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Fake news story claims Representative Michele Bachmann arrested for driving stoned in Fort Collins

9:23 AM, Jan 8, 2014   |    comments
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FORT COLLINS COLORADOAN - A website posting claiming that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was arrested for driving while stoned in Fort Collins on Tuesday appears to be a hoax or satire.

Neither Fort Collins police nor the Larimer County Sheriff's Office have any record of Bachmann, a Minnesota Republican and former presidential candidate, being arrested. Bachmann's office said the story was a fake.

"She was not even in Fort Collins. It's not true," said Bachmann's spokesman, Dan Kotman. "It's unfortunate that people are being misled but we understand it's part of being in this business."

The story on the "Newslo" website claims Bachmann admitted to driving stoned, was arrested by police, and released from the "Fort Collins jail" on $1,000 bail.

That site as of 9 a.m. also has postings claiming Syria will convert its chemical weapons into Axe body spray, and that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is auctioning off his kidney stones on eBay. The site says it merges satire with news to create a "unique brand of entertainment and information."

Fort Collins police spokeswoman Rita Davis said the department's records division has no record of Bachmann being arrested. And John Schulz, a spokeswoman for the sheriff, said no one named "Michele Bachmann" has ever been booked into the jail.

There is no Fort Collins jail. Although the police station has holding cells, the jail is run by the county sheriff, and is called the Larimer County Jail.

The story quotes anonymous sources and contains a statement attributed to Bachmann, which Kotman said was also made up.

The Coloradoan's partners at KUSA 9News received several emails from viewers intimating the media was covering up Bachmann's arrest.

As a general policy, the Coloradoan does not use anonymous sources, which assists in its efforts to be transparent and accurate in its reporting.

Newslo reaches about 124,000 people a month, according to the web-traffic ranking service Quantcast. It operates much like the satirical site The Onion. The Newslo Bachmann story has been "liked" on Facebook thousands of times.

(Copyright © 2014 Fort Collins Coloradoan, All Rights Reserved)

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