Not Real News: AP’s regular 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 them out. Here are the facts:
CLAIM: The Department of Defense canceled Fox News from Armed Forces Radio after attacks against Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman.
THE FACTS: The Pentagon’s American Forces Network — which used to be known as the Armed Forces Radio and Television Service — did not remove Fox News from its programming. The claim circulated widely on social media after Vindman, a decorated war veteran and European Affairs expert on the National Security Council, faced criticism for testifying in the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump. The claim mushroomed on Facebook at the end of public hearings on Thursday, even as Fox News played on the American Forces Network, which broadcasts to armed forces and their families. The Defense Department confirmed to The Associated Press that the claim was false. “We have not canceled Fox News from American Forces Network programming, either on our radio or TV services,” said Navy Capt. Bill Speaks, a Pentagon spokesperson.
CLAIM: “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace posted a tweet making a number of derogatory remarks about President Donald Trump, including: “You’re a fraud. A charlatan. A thug. A loser.”
THE FACTS: Wallace does not have a Twitter account and “Fox News Sunday” did not tweet the post from its account. The post combined what appeared to be two tweets: a Nov. 17 tweet by Trump criticizing Wallace, which was real, and a fabricated tweet that made it appear Wallace responded with criticism of his own. The post emerged after Trump tweeted about Wallace’s Sunday interview with Rep. Steve Scalise, a Republican from Louisiana: “@SteveScalise blew the nasty & obnoxious Chris Wallace (will never be his father, Mike!) away on Chris’s lowest rated (unless I’m on) morning show. This kind of dumb and unfair interview would never have happened in the @FoxNews past. Great job Steve!” That tweet was then featured in a screenshot with a false tweet made to show Wallace responding, in part, “@realDonaldTrump And you’ll never be your father either, (Fred Trump), a self-made Billionaire. You’re a fraud. A charlatan. A thug. A loser. A trust fund baby. A punk. A serial adulterer… . My job is to be a journalist, not a flunky and a propaganda arm for your criminal behavior and corruption. If you want propaganda, go watch Hannity, Ingram, Pirro, and Tucker who do nothing but kiss your ass.” A Fox News representative told The Associated Press in a phone interview that the tweet was not real and Wallace has not issued an official response to Trump’s tweet. It’s not the first time Trump has compared the Fox anchor with his father Mike Wallace, a legendary 60 Minutes correspondent. In October, Wallace responded to a similar tweet by the president by saying: “He often likes to say about me, ‘You know, I was covered by Mike Wallace, I liked him much more,'” he said. “To which my reaction is always: One of us has a daddy problem, and it’s not me.”