A “bad satire” article is circulating which claims President Obama’s 16-year-old daughter Malia is pregnant. This article is completely untrue.
This “bad satire” article comes from known satirical site Empire News, and it is entirely fictional. Promising to be the biggest scandal in years, the fake write-up claims that President Obama’s teenage daughter Malia is pregnant with a mixed-race baby. Much of the column features false quotes attributed to Malia and President Obama. No legitimate sources are cited, and there are no links to corroborating stories.
President Obama’s Daughters in the News
The appearance of this “satire” story follows a much publicized criticism of President Obama’s daughters (Sasha and Malia) by the communications director of a conservative congressman. On a Facebook post that has since been removed, the communications director accused the two teenagers of exhibiting disrespect and “lacking class”. Since then, the author of the post has issued a public apology. It is now being reported that the communications director has resigned.
At the very bottom of every Empire News page, near the middle and to the right, there is a link to a page entitled ‘About / Disclaimer’. Visiting this link reveals that Empire News is a satire website.
Satire sites that publish an endless stream of fake news have become quite popular in the last two years. This is likely due to the masses of traffic that can be pulled in along with the amount of income that can be generated through third party advertisements. Alongside this rising popularity is a new breed of satire. Sometimes humorless, playing on fears or exploiting hot button topics, “trolling” for reactions or traffic, and/or lacking in empathy, this new strain of satire is a perfect combination for an age of entitlement and narcissism where the ends (money and traffic) clearly justifies the means (creation of false news).
The Washington Post has recently published a couple of exposes on satirical news. These articles can be found here and here. The first article is an interview with a writer from Empire News, and the second is an interview with a writer from another popular satire site, National Report. Both are fine resources to consult in better understanding the rising business of fake news.
President Obama’s 16-year-old daughter Malia has not been confirmed to be pregnant. The article claiming this is from Empire News, a known satire website.