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Daily Caller Retracts Article That Launched Phony Easter Outrage Cycle

Chip Somodevilla/Getty
Chip Somodevilla/Getty

The Daily Caller has retracted and removed an article falsely accusing the Biden administration of banning religious designs on Easter eggs submitted to a White House art contest.

The retraction comes days after the right-wing media ecosystem ran wild with the story (alongside misleading claims about Transgender Day of Visibility), claiming that it was further proof of President Joe Biden’s supposed war on Christianity.

Reacting to a flyer sent out for the “Celebrating National Guard Families” contest at this year’s White House Easter Egg Roll, The Daily Caller reported that the competition “explicitly stipulated that egg designs not feature any ‘religious symbols’ on the Christian holiday.” The Caller’s article helped launch a days-long outrage cycle throughout conservative media, culminating in obsessive coverage across Fox News.


Fox News Runs Wild With Two Very Dumb Easter Outrages

Following that backlash, however, the American Egg Board, which helps coordinate the annual White House event, explained that the “guideline language referenced in recent news reports has consistently applied to the board since its founding” in 1978. Therefore, the restrictions had been in place since the Carter administration, including Donald Trump’s term in office.

“While the Caller did not explicitly state at any point that the rule was new, this additional context rendered the main thrust of the article misleading to readers, who could reasonably have come to the conclusion that the rule was new,” the Daily Caller explained in its retraction. “With that additional context included, the news value of the article was significantly diminished, leading the senior leadership at the Caller to the decision to retract,” the conservative outlet added. “We sincerely regret the error and are taking the necessary steps to ensure similar mistakes can be avoided in the future.”

Following the retraction, White House spokesperson Andrew Bates applauded the Caller for taking down the article. “Credit where it”s due: the @DailyCaller did the right thing by retracting this story on the Easter Egg Roll,” he tweeted on Tuesday. “As they say, the guidelines are ‘longstanding, dating back decades, and the Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule.’”

While the Caller has backed away from its story, Fox News has continued to stoke outrage over the false claim that Biden outright banned religious Easter eggs. “They were strictly prohibited,” Fox News star Sean Hannity exclaimed Monday night. “You can’t make this up! You really can’t. This is simply hostility towards religion.”

The conservative cable giant, which published a similar digital article to the Caller’s on Friday, told The Daily Beast on Tuesday that it will not make any changes to its story.

“We stand by our reporting as it accurately quotes the ‘2024 Call for Youth Art’ flyer which states Easter egg design submissions ‘must not include any questionable content, religious symbols, overtly religious themes,’” a Fox News spokesperson said. “The story also includes on the record comments from American Egg Board President & CEO Emily Metz who explains that these longstanding guidelines are due to USDA rules.”

Prior versions of the article captured by the Wayback Machine show the Fox News Digital story did not add any reference to previous guidelines or an on-record comment from Metz until two days after publication.

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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