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Sunday, March 13, 2016
WND, Newsmax Falsely Smear Trump Protester As ISIS Supporter
Topic: WorldNetDaily

After protester Thomas DiMassimo was arrested for rushing the stage at a Donald Trump rally, his supporters at WorldNetDaily quickly ran with the story that DiMassimo has links to ISIS.

A WND article touted how "was featured in a pro-ISIS video reportedly uploaded to YouTube in May 2015":

At Newsmax, Todd Beamon uncritically reported Trump's claim that DiMassimo's was "probably ISIS or ISIS-related," even embedding a Trump tweet that he has "ties to ISIS"and repeating the claim that DiMassimo "was featured in an Islamic State propaganda video uploaded to YouTube last year."

Just one problem: it doesn't appear to be true.

The Heavy website reports that the "pro-ISIS video" in question "appears to be a hoax video posted by a troll to discredit and mock DiMassimo" following a protest last year in which he stood on an American flag. While the video uses Arabic-style language and music, Heavy reports, "The Arabic caption roughly translates to a joke about the size of Dimassimo’s penis."

WND has since updated its article (without noting it has done so) by adding the hoax information from Heavy, but the "pro-ISIS" claim remains in the headline and lead paragraph. Beamon's Newsmax article reamins unaltered.

Publishing false information and knowingly allowing false information to stand uncorrected potentially opens up WND and Newsmax to libel risks.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:12 PM EST

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