Online news site Taho News claimed that American TV host Ellen Degeneres is planning to visit the Philippines to interview President Rodrigo Duterte.
The article further claimed that DeGeneres expressed her desire to interview through her Twitter account. The famous host supposedly tweeted this:
“I really want to interview this very controversial guy. But because he doesn’t want to come here, I plan to visit his place soon. Can I?”
Taho News even posted a screenshot of Degeneres’ October 27 tweet.
The article also took note of Duterte’s strong remarks against the US and President Barack Obama.
Taho News said that Malacañang has “not received any formal request from DeGeneres to interview President Duterte.” Communications Secretary Martin Andanar supposedly said that the American host is welcome to visit the Philippines and meet Duterte, given that Duterte does not want to go to the US.
We scanned DeGeneres’ official Twitter account and proceeded to look at her October 27 tweets but we could not find her supposed tweet about interviewing a “controversial guy.” Not at all. She was, however, obviously showing her fondness for Halloween through her tweets on that same day.
So, how did Taho News get that screenshot of DeGeneres’ tweet?
She could have deleted it, so we searched for other news articles that might have caught wind of the host’s tweet that may have been intended for Duterte and the Filipinos, but we couldn’t find any as well.
There were no articles about the Malacañang or Andanar commenting about DeGeneres’ visit to the Philippines as well, or any other articles about any future visit.
There was a Philippine Star article, however, about what could possibly bring DeGeneres to the Philippines, but it was published on August 7, 2014 and written by Ricky Lo for his Funfare column. He said, at the time, there were exploratory negotiations with people close to the American host and that DeGeneres’ chef was a Filipino, who cooked Filipino dishes that she has learned to love. But that visit did not push through.
And Taho News might just be making up a story about DeGeneres and Duterte. As they said in their “About Us” page, they pick news articles that are interesting to read, but they also include satirical news in “very very rare cases.”
“In very very rare cases, we include satirical news. We are not doing this to fool, confuse or insult anyone. We believe that through satire, we are able to speak what many Filipinos want to say or happen. To add spice, some of them are partly true, while others are real but are written in an exaggerated manner,” said part of Taho News’ About Us profile.
“We may sometimes use fake names of people and institutions in our satire news. Therefore, it is the responsibility of our readers to do a research before they believe and share them elsewhere. We believe in freedom of expression, as long as it does not destroy one’s character and reputation,” Taho News added.
The thing is that the article was picked up by one of the blogs we have noted for sharing fake news, Pinoy Speak Info, and the Duterte fan page President Duterte Supporters Worldwide shared it, believing that it’s true.
That Taho News article about DeGeneres and Duterte could easily be satire, but the comments and the over 600 shares that the blog’s FB page earned from that article showed that many people took it seriously.
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