Fox News and host Anna Kooiman were so eager to promote a report that President Obama is funding a Muslim museum – despite closing the World War II Memorial – that they couldn’t be bothered to do any fact checking. Otherwise, they might have discovered that it was a fake story from a parody news site.
Kooiman relayed the “news” yesterday as part of a Fox & Friends Weekend segment blatantly designed as a dose of Republican Rehab over the government shutdown.
Here’s what Kooiman said:
The Republican National Committee is offering to pay for (the World War II Memorial) to keep it open so that the veterans from Honor Flight are going to be able to go and see this because who did it honor? It honored them. It really doesn’t seem fair, especially—and we’re going to talk a little bit later in the show, too, about some things that are continuing to be funded. And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture - out of his own pocket - yet it’s the Republican National Committee who’s paying for this.
I can just imagine the smug snickering that went on behind the scenes when Kooiman and her Fox & Friends producers decided to juxtapose this “secret Muslim” dog whistle with their “Republicans are fighting for the all-American heroes the president has abandoned” meme. But what’s really funny is how many more people are now laughing at Kooiman and Friends. This "Fox fell for the fake news" story is on Media Matters, Yahoo and Gawker, to name a few.
Media Matters, which found the source of the fake story wrote:
Unfortunately for Kooiman, the claim that Obama offered to pay out of pocket for a “museum of Muslim culture” originated from the satirical website the National Report. As the fact-checking site Snopes.com points out, a now-removed disclaimer on the National Report noted: “National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news.”
Yahoo News pointed out that while it's possible the now-missing disclaimer could lead one to the conclusion that the National Report is legit news, a once-over glance would have been revealing: "(T)he National Report currently contains a set of “news” headlines such as “Jesus Christ boycotts Hobby Lobby,” and “Police barge into kindergarten classroom and taser multiple children ‘for the check of it.’”
I think we can safely conclude that the biggest joke of all here is on Kooiman and Fox News.
I wonder if Fox knew this was a fake story, but put it out there because they knew their base would WANT very much to believe it. Doesn’t need to be be true to foment the crazy!