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This Christmas season, Minnesota’s Mall of America hired its first black Santa Claus.
An article on fake news website Politicono.com got that fact right but nothing else. The Dec. 3 article carried the headline, "Sarah Palin Calls To Boycott Mall Of America Because ‘Santa Was Always White In The Bible.’"
The article quoted Palin as saying people should run the Mall of America "into the ground," on the basis of Santa "always having been white in the Bible," and, "No, I refuse to believe that they went this far in trying to cater to the minorities, I thought the company had some backbone but I guess I was wrong,"
The former Alaska governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate never said these things.
Politicono.com, which calls itself a "hybrid news/satire platform," takes real news hooks and builds fake stories on top of them. Every article has a "show facts" button to illuminate which parts of the story are real and those that are fabricated.
When you click the "show facts" button on the Palin article, it highlights as fact the first paragraph, which is about the Mall of America’s real decision to hire a black Santa. But the entire rest of the article, detailing Palin’s supposed call to boycott the mall because of the Bible’s teachings on Santa, is completely made up.
"Dear Democrats, this is what ‘fake news’ actually looks like, and I guarantee you no Trump voter actually fell for this," Palin wrote on Facebook Dec. 20, with a link to a Breitbart article debunking the Politicono.com post.
Politicano.com is more forthcoming than other fake news sites about the fact that it posts made-up content. But it’s still not immediately apparent that its editors fabricated the story claiming Palin said she would boycott the Mall of America because Santa was always white in the Bible. So we rate this fake news article Pants on Fire.
Politicono.com, "Sarah Palin Calls To Boycott Mall Of America Because ‘Santa Was Always White In The Bible,’" Dec. 3, 2016
Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Mall of America welcomes its first black Santa," Dec. 1, 2016
Facebook, Sarah Palin post, Dec. 20, 2016
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