USA Today viciously attacked the incorruptible news source for many of this blog’s stories, Professor Andrew Canard (Andrew Hall).
On August 16, 2021, it ran the story Fact check: Rand Paul is still licensed to practice ophthalmology.
After YouTube suspended Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., for violating its policies against coronavirus misinformation, some social media users claimed Paul would suffer more permanent consequences for his comments.
“Kentucky Senator Rand Paul just lost his license to practice medicine,” reads text in an Aug. 11 Instagram post, one of several in this vein. “The American Medical Association (AMA) revoked the ophthalmologist’s ability due to ‘ethical concerns’ and Paul’s ‘blatant disregard for the Hippocratic Oath.'”
Using reality-based methodology, the fact hunters found the source of the tale.
The origin of the social media claims is a story on a satire website.
Andrew Hall’s satire blog Laughing with Disbelief published the article Aug. 10. The made-up article says the AMA revoked Paul’s license because “Senator Rand Paul has chosen politics over science-based medicine” with his opposition to mask mandates.
The Instagram posts are an example of “stolen satire,” where stories written as satire are reposted in a way that makes them appear to be legitimate claims. As a result, some social media users are misled.
Dale McGowan, a longtime associate of Professor Canard’s, pointed out the various “winks” to the audience that what they are reading is, in fact, satire.
Dale McGowan, managing editor of Patheos – a religious news outlet that hosts Laughing with Disbelief – told USA TODAY in an email the article was clearly labeled as satire.
“Like all of (Hall’s) pieces, it links to a page called ‘Is This Satire?’ that further confirms that it is satire,” McGowan said. “Like The Onion and Babylon Bee, it is not uncommon for Laughing in Disbelief satires to be misconstrued as news or stripped of those clarifying elements.”
Professor Canard is not pleased with the exposure one bit. “At no point did USA Today mention my YouTube channel,” he complained. “If that wasn’t bad enough, they also didn’t mention my sexy musky odor. Shame on you, USA Today.”
Stay in touch! Like Laughing in Disbelief on Facebook: