Is it real, or is it Sean Hannity?

Thursday, November 12, 2015 by

In September of this year, fake news website Real News Right Now published a fake story that said:

“The U.S. Department of State announced today that it will grant upwards of two-hundred and fifty thousand Syrian refugees temporary amnesty in the United States. Over the next four months, State Department officials working in conjunction with FEMA will begin processing and transporting the refugees to sparsely populated parts of Arizona and North Dakota.”[1]

On October 19, Sean Hannity reported that fake news as fact, announcing that “The president said he’s going to bring in 250,000 refugees into this country.” The next day, he repeated it to his guest, Donald Trump. Then, a few days later (10/26/15), Trump repeated the same news to Matt Lauer, warning that “This could be the greatest Trojan horse of all time.”[1]

Apparently, Hannity’s research team was not skeptical of getting information from Real News Right Now, despite the fact that it’s an obviously satirical website, with such headlines as:

  • Mentally-Ill Karate Expert Goes on Rampage in Gun-Free Zone, Hundreds Feared Dead
  • San Diego Baker Refuses to Make Cake for Disabled Iraq War Veteran
  • Vatican City Conducts Successful Nuclear Test

I guess Hannity’s team also failed to notice that all the stories on Real News Right Now have been written by a certain “R. Hobbus J.D.,” who is identified on the website as follows:

“…an internationally acclaimed independent investigative journalist specializing in international politics, health, business, science, conflict resolution, history, geography, mathematics, social issues, feminism, space travel, civil rights, human rights, animal rights, fashion, film, astronomy, classic literature, religion, biology, paranormal activity, the occult, physics, psychology, and creative writing. He has appeared in countless publications including Time Magazine, Newsweek, Playboy, The Economist, The New York Times, Mad Magazine, Hustler, Guns & Ammo, People, Maxim Magazine, Highlights, The 9/11 Commission Report, The New Yorker, Bon Appetite, Rolling Stone, Car & Driver, Soldier of Fortune, Elle, Nintendo Power, National Geographic, and many more. He has received numerous awards for his work including the prestigious Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity (2011), The Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence (2003), three Nobel Peace Prize nominations, one Pulitzer in Investigative Reporting (1998), and two Pulitzer Prizes in Commentary (1996, 2008). He resides comfortably in his modest home overlooking the coast of Nantucket surrounded by his wife and twelve cats.”[2]

So, if you ever get Sean Hannity’s show confused with The Onion, you now know why. And Sean, if you’re reading this, please feel free to consult the next time you need some “real” news to add to your reports!





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