Fake news knows no bounds this year, and now the menace may have infiltrated Christmas. A widely circulated story claimed that a Tennessee-based Santa Claus had a terminally ill child die in his arms, but the report has yet to be verified by any sources.
The Santa in question, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, had related the ordeal to the Knoxville News Sentinel and before he knew it, the story went viral. Numerous other publications came to Schmitt-Matzen, and he somberly retold his account of the events, tears and all. It’s an extraordinary tale, but some are questioning the validity of it, as the identity of the family has not been revealed and Schmitt-Matzen is remaining mum on those details.
But in a follow-up, the News Sentinel pointed out they did not come to Schmitt-Matzen regarding the story, but indirectly from a known source. Schmitt-Matzen said he kept the name of the family anonymous, as he did not want to publicize their plight. It’s caused some to question his story, as fake news has been running rampant and it is tough to tell what is real and not. In a recent op-ed, News Sentinel Editor Jack McElroy and original author Sam Venable wrote they are no longer standing by Schmitt-Matzen’s story. If proven to be false, it would be a crushing story in its own right.
(Via Knoxville News Sentinel)