Not real news: A look at what didn’t happen this week
A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue stories and visuals of the week. None of these is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:
NOT REAL NEWS: FLASHBACK: Obama kicks out reporter at press briefing
THE FACTS: Former President Barack Obama did not throw a reporter out of a press conference for asking a question in 2015, as a claim circulating widely online suggests. The false claim surfaced after a heated exchange Wednesday between President Donald Trump and CNN White House Correspondent Jim Acosta, whose White House press pass was suspended afterward. Some social media users then circulated a video they said showed Obama kicking a reporter out of press briefing. As reported by the AP, Obama was actually responding to a protester who was heckling him during a gay pride month reception at the White House in June 2015. “Shame on you, you shouldn’t be doing this,” Obama told the protester, adding he had the option of staying quiet or being removed. The protester was removed.
NOT REAL NEWS: CNN anchor shown laughing as American flag burns
THE FACTS: An image circulating online that shows CNN anchor Don Lemon laughing during an apparent segment about Democrats burning flags on Election Day was fabricated. A CNN spokeswoman told the AP on Tuesday that the image of Lemon, which was paired with a banner claiming “Dems celebrate ‘blue wave’ burning flags on Election Day,” is false. The banner identified the show as “Reliable Sources,” which Lemon does not host. He is the host of “CNN Tonight.”
NOT REAL NEWS: Voting machine rigged in Ohio precinct
THE FACTS: An Instagram video shared widely online Tuesday showed a voter selecting Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike DeWine on a touch screen, but then receiving a paper record reflecting a vote for Democratic candidate Richard Cordray. The video was circulated on social media as evidence that a machine was rigged. Aaron Sellers, a spokesman for the Franklin County Board of Elections, told the AP in an email that the machine in question had a paper jam that showed a previous voter’s choice. Sellers says the voter who experienced the problem got a poll worker to cancel out the vote on the machine in question and then voted successfully on another machine.
NOT REAL NEWS: Synagogue shooting victim was not a Holocaust survivor
THE FACTS: Rose Mallinger, who died at age 97 after being shot at her Pittsburgh synagogue while worshipping Saturday, was not a Holocaust survivor, as widely reported online. Born in the early 1920s, Mallinger was alive during the Holocaust, but family members and the congregation’s rabbi said she was not among European Jews persecuted by Nazi Germans, who were responsible for the mass murder of millions of Jews during World War II. The photo attached to the post also is incorrect. A search of photos online revealed the woman in the photo to be Ata Kando, a Hungarian-Dutch photographer, not Mallinger.
NOT REAL NEWS: Actress Amy Schumer not pictured tearing up doll in horror shoot
THE FACTS: An image circulating online that shows Schumer splattered with blood and tearing a doll apart was doctored. The photo is paired with a quote falsely attributed to Schumer: “Fetuses aren’t people and have no right (sic), if you can’t get an abortion just get rid of it when is (sic) born.” Canadian photographer Melissa Trotter told the AP that she took the original photograph earlier this year. In the doctored photo, Schumer’s face was substituted for that of the original model. “The shoot was never about abortion or any sort of political commentary,” said Trotter, whose shoots are typically horror themed.
NOT REAL NEWS: American Red Cross not providing tents to caravan headed to U.S.-Mexico border
THE FACTS: Tents given to members of the migrant caravan working its way to the U.S. border were supplied by the Guatemalan Red Cross, Honduran Red Cross and Mexican Red Cross organizations, but not the American Red Cross. A tent featured in one of the migrant photos used to make the false claim has the Red Cross symbol and is labeled with the words “Cruz Roja Mexicana,” which translates into Mexican Red Cross. “In line with Red Cross fundamental principles, the Guatemalan Red Cross, Honduran Red Cross, and Mexican Red Cross have been providing aid such as medical care, drinking water, and family reconnection services to migrants walking through Central America and Mexico,” The American Red Cross said in a statement.
President Barack Obama responds to a heckler as he speaks during a reception to celebrate LGBT Pride Month in the White House.