German “journalist” Claas Relotius spent many years on the European and world journalistic fast track, until it was realized he’d spent years falsifying stories.
One of those stories was about the xenophobic misanthropic fascist racists in…
…Fergus Falls, MN.
And he didn’t just make up the little stuff. Two local residents combed through the story:
There are so many lies here, that my friend Jake and I had to narrow them down to top 11 most absurd lies (we couldn’t do just 10) for the purpose of this article. We’ve been working on it since the article came out in spring of 2017, but had to set it aside to attend to our lives (raising a family, managing a nonprofit organization, etc.) before coming back to it this fall, and finally wrapped things up a few weeks ago, just in time to hear today that Relotius was fired when he was exposed for fabricating many of his articles.
The following was neither the dumbest nor the most extravagant of Relotius’ lies:
6. The view from the Viking Cafe
“You can see the power plant where he works when you look out the window of the Diner, six tall, gray towers, from which rise white steam clouds.”
The Viking Cafe is Fergus Falls’ most treasured downtown establishment — over 60 years old. One of the reasons we Minnesotans all like it so much is that it has a cozy, underground feeling. Why? Because there are literally NO WINDOWS in the interior of this restaurant. Sure, you can see a little bit out the small front windows, but nothing beyond the shops across the street. The power plant Relotius refers to is almost 2 miles away on the northeast edge of town, blocked from view by a neighborhood on a large hill, and sports a single smokestack. Relotius’ imaginings are dramatic for the movie version of Trump’s America someday, but is it accurate and true? Not in the least.
Further proof that if you read it in the mainstream media, and it’s even a little bit political, distrust first. Then verify.
Then, almost invariably, distrust some more.