Obama Uses Own Money to Open Muslim Museum Amid Government Shutdown

Is President Obama using his personal funds to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open during the government shutdown?

Claim:   President Obama is using his personal funds to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open during the government shutdown.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, September 2013]

I recently read an article online stating that president Obama is using his personal funds to keep the international museum of Muslim culture open during the government shutdown. I was wondering if your site had any information regarding this.


Origins:   On 2 October 2013, the National Report published an article positing that President Obama would be using his personal funds to keep the International Museum of Muslim Cultures open during the current government budget shutdown:

While up to 800,000 federal workers faced life without a paycheck as Day One of the government shutdown kicked in, President Barack Obama held a press conference to announce

that he is using his own money to open the federally funded International Museum of Muslim Cultures.

“During this shutdown, people will have to deal with some of their favorite parks and museums being closed,” Obama told reporters. “Just keep in mind, they will always be there. The Grand Canyon and the Smithsonian are not going anywhere.” Obama continued, “The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is sacred. That is why I have taken it upon myself to use my own personal funds to re-open this historic piece of American culture.”

The International Museum of Muslim Cultures closed its doors as parts of the federal government shut down after Congress failed to reach an agreement on spending. The fiscal standoff stems in large part from Republican attempts to block President Obama’s healthcare initiative.

By the following day links and excerpts referencing this article were being circulated via social media, with many of those who encountered the item mistaking it for a genuine news article. However, the article was just a bit of satire from the National Report, a web site that publishes outrageous fictional stories such as “IRS Plans to Target Leprechauns Next,” “Boy Scouts Announce Boobs Merit Badge,” and “New CDC Study Indicates Pets of Gay Couples Worse at Sports, Better at Fashion Than Pets of Straight Couples.”

The National Report‘s (since removed) disclaimer page notes that:

National Report is a news and political satire web publication, which may or may not use real names, often in semi-real or mostly fictitious ways. All news articles contained within National Report are fiction, and presumably fake news. Any resemblance to the truth is purely coincidental.

Nonetheless, Fox News host Anna Kooiman fell for this spoof during a Fox & Friends segment, reporting that “[W]e’re going to talk a little bit later in the show about some things that are continuing to be funded. And President Obama has offered to pay out of his own pocket for the museum of Muslim culture …”:

(For the record, we note that there is indeed an International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi, but it is an independent museum and not a federally funded one.)

Last updated:   5 October 2013

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