A look at what didn’t happen last week


Associated Press

A roundup of some of the most popular but completely untrue headlines of the week. Neither of these stories is legit, even though they were shared widely on social media. The Associated Press checked these out. Here are the real facts:

Not real: “Breaking: Paul Ryan nominates Joel Osteen to be new house chaplain”

The facts: House Speaker Paul Ryan hasn’t nominated televangelist Joel Osteen to be the next House chaplain, contrary to a satirical posting circulating on the internet. Ryan’s spokeswoman AshLee Strong says the story “is not true.” Andrea Davis, a spokeswoman for Osteen, calls it a “false rumor.” Osteen leads a Houston megachurch, which holds televised services in a 16,000-seat former basketball arena. The Rev. Patrick Conroy became the House’s chaplain in 2011. He offered his resignation last month at Ryan’s urging, but then withdrew it and won his job back Thursday.

Not real: “‘Smallville’ star confesses she sold children to Rothchilds and Clintons”

The facts: “Smallville” actor Allison Mack has been indicted on sex-trafficking charges, but a story being shared online falsely connects the criminal case to Bill and Hillary Clinton and the Rothschild banking family. The article on nyeveningnews and other sites declares that Mack “confessed that she sold children to the Rothschilds and Clintons during her time in the child sex cult.” The story combines falsehoods with information from Mack’s actual legal case. Mack was charged last month after federal prosecutors in New York said she recruited women to a group led by Keith Raniere, who pitched himself as a self-improvement guru to the stars. Mack pleaded not guilty, is free on $5 million bond and under home detention in California. Raniere also is being held on trafficking charges, and his attorneys say he’s innocent.

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