Sunday, April 29, 2007

Fox News Reports Parody Story As Real News (video!)

This story has nothing to do with Bill O'Reilly, but its just too great to pass up.

On the Tuesday "Fox and Friends," Fox News aired a story eight times as real news that came from a publication like The Onion, called Associated Content.

This part of the story is real: Last week in Lewiston, Maine, a group of students played a cruel prank on a group of Somalian Muslim middle school students, placing a ham steak next to them. Ham is considered by Islam to be unclean and highly offensive, so school offcials filed a report because they believed it was a hate crime.

Associated Content, a spoof news website similar to The Onion, published a parody story in which they created quotes and made up details about the incident.

In the spoof story
, the superintendent said, "These children have got to learn that ham is not a toy", and that "They probably felt like they were back in Mogadishu starving and being shot at. No child, Muslim or normal, should have to endure touching a ham sandwich." The story even made connections the Holocaust, "The Jews had to go through the same thing when the Nazis would force-feed them bacon; do we really want our schools to become concentration camps?" The superintendent wanted his students to know that "They are safe from attacks with ham, bacon, porkchops, or any other delicious meat that comes from pigs." The spoof stated that the Center for Prevention of Hate Violence was working with the school to create an "anti-ham 'response plan.'"

Fox News picked up this parody, and ran it as real news during Tueday's "Fox and Friends." They made fun of the incident, asking whether ham was “a hate crime…or lunch?” The hosts kept assuring that they were "not making this up" and assured that "I've looked it up on a couple of different websites up there..." At one point, one host even said "I thought this was almost from The Onion."

According to

Following the Fox broadcast, Levesque's office received dozens of angry phone calls and profanity-laced e-mails, made and sent by people all over the country, who charge the school district overreacted to what they believed from news reports to be a ham sandwich tossed at a Somali student.

"Leaving your sandwich on a table is now a crime in Maine?" one e-mail asked. It continued, "This child did nothing illegal in placing his sandwich in front of several intolerant people that will kill YOUR students for sitting at the same table let alone placing a sandwich next to them."

From North Carolina, a e-mailer wrote that he'd read the "news media of your actions with regards to a child leaving a ham sandwich on a table used by Muslim students at one of your schools. Excuse my bluntness, but are you people insane?"

And, in another e-mail, "A ham sandwich is not a hate crime. It's two pieces of bread with a processed meat between them. Stop catering to the less than 1% and offending the other 99%. Please!"

Another e-mail suggested Levesque wasn't qualified to be superintendent of a public school because he "obviously escalated a simple prank into a hate crime."
Read: Think Progress

A compilation of clips from the show:


Anonymous theBarefoot said...

Associated Content is nothing like the Onion. A quick visit to the site would show this. The author of the piece abused the TOS and submitted a "humor" piece into the news feed.

But the point of this comment is AC != Onion.

8:03 PM  
Anonymous Scott Ryan said...

thanks for the info through such a good source

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Blogger female political and social comment said...

anyone want to come on over and read my comment on silly billy o'reilly. i'd like to imagine i just wrote an amusing one.
please feel free to pass judgement, vitriolic or otherwise

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