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Not Real News: A look at what didn’t happen this week

🕐 2 min read

Here is the AP’s weekly roundup of some of the most popular, but completely untrue, headlines of the week. None of these stories are legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out; here are the real facts:

NOT REAL: Extremely Racist Black ESPN Reporter Says ALL White People Are NAZIS

THE FACTS: ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill never labeled all white people as Nazis, despite this viral headline from conservative site America’s Freedom Fighters. Hill did call President Donald Trump a white supremacist on Twitter, prompting Trump to call for an apology from the network. ESPN has repeatedly said Hill’s comments don’t reflect the network’s view. Hill has apologized for painting ESPN in an “unfair light,” but has stood by her statement about Trump.


NOT REAL: Jane Fonda: “I Swear That American Flag Is My House Carpet, I Hate Everything About This Country”

THE FACTS: The actress’ appearance at the Emmys Sunday night made news, but it wasn’t because of this quote falsely attributed to her by several sites. Another viral story claims fellow Oscar winner Sally Field told Fonda to leave the country over the comment, which is also untrue. Fonda was nominated for an Emmy for her Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” and also helped present an award Sunday.


NOT REAL: CONFIRMED: The Office US is returning in 2018!

THE FACTS: Michael Scott and the Dunder Mifflin gang aren’t coming back to TV anytime soon. No plans to revive the NBC sitcom that ran from 2005 to 2013 have been announced. A site named Pagez drew its conclusion using an Instagram post from former “Office” star Jenna Fischer about an old script and an April Fools’ joke posted on Medium. The site later retracted the story in a separate post, but the original article is still online.



THE FACTS: The actor said no such thing about white people, despite a claim from a site called Draining the Swamp. The article is based on an AP video of Smith speaking at a Dubai press conference last year to promote his movie “Suicide Squad.” Smith told reporters that hearing then-candidate Donald Trump’s campaign rhetoric was “good,” because Americans “get to know who people are and now we get to cleanse it out of our country.”


NOT REAL: NASA confirms Planet X inbound just days before 9/23

THE FACTS: NASA has refuted false reports circulating recently claiming the world will end on Saturday. The articles stem from the writings of David Meade, a self-described “specialist in research and investigations” who says a sign of the apocalypse will be seen in the skies over Jerusalem Saturday and a planet named Nibiru, also called Planet X, will pass by Earth later this year. NASA reiterated on its website this week there is no such planet.

This weekly fixture is part of The Associated Press’ ongoing efforts to fact-check claims in suspected false news stories.

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