No, New Bedford Didn’t Ban People From Wearing Pajama Pants in Public
A New Bedford blog that has a satirical take on news, a la The Onion, has people prepared to pull out their pitchforks in protest after a faux-story was published claiming city officials banned residents from wearing pajama pants in public.
RottenScallop.com, a blog that uses the tagline “Where something always smells fishy!,” put up a post on Monday that people are planning a “Million Pajama Pants March,” after the New Bedford City Council “voted to ban pajama pants during daylight hours throughout the city.” It claimed the council did so during a private meeting “behind closed doors.”
The post riffs on the fact that a District Court Judge in New Bedford banned pajama pants, and revealing clothing, from being worn during court sessions over the summer. The ban was lifted in August, however, when first implemented, the media was not notified.
The latest fake story—based on the fact that the preceding report is about the New England Patriots changing their name to “The Kittens”—attributed quotes to city leaders, claiming they said “pajama pants are gateway clothing,” and that they lead to violence.
A worker from New Bedford City Hall said the story was an obvious joke, but they had received calls from concerned citizens. “I can’t believe anyone is taking that seriously. The story even has all the councilors names mixed up,” said the employee.
The confusion surrounding whether or not the story about the ban on pajama bottoms was real began after it was posted on NewBedfordGuide.com’s Facebook page. The New Bedford Guide bills itself as the “ultimate blog source for what’s what in New Bedford,” and is usually reserved for getting the word out about serious news topics in the city.
Unfortunately, when they posted the blog about the fake pants ban, they did so without a disclaimer, causing an immediate reaction from readers. “The New Bedford City Council voted to ban pajama pants during daylight hours throughout the city of New Bedford. The vote passed 6-5 and has been sent to Mayor Mitchell’s desk for signature or veto. Million Pajama Pants March planned!,” the post said. The Facebook post was shared more than 150 times, and more than 55 angry comments flooded the blog page.
A sample of some of the hundreds of comments between the Rotten Scallop blog, and the New Bedford Guide’s Facebook page, included:
“I think it’s stupid…why can’t we wear our pj bottoms outside it’s called [being] comfortable. Worry about the [other] shit den the drug dealers prostitutes an rapists.” [sic]
“Are u serious with all the unsolved murders in this city and the drugs crimes also ur really worried about people wearing pajamas outside u people really need to get ur priorities straight or step the fuck down.” [sic]
“I think it´s good they vote for people to not wear it are people so lazy to dress normal that they have to wear pj everywhere, that is just embrassing and showing that people are lazy and sloppy. Also people judge by looks so it is a good way to avoid problems for the near future like its written here.” [sic]
“So I’m lazy and soppy because after working a 12 hour overnight I decide at 2 aclock in the afternoon to go get some milk in my pajamas ? Banning Pajamas isnt going to do a god damn thing for this city and if this ludacris ban actually passes I’ll start wearing pajamas everyday in protest.” [sic]
“City Council has nothing better to do?! Hey! fix the friggin potholes!” [sic]
Of course, not everyone fell for the gag, even though there was no disclaimer about the blog being a joke on the website, or in the Facebook post by the resource guide for New Bedford residents. “New Bedford reading comprehension in full effect here,” one commenter wrote.
Others couldn’t believe the reaction the story was getting: “I don’t know what’s more hysterical— banning PJ’s in daylight, or the fools [whose] comments think this is true…can’t fix stupid.”