So what is this new meme “fake news” all about?

Google tells me that “fake news” is “a story that’s completely false, usually invented for traffic and ad revenue, or to advance a political agenda — or both.”

Or maybe it’s run by very smart people for whom the real news is too boring. That can happen. These “people” — the hackers, the dubbers — know they can put anything out there, because the majority of readers don’t really read; they look at headlines, the big BOLD HEADLINES that draw attention; the smaller the print, the less interest.

Some readers tell me they don’t read the paper anymore because it’s all bad news; so maybe really good fake news can bring them back? I’ll try anything.

Fake news can start from a frighteningly close adaptation of a true story like “Donald Trump closes on hot deal.” Then you find out that it’s a deal with drug king El Chapo to forgo his prison sentence in exchange for using his hidden drug fortune to build the wall.

Absurd? You haven’t heard anything yet.

Consider this: President Trump sells Hillary and Bill Clinton a controlling interest in Mar-a-Lago. Fake or real? In view of everything that’s gone down since this opera bouffe opened, it’s not entirely absurd.

Or: Trump has hired Steve Feinberg, co-founder and chief executive of Cerberus Capital Management, a billionaire with no political or intelligence experience whatsoever, to “investigate the intelligence department.” Which is like, well, appointing Dr. Ben Carson to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, or Rick Perry to the Department of … of … oh yeah, Department of Energy.

Here are a few examples I would put out there if I were in charge of Trump’s “fake news” department, and that’s probably an appointment he’s considering.

“It’s being whispered in the inner circles of Wall Street that Trump is offering a complete pardon to convicted Ponzi master Bernie Madoff, if he will accept the position of assistant secretary of finance.”

Diehard Trumpians would buy that item in a heartbeat, and the market would soar. Absurd? C’mon, you thought Trump winning the election was fake news.

Here’s a few you may soon see in supermarket fan and gossip magazines at the checkout counter:

“Kellyann Conway caught in love triangle with Alec Baldwin and Steve Bannon.” Issues, especially with pictures, would sell out in an hour.

And if I added an item that claims “Steve Bannon leaves wife to marry Kellyanne,” Wal-Mart and Target wedding registries would be loaded with salad bowls and coffee makers throughout the red states.

Local items should be considered:

“Gov. Paul LePage turns down U.S. Senate run to enter Vermont monastery.”

“Since I’ve lost all this weight,” the governor tweets, “I might look nice in that brown robe. Brown is my best color.”

“Waterville Mayor Nicholas Isgro to leave office and open string of Italian sandwich trucks, ‘HIZ HONOR HEROES.'” The motto is, “All ingredients ‘ISGRO-WN’ in Maine.” Ouch!

Back in Washington: Superleak “sniffer” Steve Feinberg has uncovered the person responsible for the damaging leaks from the West Wing. Feinberg names Vivian LaRoche, the salad girl in Trump’s private dining room.

“What else do I have to do all day but take notes?” Vivian said. ” He just tweets and eats taco bowls and KFC.”

“Sean Spicer and Ivanka Trump to open fashion line in J.C. Penney stores nationwide. Kmart sues.”

By now you’ve discovered that I am suffering chronic cabin fever and hallucinating from overdoses of Tylenol and diet Dr Pepper laced with pinot noir.

I’ll be all right next week — as long as it doesn’t snow.

J.P. Devine is a Waterville writer.

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