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Conspiracy Troll Fools Media with Fake FBI Raid

A media provocateur known for spreading outlandish lies recently reported that his friend’s home was raided by the FBI. The seriousness of his claim, combined with photos and video footage, merited interest from local investigative journalists. But in an effort to publish quickly, they failed to discern an essential detail--the raid was staged.

When contacted by a Washington Post reporter, Jacob Wohl gave corroborating details about the supposed raid on his friend, conservative lobbyist Jack Burkman. What he left out was that the men creating the commotion outside Burkman’s residence were actors, hired under the guise of a TV pilot.

The story triggered more investigation from Post metro editor Mike Semel when he noticed there was no other confirmation from FBI or other law enforcement sources. This resulted in a mea culpa from the Post, in the form of a statement:

The Post earlier today published an erroneous story about a purported FBI raid on the home of conservative operative Jack Burkman. The FBI has since said that the raid did not take place. Our story was published because we failed to obtain appropriate confirmation.

When given the opportunity to retract, Burkman doubled down on his story, warning the Post thusly: “You have to remember in journalism you have to be careful—I’m not saying you did this—creating your own reality and ensnaring yourself in those realities.”

Possible Preaching Angle:

Those who are motivated to spread the truth shouldn’t need to use lies to prove their point. Deception is inevitably revealed as fraudulent and discredits the work of anyone who uses it.

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