Whoops. It looks like MSNBC has fallen for a satirical article -- again.
On Monday, the Huffington Post published a satirical piece written by Scott Wooledge, an activist who frequently posts on the left-leaning Daily Kos, titled “Microsoft, Apple Unite to Demand That the National Organization for Marriage Boycott Them.”
The article, which was published on the HuffPo’s comedy blog, joked that the two tech giants were begging the National Organization for Marriage to boycott them because, based on recent market bump Starbucks has enjoyed from NOM’s “Dump Starbucks” campaign, it’s good for business.
Watch MSNBC report on the supposed boycott plea (via Equality Matters):
“In the meantime, get this,” Roberts said. “Tech rivals Apple and Microsoft are marrying up and asking the National Organization for Marriage its supporters to boycott their companies. This follows the release of secret documents last week showing part of the organization’s strategy to quote ‘drive a wedge’ between blacks and gays on the issue of marriage equality.”
But there's a problem: the "marriage" between Apple and Microsoft never happened.
To be fair, not everyone is immune from this sort of thing. Comedy blogs and websites have gotten better at disguising fake stories. So maybe it was a really convincing article and that's why MSNBC fell for it, you might say.
Was it convincingly written? Judge for yourself.
In the Daily Kos article, Wooledge jokingly writes that a Microsoft spokesman said the following:
Amidst all the "Dump Starbucks" mania, it appears many have lost sight of the fact that Microsoft Corporation, just like Starbucks, stood proudly with Washington United for Marriage to support equal treatment for all loving couples in Washington State.
So what gives? The National Organization for Marriage singles out Starbucks, and those yuppie bean heads get all the attention? We have to read in the Seattle Stranger how "[t]here has been an incredible Facebook campaign of photos of people drinking coffee at Starbucks." Where are all the photos of happy people tapping away on Windows machines knowing that they, too, are supporting equality for all? What about us? We've even got a rainbow in our logo. Boycott us, National Organization for Marriage! Now!
And he writes that an Apple spokesman added:
…we see that over 635,00 people have signed the "Thank you, Starbucks" card at Sum of Us. And then there's also MoveOn's thank-you card, and Washington United for Marriage's thank-you card.
What does Apple have to do to get our own thank-you card? It isn't fair. Apple has a long history of standing up for marriage equality. Don't forget that our first logo had a rainbow in it, too! Now we're reading in the news reports how Starbuck's customers, like David Thompson of Pennsylvania, are saying things like, "It makes me more inclined to buy here, in spite of their high prices." We want in on that action, too. We deserve it.
In fact, Wooledge even ends the article with this:
Maggie Gallagher and Brian Brown of National Organization for Marriage were far too busy plotting their next shameful, divisive, nefarious, race-baiting attack to make themselves available for comment for this report.
The article even had “NOTE: This piece is satirical. All quotations are fabrications for the purpose of satire” written at the bottom (although we're unsure if that was added before or after MSNBC ran its story).
“Lesson to MSNBC, don't believe everything you read on the internet,” Wooledge wrote after MSNBC falsely reported the story.
As mentioned in the headline of this article, this isn’t the first time MSNBC has fallen for a fake story.
“Last December, Roberts relied on a blog post from the ‘progressive site’ Americablog to tie a campaign ad for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney to the Ku Klux Klan. Roberts later apologized for the error,” Jeff Poor of the Daily Caller writes.
It should be noted that the MSNBC host tied up in this latest gaffe, Thomas Roberts, has jumped the gun before in attacking opponents to same-sex marriage and Republicans. Just last week he pulled an empty chair stunt similar to MSNBC cohort Lawrence O'Donnell, except the guest he chastised and mocked for not appearing in his segment did not skip out on facing him, but was rather directed to the wrong studio by MSNBC booking.
This past July, Roberts said then-Republican presidential candidate Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann would “extinguish” gay people. In September he said GOP candidates want to go back to a time when “slavery was cool.” This past December, Roberts reported that the Romney campaign was using the same slogan as the KKK did during the 1920s, a report that linked back to a mock political ad youtube video unaffiliated with the Romney campaign.