Some huckleberry hoax-ster has beensending around spoof emails stating that Senator Patrick Leahy has died of cancer, when he really hasn’t--it was just a little heartburn from the onions in Aunt Mabel’s “famous” Independence Day potato salad. And someone -- the VERY SAME HOAXSTER, perhaps? -- has been emailing similar announcements about Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who also haven’t died. They're not dead, they're just boring.

Feinstein reportedly had "not much of a reaction at all" to the spoof, which seems like a missed opportunity for a fun viral video response. Frank Lautenberg -- well, he just got over lymphoma and is pretty old, so he gets a pass.

Meanwhile, Leahy told Vermont Public Radio that he’s asking the Capitol Police to investigate the messages, which were made to look like they came from his official email address. “Dilly-dallying around” about this sort of computer technology thing could lead to ANARCHY and also hurt feelings among his peers, who would be sad to find out about their deaths:

The senator said he's concerned that someone could use similar emails to spread false information about himself or other members of Congress.

"Because if they're able to hack into my system, they can hack into anybody else's system. And there are a lot of senators who would be terribly upset to have something like this happen. But I also want to make sure that they're not sending out things that are making people think I've taken this position on an issue or that position on an issue."

Just imagine: Suddenly the media's inboxes/telegraph machines are overwhelmed by press releases announcing that “Patrick Leahy Votes Yes on 'Free Dessert With Every Purchase of a Restaurant Entree' Act," “Dianne Feinstein Sponsors Resolution to Enforce Sharia Law,” etc. America would be like Wonkette, come to life. Sounds terrible/fun!

If you think that sort of future is impossible, consider that in their race to win the morning, some news-like outlets have had to retract their Twitter Bulletins about America’s not-dead senators. And they’re really sorry about it, OK? Especially the person behind @USABreakingNews, they are Just One Person and there’s a lot of news out there so come on everybody, it could happen to you. Hey 24-Hour News Cycle, why don’t you SLOW DOWN. [VPR News]


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