Government shutdown got you… well… shut down? Maybe this story about how President Obama is using his own hard-earned salary to keep Mississippi’s Muslim Museum open will cheer you up. Too bad it’s completely false. But don’t tell Fox News.
Saturday’s Fox & Friends led with shutdown… err… slimdown coverage with host Anna Kooiman running down a list of all things on hold thanks to the partisan gridlock in Washington. Of course, among all of the shuttered parks and services under the federal funding umbrella, Kooiman reminded that Jackson, Mississippi’s Muslim Museum will remain open thanks to personal donations from the POTUS.
“It really doesn’t seem fair, ” she said, “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.”
That story came from The National Report, a satire website (disclaimer and everything). In it, Obama is “quoted” encouraging furloughed workers to take their time off as an opportunity to learn more about Muslim culture:
“The Muslim community deserves our full acceptance and respect. We have killed millions of Muslims overseas since the September 11th attacks. They are not all bad. In fact most of them are good. So during this shutdown, now is a great time to learn about the faith of Islam. I encourage all of you to celebrate the Muslim community, the ‘Sunnah’ and the magic of the ‘Quran’. All of this can be found at the newly re-opened International Museum of Muslim Cultures.”
As if the quote isn’t questionable enough, a number of other tidbits give the article away as satire, even if you don’t wander off the page. I wrote a rundown of the hoax here (and a pretty decent one if I do say so myself), but the gist is, this is the type of story you’d believe only if you want to believe it.
Still, Kooiman at least corrected the record and apologized for being duped:
Though the damage is likely done, let me say once again: No, President Obama is not funding a Muslim Museum out of his own pocket. Meanwhile, there is a Muslim Museum in Mississippi, but it’s independently funded and therefore not affected by the government shutdown.
[Image: Wikimedia Commons]