National Report satire on St. George creates a stir

ST. GEORGE – A wee bit of a stir was caused across the Internet as St. George was the focus of an article posted on National Report claiming the city had made pornography illegal with first-time offenders receiving 30 days in jail.

Now for the punchline: It’s not real, it’s fake. 

In the words of Marc Mortensen, the assistant to the city manager of the City of St. George, the entire thing is “fictitious.” Mortensen couldn’t talk about the article without laughing. 

National Report is a satirical news and political site in a vein similar to The Onion.

For those who read beyond the headline, the dubious nature of the story starts to unfold as “Mayor Arthur McDaniel” is quoted. It’s easy to read over the name if you’re not paying attention, thinking you may have actually read “Mayor Dan McArthur” instead.

A “Sheriff Paul Covington” is also quoted in the article explaining the finer-points of the city’s supposedly new anti-porn law to reporters. This name, like the article, is also fake. The current sheriff serving Washington County is Sheriff Cory Pulsipher.

Its not true,” Mortensen laughed. He related that at least one news agency called the city offices wondering if the story was real, and suggested that people read the entire story before reacting to it.

St. George News has also received many tips and inquiries about the validity of the National Report article, which again, is complete satire.

At the bottom each page of the National Report is the following:

DISCLAIMER: 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.

It is easy to miss the disclaimer as it can be buried under a horde of replies. Besides, who pays attention to the bottom of Internet pages anyway?

Paul Horner, the author of the satirical piece and many others on National Report, recently came under fire for a fake press release detailing a gay-to-straight conversion program in public schools. Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer was written as having signed off on the new program. The Governor and others weren’t very amused, as many people took the fake press release seriously.

Sometimes it pays to read beyond the headline.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • Nigel Covington September 24, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Mr. Kessler,

    As Editor in Chief of the National Report I wanted to thank you for your excellent coverage of this story. Its really awesome when our investigative journalists, all sterling and above reproach, hears back from a community and its officials and learn everyone enjoyed the ordeal. Mr. Horner has an almost daily habit for stirring the pot shall we say and not always do we receive such a nice friendly reply. We here at the National Report want to thank you again and we wish all the good people of St. George well.

    Respectfully,
    Nigel J. Covington III
    Editor in Chief

    • na September 26, 2013 at 5:15 am

      hardcore trolling right here

  • Maggie September 24, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    It is funny! However I cannot help but wonder if the devotees of the Huffington Post would think a turn around journalistic piece ,done in fun, would be funny?

  • Tyler September 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm

    The fact that this incredibly child-like grammar in the article was believed by the masses is very disturbing to me. My oh my, how dumb we’ve become. Am I alone on when I say this?

  • Roscoe P. Coaltrain September 24, 2013 at 9:51 pm

    Tyler,
    Check your own grammar. Pot, kettle, black.

  • Insana Dee September 24, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Poe’s Law: Poe’s Law states:[1]
    “”Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is impossible to create a parody of Fundamentalism that SOMEONE won’t mistake for the real thing.

    It is an observation that it’s difficult, if not impossible, to distinguish between parodies of religious or other fundamentalism and its genuine proponents, since they both seem equally insane. For example, some conservatives consider noted homophobe Fred Phelps to be so over-the-top that they argue he’s a “deep cover liberal” trying to discredit more mainstream homophobes.”

    And who bothers to scroll to the bottom to see if something is parody. Like the Bible or a software contract, we just scroll to the bottom and click “I Accept”.

  • Craig September 25, 2013 at 6:54 am

    “Its not true,” Mortensen laughed.”
    Of course it’s not true. It would send the little morman boys into a tizzy . After all, Utah LEADS the nation in porn subscriptions.
    http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705288350/Utah-No-1-in-online-porn-subscriptions-report-says.html?pg=all
    That’s what happens when you grow up repressed and follow the instructions from rocks in a hat.

  • Marvelous Work and a Wonder TV September 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm

    Funny this was mentioned in the lates MWAWTV show Episode 6 you should watch it http://www.mwawtv.com

  • Mayor Arthur McDaniel October 3, 2013 at 10:45 am

    Checkout this video by Sergeant Rob SGPD Porn Taskforce
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vy1w3pY05qA

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