Fake News: Minnesota Man Did NOT Suffer Extreme Frostbite To Genitals After Drunken Sex With Snowman He Mistook For Ex-wife

Hoax Alert

  • by: Ryan Cooper
Fake News: Minnesota Man Did NOT Suffer Extreme Frostbite To Genitals After Drunken Sex With Snowman He Mistook For Ex-wife

Did a Minnesota man suffer extreme frostbite to his genitals after having drunken sex with a snowman he mistook for his ex-wife? No, that's not true: The story was fabricated by a Canadian entertainment website that publishes fictional stories about bizarre crimes, weird sexual acts, and other made-up events.

The claim originated from an article published by World News Daily Report on January 13, 2020, titled "Minnesota man suffers extreme frostbite to genitals after drunken sex with snowman he mistook for ex-wife" (archived here). It opened:

A Minnesota man in Red Lake has suffered extreme frostbite to his genitals after allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a snowman.

Russell Baker, 42, was rescued after being found unconscious and barely clothed on a neighbor's lawn last week by Red Lake police.

Neighbors called 911 after witnessing a "drunk naked man in full erection having sex with a snowman" according to the official 911 correspondence.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Minnesota man suffers extreme frostbite to genitals after drunken sex with snowman he mistook for ex-wife

A Minnesota man in Red Lake has suffered extreme frostbite to his genitals after allegedly engaging in sexual intercourse with a snowman. Russell Baker, 42, was rescued after being found unconscious and barely clothed on a neighbor's lawn last week by Red Lake police.

The article is completely fabricated and is a work of satire. Likely, however, it will be duplicated by other sites that fail to note the satirical nature of this story. Despite the outlandish nature of the piece, casual readers may not be aware it is a work of satire, and they may share it on their social media feeds.

The website World News Daily Report is a humor website specialized in posting hoaxes and made-up stories. The disclaimer on their website is pretty clear about that, even though you have to scroll all the way down the page to find it:

World News Daily Report assumes all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website - even those based on real people - are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any person, living, dead or undead, is purely a miracle.

On March 20, 2019, the site added a new header that included the slogan "Where facts don't matter" to make it clearer to casual visitors the published content is fictional:

factsdontmatter3.png

The site often uses images stolen without attribution from real news websites, sometimes showing real people who have nothing to do with the story. For example, here:

Woman Says Newborn Photo Stolen for Satirical Fake News Story

It is run by Janick Murray-Hall and Olivier Legault, who also run Journal de Mourréal, a satirical site spoofing the (real) Journal de Montéal. Very often, their stories feature an image showing a random mugshot found in a gallery on the Internet or on a stock photo website superimposed over a background of flashing police lights or crime scene tape.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalists to rank the reliability of websites, describes worldnewsdailyreport.com as:

A website that publishes hoaxes and made-up stories that are often widely shared and mistaken for news.

According to NewsGuard, the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about worldnewsdailyreport.com before. Here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Ryan Cooper

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

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