Conservative sites are mocking the New York Times for linking to a hoax site story about California instituting a ban on the future sale and ownership of all .45 ACP ammo. The link was included in an editorial calling for states to be more aggressive in banning types of weapons, magazines and ammunition. “Ammunition” linked to the fake story on a site called “The National Report.” That particular story is neither particularly satiric, not is it funny; it’s just a lie. But I’m sure the staff is really proud of themselves, fooling the Times (though as Glenn Reynolds pointed out on Instapundit, the Times itself is looking more and more like a hoax itself).
Admittedly, having never used The National Report before, whoever found the link should have vetted it. If they just scrolled down a bit from the story the Times used, they would have seen such obvious fake headlines as “Good Cop Will Speak Up Once He’s Witnessed His 15th Unlawful Killing,” “Koko the Gorilla Just Endorsed Donald Trump for President,” and “Starbucks Reveals Plans To Open New Chain Of Gun-friendly Cafés.” Or maybe they believed those too.
I’m not going to mock the Times: these hoax sites are all unethical unless they make their satirical status clear to all readers, on the home page, up front, unmistakably. The ethical objective is humor; the objective of fooling readers and hopefully legitimate news sources is neither funny, nor ethical.
Conservative sites that cheer such deceptions because they have ill will toward the liberal media victims are simply encouraging and enabling the unethical conduct.