A Perfect Example of Fake News

A local Detroit news station gave us a perfect example of fake news last week.

An Iraqi man claimed that his mother died because she was barred from seeking medical care in the United States due to President Trump’s recent executive order temporarily barring immigrants from seven countries, including Iraq.

Here’s the story, as it was originally published:

 A local business owner flies to Iraq to bring his mother back home to the US for medical treatment. But under President Trump’s ban on immigration and travel from seven predominately Muslim nations, he was forced to leave his family behind.

His mother died just one day after being told she couldn’t return to the United States.

Mike Hager fled Iraq with his family during the Gulf War, returned during the Iraq war and worked alongside United States Marines and Army forces. He now owns a business in Metro Detroit and said his mom would still be alive today if President Donald Trump had not instituted his travel ban on Muslim countries.

Mike Hager said he was returning home with his family that included his sick mom. They were returning home to the United States where his mother has lived since 1995. As they were waiting in line at the airport in Iraq on Friday, he was told that he could pass through because he was a U.S. citizen. But his family members – including his mom – weren’t allowed, despite holding green cards.

“They destroyed us. I went with my family, I came back by myself. They destroyed our family,” Hager said.

Hager was born in Iraq and fled during the Gulf War. He lived in a refugee camp with his family for four years before settling in the United States. In the 2000s, he returned to Iraq where he worked as a contractor for the United States Special forces between 2003 and 2008 as an interpreter and cultural advisor. He even survived being shot in the back while serving.

He’s a proud American citizen whose family has now been torn apart.

“The immigration told us that the President of the United States put an order right now – you guys cannot go,” he told FOX 2’s Amy Lange.

Hager, his niece, and two nephews were traveling with his 75-year-old mother, Naimma, home to Michigan. They traveled to Iraq to visit family and when she fell ill. Hager said he didn’t expect it to be a problem for the family to travel since they all had green cards and had lived in the United States for 20 years.

“I was just shocked. I had to put my mom back on the wheelchair and take her back and call the ambulance and she was very very upset. She knew right there if we send her back to the hospital she’s going to pass away – she’s not going to make it,” Hager said.

Sadly, he was right. Naimma, lived in the United States since 1995, wasn’t allowed to come home. She died in her native country. Hager said if it weren’t for the order, his mom would still be alive today.

He blames her death on President Trump.

I really believe this in my heart: if they would have let us in, my mom – she would have made it and she would have been sitting right here next to me,” Hager said. “She’s gone because of him.”

Just as the family was traveling, President Trump signed an executive order banning travelers from seven majority-Muslim countries.

Travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are banned from traveling to the United States for 90 days so the country can detect “individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States.”

Hager says he has no idea when his nephews and niece will be able to return to the United States and he’s worried about his own status – even though he is an American citizen.

“This is our home. We’ve been here for too long, we’ve been here since we were kids,” Hager said. “If I’m not wanted overseas in Iraq and I’m not wanted here, then where do I go? What am I supposed to do with my family?”

Hager is mourning more than his mother; he’s also mourning the way of life he believes that makes America great. He also has this message for the Commander in Chief:

“You have to understand you have a daughter – you have family – imagine if somebody does that to your mom. You put the terrorists on this side – the bad people – but don’t mix everyone together,” Hager said.

Several of my liberal friends were sharing this story gleefully. You may have already seen it floating around.

They smugly used this sob story to criticize President Trump’s “heart-breaking, racist travel ban”. They sarcastically proclaimed nonsense like, “They said it was worth it if even one life was saved. Guess they need to save two now.”

Oh, how morally self-righteous was the virtue signaling!

And I have to admit, as the story’s written, it is a pretty heartbreaking story.

There’s only one teensy, tiny, little problem with it…

IT’S FAKE NEWS!

Literally, the very next day, that Detroit news station had to publish a retraction. The Iraqi man actually lied to the media about his mother dying due to President Trump’s travel ban.

The leader of a mosque in Dearborn has confirmed to FOX 2 that a man who claimed his mother died in Iraq after being barred from returning to the United States under a ban instituted by President Trump this weekend, lied to FOX 2 about when her death occurred.

Imam Husham Al-Hussainy, leader of the Karbalaa Islamic Educational Center in Dearborn, says Mike Hager’s mom did not pass away this weekend after the travel ban was put in place. The Imam confirms that Hager’s mother died before the executive order was signed.

On Tuesday, Mike Hager told FOX 2 that he and his family were stopped while trying to return from Iraq to Michigan. He said that he was allowed through because of his American citizenship but his ailing mother and other family members were not. He then claimed that his mom passed away in Iraq on Saturday, as he was traveling to the United States.

