By: Roger Aronoff
Accuracy in Media
Fake stories about conservatives are often too tempting for members of the news media to pass by, or fact check, and two UK papers were recently caught peddling one such story to their readers. Yet nowhere in their articles does it mention that they had even attempted to contact the subject of their ridicule, Pastor John Hagee of Texas.
Both the UK Daily Mail and the UK Mirror published stories regarding Christians United for Israel’s Pastor Hagee based on a fake report by a website called Newslo asserting that Hagee had argued that women saying God’s name during intercourse should be “prosecuted.”
“If it were up to me, I would put every single woman or girl who does that in jail,” Newslo quoted Pastor Hagee as saying. “That would be a fine example of God’s wrath aimed at what is, in my opinion, a terrible misuse of our Maker’s good name.”
ABC’s “The View,” has also been taken in by this con job, having a great time laughing and mocking Pastor Hagee. Whoopi Goldberg said, “Sir,” addressing Hagee, “I don’t mean to be a bonehead, but how do you think you’re going to enforce this?” It will be interesting to see how the bonehead producer who decided to put this story out for the ladies of “The View” will deal with it, once they become aware that they’ve been had. Can we expect apologies from the boneheaded line-up of “The View?”
Ari Morgenstern, Christians United for Israel’s (CUFI) communications director, and spokesman for Pastor Hagee, is demanding a full retraction from Newslo, calling this “satirical” website’s postings “defamatory.” Morgenstern told Accuracy in Media, “Every media outlet that reported this ought to be ashamed. The most elementary due diligence would’ve revealed that Newslo, the source of the ‘story,’ is a fake news outlet—kind of like The Onion but not funny. A freshman writing for his/her high-school newspaper would’ve been fired for less.”
After all, the only indications on the page that this story is fake are the “Check the Facts” and “Hide the Facts” buttons. The former function highlights in yellow the beginning paragraphs, which refer to Pastor Hagee’s preaching on scripture. The rest of the article, with the inflammatory statements, remains in white text.
Newslo openly bills itself as the “first hybrid news/satire platform,” stating, “Whenever you see #NNTS (No Need to Satirize), you’re reading COMPLETELY real news that only seems too absurd to be true.”
Apparently two United Kingdom papers, and ABC’s “The View,” couldn’t tell the difference between fact and fiction. Or maybe the content conveniently fit their liberal assumptions.
The Hagee post also does not feature the #NNTS hash tag at the end.
“Hagee did not go into detail on how women would be prosecuted if they were to be caught crying out God’s name during sex, nor did he explain why men would not be jailed for the same deed,” writes Kelly McLaughlin for the UK Daily Mail on June 21. (Update: The Daily Mail has now removed the article.)
The Mirror used similar language on June 20, ending with a survey asking whether people should “be locked up for using God’s name during sex.”
The absurd treatment now given to Pastor Hagee mirrors another incident in 2008, when the pastor, who has done so much valuable interfaith work bringing Jews and Christians together in support of Israel, was likened to Barack Obama’s vitriolic and anti-Semitic Reverend Jeremiah Wright.
“To assert that I in any way condone the Holocaust or that monster Adolf Hitler is the biggest and ugliest of lies,” said Pastor Hagee at the time. “I have always condemned the horrors of the Holocaust in the strongest of terms.”
However, sometimes reality simply doesn’t suit the liberal media agenda.
Morgenstern has contacted both papers, ABC and Newslo, yet as of this writing two of the three publications have not taken this disgusting content off their websites.
I also urge you to view CUFI’s website, and if you are passionate about Israel, as either a Christian or a Jew, this is an event worth attending. Their 10th annual summit takes place next month in Washington, D.C.
[Update, 4:00 p.m.: After this was posted, The Mirror removed the story, and both the Mirror and the Mail (which had removed it earlier, as previously noted) are considering retractions. “The View” will issue an online retraction and apology, and will do the same tomorrow on air. We have replaced both The Mirror and The Mail articles with PDFs of their stories.]