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Issue 112 - March 2011 - Page 19

Unsubstantiated Rumours Claim Michelle Obama is Pregnant

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Outline
Circulating rumours claim that US First Lady Michelle Obama is pregnant with the couple's third child.



Brief Analysis
The rumours are currently unsubstantiated. Despite claims in some pseudo news outlets, there has been no official announcement confirming the pregnancy.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 9th February 2011
First published: 9th February 2011
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Example
Subject: Michelle Obama is pregnant

WASHINGTON - The White House announced today that Michelle Obama is pregnant with the couple’s third child.

“Michelle Obama is pregnant,” White House sources said. Outgoing White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, told reporters today that he would not confirm or deny the rumor. But WWN has confirmed that Michelle Obama is about two months into her pregnancy and the President and First Lady expect to have the baby sometime in late July, 2011.

There was a great deal of mystery about the whereabouts of the President and First Lady on Election Night this year. There were many rumors about where they might be - but now we know. The happy couple was spending quality time together, making a new baby.

The last time a baby was born in the White House was Patrick Bouvier Kennedy. He was born on August 7, 1963 and only lived two days. Patrick was the youngest child of President John F. Kennedy and First Lady Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy and brother to Caroline Kennedy and John F. Kennedy Jr.

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Detailed Analysis
According to rumours that are currently rocketing around Twitter and Facebook along with other blogs, forums and social networks, US First Lady Michelle Obama is pregnant with the couple's third child. Details of the rumours vary, but some claim that the baby will be born in July 2011. Some versions also claim that the pregnancy has been announced by the White House.

However, at the time of writing, these rumours remain unsubstantiated and may well be without substance. Despite claims in some versions of the rumour, there certainly has not been any announcement confirming the pregnancy from the White House or any other official entity. Although such rumours have circulated since as far back as 2009, they seemed to have gained new life after a "news" story about the supposed pregnancy was published on the Weekly World News website on January 25, 2011. Weekly World News is notorious for publishing absurd, outlandish and totally inaccurate information that it attempts to palm off as genuine news stories. Many of the "news" items on the site are simply made up and have no basis in fact whatsoever. Weekly World News is the online version of a notorious tabloid newspaper of the same name long renowned for publishing utterly fanciful stories disguised as news articles.

For example, another "news" item currently featured on the Weekly World News site makes the utterly absurd claim that McDonald's is planning to build a store on the Moon which will open by 2015. And, in January, 2011, Weekly World News published a completely false story that claimed that Facebook was shutting down in March. Soon after the story was published, it escaped its original context, spawned several mutated versions, and began circulating via Facebook, Twitter and email. It continues to circulate still, causing angst and consternation among many die hard Facebookers who think they are about to lose their beloved network.

Many visitors to the site will quickly realize that the stories it features are factually dubious at best and are not intended to be taken seriously. However, when such stories begin circulating outside their original context, it seems that many more recipients are apt to take them seriously.

Of course, the Weekly World News site's record for publishing false information does not necessarily mean that Michelle Obama is NOT pregnant. But, at least until such time as President Obama and the White House make an official announcement confirming the First Lady's pregnancy, any such claims are simply speculation.

It should be noted that the widespread 2009 pregnancy rumours turned out to be unfounded. Only time - or an official and credible announcement - will tell if the current crop of rumours has any more substance.

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References
Michelle Obama 'pregnant': report
Weekly World News - MICHELLE OBAMA PREGNANT!
Google Books - Weekly World News
MCDONALD’S OPENS ON THE MOON
Hoax - Facebook Shutting Down on March 15


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Issue 112 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Money Laundering Scam - Christchurch Earthquake Charity Support Job
  2. False Claim - Viral Video Shows 92 Year Old Ginger Rogers Dancing With Her Great Grandson
  3. Flu Remedy Myth - Onions Absorb Viruses and Bacteria From a Room
  4. False Claim - Onions are Magnets for Bacteria
  5. The Fly in the Urinal - Schiphol Airport Toilet Aim Improvement Technique
  6. Blackberry Award Advance Fee Scam
  7. Overblown Warning - Phone Numbers Now On Facebook
  8. UK Post Office Online Reward Program Phishing Scam
  9. Amber Alert Hoax - Mitsubishi Eclipse With Plate Number 98B351
  10. Hitman Payoff Scam Email
  11. Facebook 'See Who Viewed Your Profile' Scams - Rogue 'Stalker' Apps
  12. Analysis of a Hijacked Account Overpayment Scam - Boat and Trailer For Sale
  13. Tick Removal Advice - Liquid Soap Technique
  14. Does Rubbing Vicks VapourRub on Your Feet Relieve Coughing?
  15. Mike The Hacker Scam Emails
  16. DVLA Update Driver's Licence Phishing Scam
  17. Plea to Help Find Homes for 52 Thoroughbred Horses
  18. Prime Minister Howard - Muslims Out Of Australia
  19. Unsubstantiated Rumours Claim Michelle Obama is Pregnant
  20. AOL 'Billing Update Must be Performed' Phishing Scam
  21. Health Canada Warning - Over The Counter Drug Recall
  22. Do Not Call - Mobile Phones Going Public Hoax
  23. Facebook Grant Award Advance Fee Scam
  24. Post Express 'Incorrect Delivery Address' Malware Emails
  25. Adobe Acrobat Upgrade Phishing Scam Emails
  26. Mobile Phone Tips - Things You Never Knew Your Mobile Phone Could Do
  27. Telstra Bill Account Update Phishing Scam