Freshman Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) confused everyone at a Wednesday House hearing on extremism in the U.S. military when he asked Lecia Brooks, the head of the Southern Poverty Law Center, “Ms. Brooks, just a yes or no question for you: Has your organization named the American Legion as a hate group?” Brooks said the SPLC had not. Fallon, confident he had sprung a trap, replied, “I’ve found it and it did. And how about—were you aware that the organization named the VFW, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, as a hate group?” Again, Brooks said no. Later in the hearing, it came to light that Fallon had cited as fact a 2017 story from Duffel Blog, a military satire site not unlike the Onion. The joke headline reads, “Southern Poverty Law Center classifies VFW and American Legion as hate groups.” Brooks told Fallon, “That assertion appeared as satire in a military satire blog known as ‘Duffel Blog.’”
Watch Fallon ask his misguided question at 37:40 in the video of the hearing below.