Cute Animal Headlines
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Cute Animal Headlines

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13th May 2012, 5:09 PM

When is it O.K. to indulge in cute animal news? Doing so in stories such as David Gelles' Have fun, be safe (in an ocean), in which he recounts how dolphins alerted a ship to his whereabouts when he became separated from it, seem perfectly fine, or at least no worse than any other feel-good piece. However, when it comes to stories that distract from a much more terrible event and put a falsely optimistic spin on something... well, that's another matter entirely.

You may remember the penguin sweater knitting craze of last year. If you aren't convinced these kinds of stories are somewhat detrimental, simply read the comments on this Reddit post on the subject. I am cherry-picking of course, but it includes such gems as "I think this picture [of a penguin in a sweater] makes the oil spill a net gain for society", "this is not healthy for the environment since now all i can think about is how to cause more ocean oil spills to make more penguins wear adorable sweaters. [sic]", "We need more oil spills.", and "This is adorable. We should spill oil more often!" I'm sure BP was loving that kind of publicity surrounding their most recent muck-up.

Perhaps most frustrating is that the story turns out to be not entirely true, as will be detailed in next Monday's comic.

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