That saying “it’s too good to be true” can go the other way, too.
Sometimes, fortunately, “it’s too bad to be true.”
And in the case of a recent nasty quote attributed to comedian Whoopi Goldberg about Carryn Owens, the widow of Navy SEAL William “Ryan” Owens who was killed in a January raid in Yemen, the latter is the case — according to a recent report published by PolitiFact.
It had to do with the president pointing out her presence during the recent speech in front of a Joint Session of Congress.
Here’s the quote itself — a fictitious line conjured by an American living in Costa Rica named James McDaniel for what he says were comedic purposes:
“She was looking for attention. These military widows love their 15 minutes in the spotlight. If it were me I wouldn’t be able to leave the house. How can someone who is truly grieving go out there and be on TV. It just doesn’t make sense to me.”
The fake news story was disseminated by UndergroundNewsReport.com, which even provides a disclaimer on its home page stating that all articles “are fiction, and presumably fake news.”
Unfortunately, other sites picked up the story and quote and never explained that it was meant to be phony.
The creator has since voiced his regrets.
“I might have carried on a bit longer because I was having fun, but people took the Whoopi Goldberg story so seriously and it had gotten so big I thought I had better pull the plug.”
For the record, Facebook’s new “fake news feature” did flag the content which, according to PolitiFact, alerted them to the whole debacle in the first place.