Fact Check: Video Is NOT Real News Interview About Gays In The Military -- It's 2007 Satire

Fact Check

  • by: Ed Payne
Fact Check: Video Is NOT Real News Interview About Gays In The Military -- It's 2007 Satire Uniform Satire

Does a video posted on social media show a man reacting to a news interview about gays in the military that says they're "too precious to risk in combat"? No, that's not true: The original piece was produced more than a decade ago by The Onion, a satirical news website that began publishing online in 1996.

The video showing a man reacting to another man reacting to the video appeared in a Facebook post on May 19, 2022, under the title "Huh ???" It opens:

Watching the news.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

The Onion.png

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri May 20 15:12:05 2022 UTC)

The Facebook video shows a man reacting to the video of another man who's watching the fake news video. Both men look shocked and incredulous as they listen to the satirical piece.

The original video first appeared on The Onion website on August 13, 2007, with the headline: "Gays Too Precious To Risk In Combat,' Says General." It was later published on YouTube.

On its "About The Onion" page, the publication is clear that it's serious about not being serious:

The Onion is the world's leading news publication, offering highly acclaimed, universally revered coverage of breaking national, international, and local news events. Rising from its humble beginnings as a print newspaper in 1756, The Onion now enjoys a daily readership of 4.3 trillion and has grown into the single most powerful and influential organization in human history.

In addition to maintaining a towering standard of excellence to which the rest of the industry aspires, The Onion supports more than 350,000 full- and part-time journalism jobs in its numerous news bureaus and manual labor camps stationed around the world, and members of its editorial board have served with distinction in an advisory capacity for such nations as China, Syria, Somalia, and the former Soviet Union. On top of its journalistic pursuits, The Onion also owns and operates the majority of the world's transoceanic shipping lanes, stands on the nation's leading edge on matters of deforestation and strip mining, and proudly conducts tests on millions of animals daily.

The Onion is now available exclusively online without charge in order to take advantage of various charity tax benefits. ...

The First Amendment protects satire as a form of free speech and expression. The Onion uses invented names in all of its stories, except in cases where public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.

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  Ed Payne

Ed Payne is a staff writer at Lead Stories. He is an Emmy Award-winning journalist as part of CNN’s coverage of 9/11. Ed worked at CNN for nearly 24 years with the CNN Radio Network and CNN Digital. Most recently, he was a Digital Senior Producer for Gray Television’s Digital Content Center, the company’s digital news hub for 100+ TV stations. Ed also worked as a writer and editor for WebMD. In addition to his journalistic endeavors, Ed is the author of two children’s book series: “The Daily Rounds of a Hound” and “Vail’s Tales.” 

Read more about or contact Ed Payne

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