FACT CHECK: Has Fox News hired George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, as a commentator?
Claim: Fox News has hired George Zimmerman, the man who killed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, as a commentator.
Example: [Collected via Twitter, August 2015]
— Chelie in TX (@ChelieinTX) August 20, 2015
FOX NEWS HIRED GEORGE ZIMMERMAN AS A COMMENTATOR I AM SO FED UP/IRRITATED/ANGRY/APPALED WITH FOX NEW AND THE MEDIA AND THIS COUNTRY
— bolivia (@obaartholomew) August 20, 2015
Origins: On 19 August 2015, the web site The Business Standard News (tagline "BS News, keeping it real") published an article titled "FOX News Hires George Zimmerman As Commentator," reporting that:
George Zimmerman, the neighborhood watchman who killed black teen Trayvon Martin, has been hired as a commentator by FOX News.
A FOX News spokesman said Zimmerman will comment on second amendment and other crime issues. FOX News host Steve Doocy welcomed the decision.
"George has had such a rough time after the trial, we are glad to give him a stable job," Doocy said.
However, this article was just a spoof of Zimmerman's controversial post-trial endeavors, which include teaming up with the owner of a Florida "Muslim-free zone" gun shop to sell Confederate flag artworks.
Content on the Business Standard News web site bears the following disclaimer, indicating that is not intended to be taken seriously:
The Business Standard News is a satirical site designed to poke fun at the absurdity of the modern-day news cycle. The stories are outlandish, but reality is so strange nowadays they could be true.
The site wasn't the first to concoct a tale about Fox News' hiring Zimmerman. A fake news article from 2013 made the same claim:
In early August 2015, the Business Standard News published a (similarly false) article claiming Fox News commentator Stacey Dash had been secretly recorded trashing the network.
Last updated: 20 August 2015
Originally published: 20 August 2015