Media Matters for America, the watchdog group that tracks conservative media, retracted a story this week that reported a Republican state senator in Texas spoke on a white nationalist program.
The story published Tuesday centered on state Sen. Bob Hall and reported that the conservative legislator had spoken “on the program of a white nationalist, pro-Hitler outlet that denies the Holocaust.”
After the story’s publication, Media Matters said it has been made aware that “the program in question — The Barnes Review History Hour (TBR History Hour) — had faked the interview, falsely claiming they had interviewed Hall by splicing in previous interviews Hall had given to other outlets and making it seem like he was responding to questions from TBR.”
“We have pulled the story and apologize for the error,” an editor’s note on the webpage for the now-retracted story reads.
Eric Hananoki, thw investigative reporter who authored the report, acknowledged being duped in a tweet later on Tuesday.
“An apology: I wrote a story today stating that TX state Sen. Bob Hall went ‘on the program of a white nationalist, pro-Hitler outlet that denies the Holocaust.’ After posting, we were made aware the outlet faked the talk by splicing prior interviews. We’ve retracted the story,” Hananoki said.
An apology: I wrote a story today stating that TX state Sen. Bob Hall went “on the program of a white nationalist, pro-Hitler outlet that denies the Holocaust.” After posting, we were made aware the outlet faked the talk by splicing prior interviews. We’ve retracted the story. pic.twitter.com/apQgAqdImi
— Eric Hananoki (@ehananoki) June 8, 2021
One Twitter user noted that at least one other outlet, the Dallas Observer, cited Media Matters’s reporting on Hall for a story of its own. The Dallas Observer story has also been taken down.
Also looks like @Dallas_Observer posted a write up of media matters piece without any due diligence and then stealth deleted the piece.
— Watchdog (@LibWatchdog) June 9, 2021
Hall’s office confirmed to The Hill that the interview with the lawmaker had been faked.