No, Rep. Jim Moran doesn’t want veterans to knock on neighbors’ doors and introduce themselves as a high-risk “powder keg of post traumatic stress” because of service in combat.
But enough people believed a satirical news article saying the Mr. Moran had introduced a bill to that effect that the Virginia Democrat had to put out a statement Wednesday saying the article on the Duffel Blog — the military equivalent of the Onion — was a fake.
“My office has received a number of calls and emails regarding the posting, and given the speed with which false information can spread virally, I wanted to make clear that the article is false and the website is a spoof,” he wrote in a statement Wednesday. “I disassociate myself with something that, while meant to be humorous, was in poor taste and hurtful to our veterans.”
The Duffel Blog’s spoof post said that the recent shooting at Fort Hood prompted Mr. Moran to introduce a bill that would require veterans to go door-to-door and alert neighbors that they could snap at any second, and would make them regularly check in with a Department of Homeland Security case officer. The spoof article also claimed the bill would also limit veterans’ access to violent television channels, like The Military Channel, or war movies like “Saving Private Ryan,” which the article says could cause an episode.
The Duffel Blog even created a name for the bill whose acronym worked out to a vulgar insult to veterans.
While the article is mostly too outrageous to believe, there are some elements of truth. It references “PTSD Hotspots,” a phrase that actually appeared in a McClatchy DC graphic that made veterans seem like criminals, according to former Marine Thomas Gibbons-Neff.
In addition to the many calls received by Mr. Moran’s office, the Duffel Blog article got almost 300 comments online. Many were from those who didn’t realize the article was satire, though most were corrected by fans familiar with the site.
“Every time someone thinks the Duffel Blog is real, the CIA waterboards a kitten. The kittens are taking a real beating today,” one commenter wrote.