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Tuesday, October 11, 2005
NewsMax Gets Punk'd
Topic: Newsmax
NewsMax's James Hirsen falsely claimed that U2 was holding a fund-raiser for Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Rick Santorum.

An Oct. 10 article originally read this way (courtesy Santorum Exposed):

Teaming up with the legendary rock group U2 for a one-night only appearance will be Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Penn.).

The thousand-dollar-a-seat concert has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington and will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum’s re-election, reports NewsMax's James Hirsen.
Wolfington puts it this way: "It's truly appropriate for U2, a band with a purpose, to be involved in a fund-raiser with Senator Rick Santorum, a politician with a purpose. Both men are passionate about what they believe and their faith is very important to them."

NewsMax has since changed the article to somewhat closer reflect reality:

On Sunday, October 16, a unique political event will take place.

At a concert of the legendary rock group U2, Senator Rick Santorum will hold a fund-raising event for one night only.

The thousand-dollar-a-seat fund-raiser has been put together by Sean and Ana Wolfington, and it will take place at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia in support of Santorum's reelection.

In other words, Santorum got some seats to the U2 show -- or rather, as Joe Trippi points out, a luxury box -- and is giving them out to high-dollar campaign donors. Santorum Exposed also quotes a spokesman for Bono as saying that "U2 concerts are categorically not fundraisers for any politician - they are rock concerts for U2 fans."

But NewsMax makes no note of the correction -- or even any hint of the article's significant alterations, which also removed Hirsen's name. Hirsen, a NewsMax columnist, is currently plugging his new book, "Hollywood Nation."

The article also still states that "As in the case of Santorum, Bono's religious convictions inform his activities," implying that Bono supports Santorum.

NewsMax thus joins the ranks of WorldNetDaily, which also wanted to believe something so badly it ran a false news story.

UPDATE: Thanks to the magic of the Google cache, here's a copy of NewsMax's original false story.

Posted by Terry K. at 6:58 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, October 12, 2005 11:31 AM EDT

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