The Money Was Real, Though

Fake news reporters may fake their news like there’s no tomorrow but they rarely want anything to do with fake money.

Fake

Der Spiegel said Sunday it would file a criminal complaint against a disgraced reporter after it emerged he may have embezzled donations intended for Syrian street children.

Claas Relotius, 33, resigned this month after admitting to making up stories and inventing protagonists in more than a dozen articles in the magazine’s print and online editions.

Spiegel said it now had information that Relotius allegedly launched a campaign for readers to give money to help subjects of an article he wrote but that the bank details he gave directed the funds to his own account.

Spiegel said concerned readers had in recent days reported Relotius’ call for donations purportedly for orphaned Syrian children living on the streets of Turkey.

“Der Spiegel will give all the information it collects to public prosecutors as part of a criminal complaint.”

PS: And on that happy note, Merry Christmas!

Santa

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German Fake News Scandal Reaches Fergus Falls, Minnesota

“Reality is in the business of killing off fiction.”

Fake News

“In 7,300 words he really only got our town’s population and average annual temperature correct, and a few other basic things, like the names of businesses and public figures, things that a child could figure out in a Google search. The rest is uninhibited fiction (even as sloppy as citing an incorrect figure of citywide 70.4% electoral support for Trump, when the actual number was 62.6%), which begs the question of why Der Spiegel even invested in Relotius’ three week trip to the U.S., whether they should demand their money back from him, and what kind of institutional breakdown led to the supposedly world-class Der Spiegel fact-checking team completely dropping the ball on this one.”