Facts Matter: Bullying scene stopping 'Christmas Story' marathon? Oh, fudddddge. Except it's not true

 
 
Updated 12/1/2018 7:45 PM
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  • Fake news, says Snopes.com, quoting TBS as having no plans to cancel an "A Christmas Story" marathon beginning on Christmas Eve.

    Fake news, says Snopes.com, quoting TBS as having no plans to cancel an "A Christmas Story" marathon beginning on Christmas Eve. Snopes.com

A meme featuring neighborhood menace Scut Farkus from "A Christmas Story" falsely claims a marathon broadcast of the iconic movie was canceled because of the bullying scene.

The image appeared to come from MomusFeed News, styled to resemble a post from BuzzFeed News, according to Snopes.com.

A spokesman for TBS, the network set to air a continuous showing of the 1983 film, told Snopes there were no plans to cancel the event. The broadcast begins on Christmas Eve and runs through Christmas Day.

The rumor "A Christmas Story" marathon would be canceled was a social media hoax, Snopes said.

In the holiday movie, Ralphie Parker and his friends are tormented by school bully Farkus and his sidekick Grover Dill. Zach Ward, the now-grown actor who played Farkus in the film, made a comedic video in which he offers tips on how to avoid bullies during the holidays.

Not exactly bipartisan

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) recently said there is "bipartisan consensus" President Donald Trump violated the Appointments Clause of the Constitution when he named Matthew Whitaker acting attorney general.

But according to PolitiFact.com, only one Republican lawmaker spoke out against the move.

Trump picked Whitaker to lead the Justice Department when Attorney General Jeff Sessions left the day after the midterm elections.

The appointment has been challenged because Whitaker assumed the post without Senate confirmation, PolitiFact said. The state of Maryland legally challenged the appointment and three Democratic senators said Trump was in violation of the Constitution.

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake was the lone Republican congressman to call the move unconstitutional, PolitiFact said. "To have somebody who is not Senate-confirmed in a position to oversee an investigation of the president's campaign just does not sit well here," Flake said.

Many Republicans defended the president's choice, PolitiFact said. "I think we ought to give the guy a chance," GOP U.S. Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) said.

A spokesman for Pelosi appeared to confirm most Republican members of Congress have not questioned the constitutionality of the appointment, PolitiFact reported, but the senator's office pointed to six conservative legal and political commentators who have argued against the post.

Not Obama's separation policy

President Trump told reporters last week his predecessor Barack Obama operated under similar immigration laws that included a policy to separate family members at the border, <URL destination="https://www.apnews.com/abf734ef780f48769be3a68f338d7ee9">The Associated Press reported.

</URL>"Obama had a separation policy; we all had the same policy," Trump said. "I tried to do it differently, but Obama had a separation policy. But people don't like to talk about that."

Obama didn't have a separation policy, according to AP. Neither does Trump, but the recent separations of immigrant children from their parents at the Mexico border is a result of the president's zero-tolerance policy.

Under zero tolerance, adults caught crossing the border illegally are taken to court for criminal proceedings and separated from their children, AP said. If processing the adults being charged takes longer than 72 hours, the maximum amount of time children can be held by Customs and Border Protection, the youths are taken care of by the Health and Human Services Department.

Zero tolerance remains in effect, AP said, but Trump signed an executive order in June to stop separations.

No 'guitar graveyard'

Three photos of piled up broken and discarded guitars made the rounds on social media in November, purportedly showing a guitar graveyard, according to Snopes.com.

"Guitar cemetery. Confiscated guitars from street musicians in Brazil," read a post that included three images of the musical instruments, according to Snopes.

But the photos were actually taken in September, showing dozens of guitars that were damaged during Typhoon Mangkhut in southern China, Snopes said.

One of the images was included with an article on a Chinese music website identifying the scene as a musical instrument factory. Another photo was tweeted with a caption claiming the guitars were "soaked in water after the typhoon," according to Snopes.

All three of the images were shared online shortly after the typhoon, Snopes said, and it wasn't until several weeks later the photos were posted with the claim about street musicians in Brazil.

• Bob Oswald is a veteran Chicago-area journalist and former news editor of the Elgin Courier-News. Contact him at boboswald33@gmail.com.

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