Not real news: A look at what didn’t hap­pen this week

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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