Travelers from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia are banned from traveling to the United States for 90 days so the country can detect “individuals with terrorist ties and stopping them from entering the United States.”

After the story aired on FOX 2 and was posted on FOX2Detroit.com, we received many questions about the validity of Hager’s claims. FOX 2 has confirmed that his mother died five days earlier – on January 22, 2017.

According to Al-Hussainy, Hager’s mother had kidney disease and was receiving treatment in Michigan – where she lived – before traveling to Iraq to visit family. The Imam said she passed away on the Monday, January 22, five days before President Trump instituted the travel ban.

“That’s true. The 22nd of January, his mom died,” Al-Hussainy said. “She did die but that was a couple weeks ago – before the ban.”

Al-Hussainy says Hager contacted him on January 19th to tell him his mother was very sick with kidney disease and he was going to Iraq to be with her. She died there and another mosque in the Detroit area here even held a prayer service in her honor.

The Imam, who voted for Trump, did not want to address the general unrest over the travel ban or the weekend chaos for travelers and protesters at the airports. Instead, he called for peace and patience.

“There is confusion. There is a mix that they have to distinguish between good refugees and bad refugees and if this is what it takes to stop them for a while, to screen them, that’s fine for the security of the country,” he said.

Mike Hager is no stranger to FOX 2 and our viewers. In December, he donated several thousand dollars to send a cheerleading team to their tournament after a tragic death of one of their teammates.

It was a cheer coach who contacted FOX 2 about his mom’s death. FOX 2 was able to obtain a Facebook post from his account last month that memorializes his mother on January 22. The post has since been deleted.

It’s unknown why he would lie about when it occurred. When we tried talking to him at his home and business, he was nowhere to be found.

Earlier when confronted via text about his lie, Mike wrote “Since I lost my mom I’ve been on heavy medication – I can’t even sleep. I did not make anything up.”

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Stupid liberals!

I took great pleasure shoving it in their smug faces the fact that the Iraqi man lied.

No shit. The original article had one major, glaring problem that stopped me from trusting it. Anyone who actually stopped to critically think about the article should have seen it.

The “journalist” who wrote it never once mentioned the Iraqi man’s mother’s diagnosis. That would be important to know about a woman who was flying back to the United States from Iraq in order to seek medical care. What kind of illness is treatable only by first world medical care but is otherwise fatal within days? What kind of illness kills a person in days but makes them perfectly healthy to survive a 17 hour flight? If the mother was that close to death, I can’t imagine what a U.S. hospital could really do for her once she arrived.

Any quality journalistic article should have discussed those details. But fake news doesn’t hold itself to the same fact-checking standards as real news.

Instead, we got this fluff piece without any useful facts. It’s almost like the media publishes fake news designed to elicit a purely emotional response predicated on one’s pre-conceived biases toward President Trump. But I’m sure they’d never do that…

And the damn liberals fell for it.

Conspiracy?

I doubt that some shitty local Michigan “news” station is part of a broad global media conspiracy. A grand conspiracy theory probably doesn’t exist in this case. So I’m not even arguing for it.

But this saga does point to a wider problem with today’s media. There simply aren’t any scholarly standards when it comes to reporting on President Trump.

Local news stations run small-time human interest stories all the time. Not usually a big deal.

Except this time. And I think I can easily explain why.

First, I presume that the journalist who reported this story, Amy Lange, is biased against President Trump. Media journalists skew heavily toward being liberal, so this really isn’t much stretch of the imagination. And like most liberals, the globalist media establishment has successfully brainwashed her into believing that President Trump is literally the second coming of Hitler.

So when this Iraqi man, Mike Hager, comes to her with his sob story about his mother dying due to President Trump’s travel ban, she believes him. There’s no need to fact-check or verify the information. Obviously, it must be true because President Trump is Hitler and wants all foreigners to die! I’ll bet he’s laughing maniacally about the death of a sick, elderly lady!

At least that’s what I imagine was going through the brain of this reporter. Assuming she even has a functioning brain.

Verifying your sources is one of the hallmarks of being a competent journalist. This should be an ethical standard for journalism. I’m not asking for much here.

We deserve a media we can trust to report clear, straight-forward facts that are verified by multiple sources. We deserve a media that allows people to formulate their own opinions based on those facts.

But instead, we get this lazy piece of shit. Someone who reports a story as fact verified by nothing but “her feels” about President Trump.

This is the very definition of fake news.

I’d almost prefer a grand media conspiracy theory over trash like this.