True or Fake? AP looks at what didn’t really happen this week

This AP file photo taken Feb. 18, 2014 shows Lexy, a therapy dog at Fort Bragg, N.C. The AP reported Nov. 17, 2017, that an article claiming President Donald Trump will discontinue an animal therapy program at Walter Reed National Medical Center is false. Fort Bragg, NC, Feb. 18, 2014 | AP Photo by Lolita Baldor, File, St. George News

AP – The Associated Press delivers its roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. The AP checked these stories out and found none of them to be true even though they were shared widely on social media.

Former Alabama Chief Justice and U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore speaks at a news conference, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. | AP Photo by Brynn Anderson, St. George News

Not real: Second Roy Moore accuser works for Michelle Obama right now.
The facts: The woman named as an accuser of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore in a story by the Last Line of Defense doesn’t work for Michelle Obama. In fact, it’s unclear that she’s a real person. The article claims a woman named Fiona Dourif told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow last week that she was groped by Moore in 1957. No one by that named appeared on Maddow’s show. An actress with the same name called out the story on Twitter , saying she has nothing to do with Moore. The story is linked to a photo of former Alabama U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance. An Obama family representative tells the AP the claim that the woman worked as a housekeeper for the Obamas is completely false.

Not real: Trump abruptly shuts down Dogs for Wounded Warriors program, leaving vets high and dry on Veteran’s Day.
The facts: Officials at Walter Reed National Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, did issue a stop work order to an animal therapy group contracted with the hospital, but it came on Oct. 27, more than two weeks before Veteran’s Day. The order to the Warrior Canine Project came from hospital officials, not the White House. Hospital spokeswoman Sandy Dean says it’s looking to restructure its animal therapy contracts to improve patient care. She adds that therapy dogs continue to be available for patients at Walter Reed.

Not real: British Intelligence seizes Clinton Foundation warehouse, $400 million in cash.
The facts: Several websites have posted a story claiming the Clinton Foundation was leasing a British warehouse owned by a man on the U.K.’s terrorist watch list, quoting an unnamed assistant to Chelsea Clinton stating that the facility was “rented through an agency.” Foundation spokesman Brian Cookstra tells the AP the story is “totally false.” He adds: “We don’t rent a warehouse in the UK, the quote from ‘Chelsea Clinton’s assistant’ is made up, and nothing in this story seems to be based in reality.” A photo included with the story is a picture from Britain’s The Sun newspaper that shows unrelated police activity in Kent, England.

In this Feb. 10, 2013, file photo, actor Ian McKellan poses backstage at the BAFTA Film Awards at the Royal Opera House on Sunday in London. The AP reported on Nov. 17, 2017, an article circulating online claiming McKellan is dead is false. | Photo by Jonathan Short/Invision/AP, File, St. George News

Not real: English actor Ian McKellen dies aged 78.
The facts: McKellen is alive and actively working despite a story from a website appearing to mimic Britain’s Daily Mail reporting he died after a lengthy hospitalization for pneumonia. The story first published last year has recirculated in recent days. McKellen has starred in several projects on stage and screen this year alone, including the British sitcom “Vicious.” The show’s Twitter account posted a photo of McKellen and co-star Derek Jacobi Saturday with the note: “In case you were wondering, we’re still alive.”

Not real: Iceland mandates mental health warnings on all Bibles.
The facts: No warnings are required to be put on Bibles sold in the island nation. A widely-shared hoax story from the website Patheos offers a clue to the joke by naming the prime minister of the country as Andrew Canard. Canard is a seldom used word that means a fabricated report. The actual prime minister of Iceland is Bjarni Benediktsson.

This is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing effort to fact-check misinformation that is shared widely online, including work with Facebook to identify and reduce the circulation of false stories on the platform.


Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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1 Comment

  • mesaman November 19, 2017 at 8:21 pm

    I just hate it when you resort to actual facts corrections to the trappings of the MSM. They have suffered enough loss of credibility already, that is among those who can still think objectively. I guess that excuses the demmies, doesn’t it?

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