putin journalist
Experts believe that Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has possibly discovered a substance which, when injected into journalists, causes them to write utter drivel. Suspicions have been growing for some time that Mr Putin has been developing such a chemical, but what once might have been consigned to the realm of conspiracy theories can, according to the experts, no longer be dismissed.

Confirmation that the theory might be true gained credibility after several media outlets published pieces alleging that Mr Putin has managed to poison Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton. The London Metro, for instance, ran a piece entitled, "Trump and Putin poisoned Hillary Clinton, warns top doctor" whilst the Washington Post ran with the headline "The man who discovered CTE thinks Hillary Clinton may have been poisoned," before going on to implicate both Mr Trump and Mr Putin.

According to one expert we talked to, there are several tell-tale signs that readers should look out for in news pieces for signs that Putin might be behind them:
"One thing to look out for is the use of 'experts' to add credibility to the piece, without ever telling us who they are or why we should believe them. Another sign is the existence of words and phrases like 'possibly', 'probably', 'might have', and 'maybe'. This shows that the journalist really doesn't know what they are talking about, has no hard facts to back up what they're saying, but mysteriously they appear compelled to say it anyway. That such journalism has been on the rise recently is not really in dispute, but the question is who is behind it?"
According to the expert, there is probably only one candidate:
"The evidence points to Mr Putin who, as is well known, possibly has a desire to subvert mainstream journalism, and probably has the means to do it. He also might have a motive and therefore maybe responsible for a good many cases of bad journalism."
However, critics of the theory point to a major flaw. If Putin were really the driving force behind crazy journalism in the mainstream media, would we really be seeing a mountain of negative articles written about him, such as the claim that he might be behind the possible poisoning of Mrs Clinton? The answer, according to the expert, could be much more sinister than you might think:
"Developing a substance that compels journalists to write stuff that makes them look like fools, but also forces them to write glowing pieces about ourselves is the kind of thing you and I — normal people that is — would do, if we happened to be evil dictators that wanted to rule the world. But real evil dictators that want to rule the world probably don't think like that. They might be far more cunning. They're all about obscuring reality and sowing confusion. And what better way to confuse people and send them off the track that he himself is behind bad journalism than for Mr Putin to have journalists write utter drivel about him poisoning Mrs Clinton. Nobody — except experts like me of course — would ever suspect him of being behind pieces like that, would they?"
Then again, the explanation might be a bit more mundane:
"Of course it could be that he has so far only managed to develop a substance that can make journalists write drivel, but hasn't refined it enough so as to make them write drivel about some things, whilst always saying nice things about him."
If the theory is true, it raises a couple of questions that for some will be extremely unnerving. How long has this been going on? And if it has been going on for a long time, could it be that some of the stuff journalists have written before the (possible) poisoning of Mrs Clinton, were also crazy?

For instance, what if the thousands of stories about Russia invading Ukraine every Tuesday for the last two-and-a-half years have been drivel? The absence of satellite images, plus the fact that if they have invaded they don't seem to have got very far might indicate that Putin was possibly behind them. What if all those stories about the imminent invasion of the Baltics and Poland have been drivel? The absence of any reason at all why Russia might want to do such a thing could again point to the possible involvement of Putin. And what if all those stories about Crimeans suffering under Putin's regime were all drivel? The absence of bloodshed and protests before, during and since the referendum could once again point to the possibility that the journalists who wrote them had been compelled by Putin to write spurious nonsense.

And what of all the stories about Donald Trump being an agent of Putin? Or of Putin hacking the DNC server? Could it be that these stories too were written as a result of Putin's desire to make journalists write garbage? According to the expert, this is a distinct possibility:
"The past couple of years has seen a plethora of stories about Mr Putin being the new Hitler, hacking and invading here there and everywhere, and generally being Dr. Evil. I had assumed them all to be true. But if it was Putin who was actually behind all those stories, poisoning the minds of the journalists that wrote them, then the truth is even scarier. And if he can possibly do it to journalists, just as he possibly, maybe, could have, might have poisoned Alexander Litvinenko and possibly, maybe, could have, might have poisoned Hillary Clinton, then I'm afraid that possibly none of us is safe."
Any journalists that think they might have been poisoned by Vladimir Putin and forced to write drivel should immediately seek medical help. As far as we know, Mr Putin hasn't yet managed to poison the minds of the entire medical profession, but there are rumours that he possibly might be about to.