Fox Falls For Fake Story About Obama Personally Funding Muslim Museum During Shutdown

Fox & Friends Saturday criticized President Obama for offering to personally pay for a “museum of Muslim culture” during the government shutdown, a claim that originated from a satire website.

On October 5, the co-hosts of Fox & Friends Saturday discussed the closure of the World War II Memorial, which resulted from the Republican-led shutdown. During the discussion, co-host Anna Kooiman claimed that while the memorial is closed, “President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture.”

KOOIMAN: The Republican National Committee is offering to pay for it to keep it open so that the veterans from Honor Flight are going to be able to go and see this because who did it honor? It honored them. It really doesn't seem fair, especially -- and we're going to talk a little bit later in the show too about some things that are continuing to be funded. And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture out of his own pocket, yet it's the Republican National Committee who's paying for this. 

Unfortunately for Kooiman, the claim that Obama offered to pay out of pocket for a “museum of Muslim culture” originated from the satirical website the National Report. As the fact-checking site points out, a now-removed disclaimer on the National Report noted: “National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news.”

Fox has a history of passing off satirical stories as actual news. 

UPDATE: On October 6, Kooiman issued the following statement via Twitter: “Just met w producers- I made a mistake yday after receiving flawed research abt a museum possibly closing. My apologies. Won't happen again.”


UPDATE 2: The Associated Press reported that, according to a spokeswoman, Fox will issue an on-air correction Saturday, October 12:

Fox will correct the mistake on the air this Saturday, spokeswoman Dana Klinghoffer said. Fox's policy is to correct mistakes on the same show where they are made.

UPDATE 3: Kooiman issued an on-air correction during the October 12 broadcast of Fox & Friends Saturday, apologizing for making a “bad mistake” reporting a story that was “not true”:

I wanted to get to this this morning -- last weekend we mentioned a story about the president funding a Muslim museum during the shutdown. We made a bad mistake by reporting a story based on poor research that was not true. We apologize for not checking the facts and for allowing the story to make air.