There is nothing fake about the Apple Blossom Festival. It really does have a queen and her court. And there's a parade, foot race, bike race, carnival, ball, movie and all kinds of events associated with that community tradition that is celebrating its 100th year.
The World has been covering it from the very beginning.
I point that out to make a distinction in the "fake news" debate. Most of what you read in The World really did happen. As noted on Friday, fire crews really did stop a fire on a windy day. The Chelan County Public Utility District actually considered an agreement with a high-tech diamond manufacturer and Quincy native Luke Grigg actually won a major Internet award.
In Sports...Wenatchee High's Mackenzie Lamey tried her best to pole vault over 10 feet, 6 inches and we published of photo to prove it. Our photographer Don Seabrook took that photo and would be more than happy to testify in a court of law - under oath - that it's not fake.
Anything on the Opinion page isn't news and technically cannot qualify as fake news. I'll admit I tend to exaggerate a bit in my weekly columns I have been penning for nearly four decades now, but much of what I write is the truth and nothing but the truth. so help me God.
At least as far as I know.
Except for that one time I wrote about a monster that lived in Lake Tahoe who was eating dogs that got too close to the shore. That was fake. It didn't eat any dogs. I made that up just to see if anyone was paying attention. It was also April 1 and I assumed most readers would understand it was an April Fools joke.
Big mistake. The phone rang off the hook all day. One woman said my column traumatized her dogs and that they would never walk near the lake again.
"So you're telling me your dogs can read?" I asked the woman.
"Shut up, idiot!" she replied, slamming down the phone.
And let's not confuse fake news with mistaken news. This business is mistake-prone. And we try to deliver those mistakes by 7 every morning, rain or shine.
We don't make mistakes on purpose, mind you. We try our best to be accurate. We use our spell-checkers. Our reporters take good notes during interviews. They double check sources. They work with editors to make sure the story covered all the bases and they put their name right at the top of the story, complete with their e-mail address and phone, just in case anyone wants to call and yell at them.
But they are human and the Good Lord didn't make any of us perfect. If he did I'd have hair and would remember where I put my truck keys this morning.
Putting this little paper together every day and getting it into the hands of people who drive miles to deliver it while the rest of us are sleeping is...hard. A million things can go wrong along the way and a dozen of those usually do.
Take our computer network, for example. Please. Somebody. Come and get. I'll show you where it is and you can have it. I even have boxes.
You will love it until it crashes right in the middle of your love note, or homework assignment. Since I have been here we have had more system failures than NASA. For a several-week stretch my phones wouldn't work. You couldn't call in, or out, which makes it kind of tough when you are in the information business.
When the phones came back on, my printing press broke.
When we fixed the printing press the connection between the press and my newsroom crashed. By then I had developed a twitch and was in therapy. Whenever the phone would ring I would start sobbing, afraid that it was our IT guy.
And...almost by miracle...everything that broke took exactly $25,000 to fix.
"How much will that cost?" I'd ask.
"Around $25,000," would be the standard answer.
I stopped asking.
On the national and international news front, we pay Reuters a monthly fee to access their stories. They have more reporters than i do and they have them spread all over the world. Mine work mostly in Wenatchee or East Wenatchee.
We assume none of the Reuters stories are fake. There is nothing in our agreement that even mentions a special fee for "fake news."
That's not to say there isn't often a particular bias, mind you. I'm not going to sit here and tell you the media is unbiased. I can't do that with a straight face. You are smarter than that.
Trump is at war with the national media and many of them are at war with him. The major news networks no longer try to hide their bias. There was a time news anchors just delivered the news with a serious face.
As a result, community newspapers such as ours get caught in the crossfire, painted with the same brush as the rest of the media.
But there is nothing fake about what we do here. The Wenatchee Public Library really is moving. Port of Douglas County Commissioner Jim Huffman really is seeking reelection and Jeff Ackerman really did eat three corn dogs in the park on Saturday.
Jeff Ackerman can be reached at 665-1160 or at ackerman@ wenatcheeworld.com.