It’s over two weeks since April Fool’s Day came and went but some media outlets are looking like Easter turkeys today as a very obviously fake news story caught them out and left them with chocolate egg all over their faces.
Earlier today, Easter Sunday, 16th April 2017, an email was sent out to most leading UK print and online media outlets by a previously unheard of website called The Metal Den stating that Lars Ulrich had retired from Metallica. The wording on the original message is:
“Sad news for Ulrich fans. Speculation had been rife that Metallica’s drummer will announce his retirement from music, at age 53. Now it seems as this is really going to happen, with immediate effect.
“‘Being a musician isn’t fun anymore.
“As we get older, there are phases of life that we enter into, and being a musician just isn’t fun anymore.’ The report hinted that he may branch out into other creative fields he is better at (and more interested in), though they didn’t provide any details.
Shortly after The Metal Den email was sent, the hashtag #ThankYouLars was trending on Twitter which caused a UK national free daily newspaper to seize upon the ‘news’ and publish it on their website.
The hashtag was, however, not about Lars Ulrich at all but was referencing an American baseball player and an education consultant. The newspaper’s article was removed an hour later.
A London based UK rock radio station are also reporting the ‘story’ in their regular news but we can confirm that it is absolutely untrue. Ironically, the story is being aired alongside an advert for KFC which concludes with the statement:
“That’s not fake news, just finger lickin’ good news.”
A handful of other rock and Metal sites have also gone to press without checking facts first so we want to assure all Metallica fans that this story is completely and absolutely untrue and we’ve had that confirmed by the Metallica camp this afternoon.
Metallica always, without fail, announce their own news through their official media channels before it is released to the press and if it’s not on metallica.com, it just isn’t true so rest assured, Lars is absolutely not leaving the band he co-founded in 1981 on the eve of their mammoth ‘WorldWired’ tour which hits the UK in late October for dates in London, Glasgow, Manchester and Birmingham, their first in this country for several years.
— Jane Lomax (@JaneatHeart) April 16, 2017