A headline on the site, for example, screams: “Arizona`s Sheriff Joe Withholds Food From Inmates For The Holidays,” while another purports to tell Christian women 10 ways to please their man.
Nowhere does the word “satire” appear on the site, but the following disclaimer can be seen at the bottom of the page:
The National Report is an online portal for “citizen journalists”. The views expressed by writers on this site are theirs alone and are not reflective of the fine journalistic and editorial integrity of National Report. Advice given is NOT to be construed as professional. If you are in need of professional help, please consult a professional. National Report is not intended for children under the age of 18.
National Report is described by some as a “satire” site; it appears to me to be more of a parody site, posting what purport to be indignant stories, from a supposed right-wing perspective, about the fictional shenanigans of the political left. The site has been compared to The Onion, but one difference (for me) is that Onion is actually funny. Another difference is that much Onion material is satire. It’s meant as a send up, not as a tool to entrap the unwary.
And as Dyer notes, some have been entrapped by the site.
“In October,” Dyer said, “a Fox News host referenced a National Report post as if it was serious. (The report claimed that Obama was keeping a Muslim museum open during the government shutdown. Someone forwarded a link to me at the time, so I remember the parody story.)”
It’s easy to understand why. The stories look as though they could be real, given the current political climate.
A National Report article that made the rounds last summer claimed that Barack Obama told AP reporter Ramona Darlington that members of the Tea Party fit the profile of a domestic terrorist while in Tanzania.
While it’s no secret that Obama has no love for the Tea Party, the story was false, even though it sounded like something that could come from this administration, especially given what we now know regarding the IRS targeting of conservative and Tea Party groups.
But it never happened. Moreover, there is no Ramona Darlington at the AP.
As we reported at the time:
“Tea Partiers commonly own guns and stock up ammunition and food in anticipation of starting another civil war to overthrow the will of the governing body who represent all of the American people. We are prepared for any contingency and don’t expect to see any kind of large insurrection. Americans are capitalists who are much more interested in seeing America move forward. These terrorists groups are small in size and really present little danger,” the article claims Obama said.
The Post’s Erik Wemple said the Associated Press is playing defense on the story, with spokesman Paul Colford posting rebuttals in comments sections.
“AP employs no one named Ramona Darlington. You are citing a bogus story that someone has crafted and fraudulently attributed to AP,” he wrote at Mark Levin’s Facebook page.
What makes the National Report dangerous is that it gets read — a lot. And its articles end up being widely shared by people who believe them hook, line and sinker. People commenting on the articles do so believing they are real.
Bottom line, Dyer said: Caveat lector. Let the reader beware.
- Article claims Obama called Tea Partiers domestic terrorists while in Africa
- Breitbart death sparks conspiracy theory over Obama college videos
- Joy Behar: Rep. Anthony Weiner is a victim of a conspiracy
- MA Republican names ‘former girlfriend,’ two MA colleges in conspiracy theory
- Mike Malloy accuses Glenn Beck of conspiracy to assassinate President Obama
- Report: Vice President Joe Biden calls Tea Party Republicans terrorists