A congressman issued a statement after fielding a number of calls and emails criticizing a story about his so-called plan to require war veterans to inform their neighbors that they served in combat — only the story was fake, a product of the satirical military news site, the Duffel Blog.
Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., put a statement on his website Tuesday disassociating himself with the satire, that “while meant to be humorous, was in poor taste and hurtful to our veterans.”
But the Duffel Blogwas created by a veteran — former Marine Sgt. Paul Szoldra, who served as a mortarman and a combat instructor during his eight years in the Corps.
A Duffel Blog spokesman told The Hill on Tuesday that what’s more hurtful to veterans is false information spread about veterans with post-traumatic stress. The satirical post came out the same day veterans groups were slamming The New York Times for running an opinion piece that drew links between veterans and white supremacist groups, following the recent deadly shooting outside a Kansas Jewish center.
The Duffel Blog piece also links to a recent McClatchy story that includes an interactive map that allows readers to search PTS “hotspots” by zip code.
In his statement, Moran said he has advocated for billions in veterans funding to support those suffering from PTS who risked their lives for the country. He said the article detailing the fake legislation portrayed the nation’s veterans suffering from PTS in a “negative, hurtful and deliberately provocative light.”
The joke must have been lost on Moran, who could have used the increased attention to point out the impetus of Duffel’s story: widely reported falsehood’s that PTS is related to violence. Arguably, the perpetuation of this falsehood by mainstream media following the April 2 Ft. Hood shootings has done more harm to vets than a satirical news story.
The Duffel Blog spokesman responded in typical fashion, quipping that the congressman “deserves a substantial pay raise for his handling of this incident. $174,000 per year is not nearly enough for the important work he and all members of Congress are not doing.”
“…It is regrettable that Moran’s unpaid interns have been forced to answer phones and emails about his mention in a recent article — the horror,” the spokesman told The Hill.