Posts that contain Parrot per day for the last 30 days.
Get your own chart!
Lots of major media went for it too. Today, the NYT regrets falling for the cute, adding this correction:
Although the article reported that the information had been obtained from reports in The Daily Telegraph and other British newspapers, The Times could not verify the former couple's accounts because the information was given to the British press by a freelance journalist who charged for the account. The Times does not pay for information. The Times should have disclosed fully to readers why we relied on other news reports. Or, perhaps it would have been prudent, given that condition, for The Times to have resisted parroting the episode at all.
Hmmm... so people are selling the cute animal stories the web is so hungry for? I'm going to hold cute animal stories up to fiction standards from now on -- not because I think they are all made up, but because there are too many of them, we're too into them, they are the junk food of the web, and they aren't really that good. If some short story writer had come up with the Ziggy the Parrot story, you'd immediately see it for the dreck it is.
And let me take some credit: I did refuse to blog the whale story yesterday. It was like pushing away a piece of cake to start a diet.