Steve McGuire, an avid fan of professional wrestling, is what’s known in the wrestling business as a “mark” because he thinks that the news he reads on Bleacher Report is real.
The 27-year-old Tallahassee native credulously believes wrestling articles and columns on Bleacher Report constitute credible, fact-based journalism culled from reliable sources and in-depth interviews.
What he doesn’t seem to realize is that Bleacher Report, and countless sites sites like it, are a from of “journalistic entertainment” that, while masquerading as real journalism, do not espouse the core journalistic values as objectivity, accuracy, and an aversion to deliberately sensationalistic click-bait headlines.
Unlike most “smart” wrestling fans, who realize that online wrestling “journalism” is merely a “work” not intended to be taken seriously, McGuire takes its content at face value.
For example, McGuire read with great interest Bleacher Report’s “Eight Reasons WWE is Better Off Without CM Punk,” and was wholly persuaded by the “arguments” presented by its writer, who wrote the piece in 15 minutes for bus fare.
Likewise, McGuire cancelled his flight to New Orleans after reading “Why WrestleMania 30 Will be a Huge Flop.”
McGuire is so reliant on Bleacher Report that he finds it difficult to understand any issue unless it is encapsulated in a “top 10” list format.
McGuire also believes that professional wrestling itself is completely real — which, of course, it is.