a former senior writer who specialized in internet memes and weird online culture. He previously served as the Daily Dot’s news editor, was a staff writer at Gawker, and edited the classic websites Urlesque and Download Squad. His work has also appeared on nymag.com, suicidegirls.com, and the Morning News.