The First Clue the Olympic “Anti-Sex Beds” Story Was BS? Ryan Crouser.
Every so often, a story rockets around the media (or even more likely, social media) that’s pretty obviously not true, but which is also so salacious, compelling or just plain fun that nobody really wants to screw it up by fact-checking, scrutinizing or questioning the story.
If you read a vicious rumor about some celebrity or politician you hate, for example, you might be inclined to question it less than you would the same sort of story about one of your favorite artists, actors or elected officials.
Sometimes, a false claim that goes viral is propelled in part because it seems consistent with past stories that were true. There have been enough examples of televangelists getting caught with their pants down (quite literally in some cases), you might believe without hesitation that there’s a smoking gun (or crack pipe) proving that another televangelist has been engaging in hanky panky, even without seeing the smoking gun. Or, having read about coaches of sports teams prohibiting their players from having sex during a competition, you might be persuaded that a major sporting event is taking proactive measures to prevent even the possibility of sex being present at their event.
What fake news story has caught Calico’s attention this week? Are cardboard beds more or less comfortable than memory foam? How many female gymnasts does it take to equal the weight of one male shot put thrower? Read all about it in Calico’s latest post: “The First Clue the Olympic ‘Anti-Sex Beds’ Story Was BS? Ryan Crouser”
– Calico Rudasill, Sssh.com Olympian Level Porn Movies
While some people tend to call any news story they don’t like “fake news,” there’s no shortage of actual fake news stories, viral lies propelled by social media users and just plain bullshit circulating in the information ecosystem at any given moment.
Sometimes these false claims are absurd in a way that’s not at all funny, like claims that a controversial black sheriff is a member of the KKK. Other times, the falsehoods originate as satire but then take on the momentum of a true story, in part because they seem weirdly plausible – like the idea a megachurch pastor (or maybe that should be magachurch pastor) would ask members of his congregation to melt down their gold jewelry so it could be made into a statue of Donald Trump.
Too Fun to Fact-Check
Sometimes, I find myself wondering if people choose to believe in questionable stories just because the central claim is fun – and the fun in question can come either in objecting to the claim or embracing it, depending on the perspective of the news consumer.
Take a recent idea that ricocheted around Twitter, for instance: At the Olympic Village for athletes competing in Tokyo, “anti-sex beds” were being provided for the competitors to use. In various iterations of the story, the beds were said to be made to support the weight of only a single athlete – and, even less credibly, would break due to “any sudden movement.”
I think the reason some people were quick to swallow this story whole is that there’s been no shortage of real stories over the years about coaches forbidding their teams from having sex during competitions, as I’ve written about before.
But if you think about the alleged anti-sex beds in the Olympic Village at all, the idea quickly falls apart under its own weight – or, more to the point, under the extreme weight differences of various athletes, including those who compete for the same country.
This Just In: Great Athletes Come in All Sizes
The roots of my immediate skepticism about the anti-sex bed claim are right there in American distance runner Paul Chelimo’s tweet. “I see no problem for distance runners, even 4 of us can do,” he quipped.
See, we were told these beds were designed to collapse under the weight of two people, but which two people?
Consider two amazing – and very different – physical specimen who will be competing in these games. First, there’s peerless American gymnast Simone Biles, who is listed in various sources as being 4’ 8” and weighing 104 pounds. Then there’s Ryan Crouser, the American shot put and discus thrower who recently broke a longstanding world record in the shot put – and clocks in at 6’ 7” and 320 pounds.
Double Simone Biles’ listed weight and you get 208 pounds, which leaves you 112 pounds short of one Ryan Crouser. In other words, any bed that can support Crouser could support a gymnastic threesome, potentially.
As for a bed that crumbles upon sudden movement, that would be a set of injuries – and, quite likely, lawsuits – waiting to happen. Does anybody really believe there’s zero world class athletes who toss and turn in their sleep like so many of the rest of us?
And of course, if you find visual evidence more compelling, for a convincing rebuttal of the sudden movement claim, there’s always another tweet, one from Irish gymnast Rhys McClenaghan:
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