MSNBC's Bashir Falls for Hoax, Reports Satanists to Rally for Rick Scott; Turns Out It's Part of Mockumentary

While the mainstream media has been transfixed with the Manti Te'o fake girlfriend story, it seems many outlets in the gullible liberal media were biting on another hoax, this one involving Florida Gov. Rick Scott and a band of Satanists supposedly set to stage a rally expressing their support for the Florida Republican.

Among the journalists taken in by the fake story was MSNBC's Martin Bashir, who could not wipe the devilish grin off his face as he reported what he thought to be a legitimate news story on his January 14 program, in a segment entitled "Dread Scott." [MP3 audio here; video embedded below]


 

 

"Yes, the Satanic Temple in Florida is organizing a rally next week to support Mr. Scott for signing a 2012 law that essentially would allow student-led prayer in school," Bashir explained, adding that "We spoke to one of the Satanists today about why they support the law" and that the spokesman, one Lucien Greaves, explained "that the law would prevent the marginalization of Satanism and other smaller religious groups and lead to, quote, a boom in religious diversity.'"

Just a few days earlier, Bashir compared Scott to the late Communist despot Nicolae Ceauşescu, so a story like this, although too good to be true, was just too good to not run, apparently.

But alas, the Satanic Temple is not a real, well, Satanic temple. Bashir's first clue might have been that there's no physical address or even mailing address listed on TheSatanicTemple.com's website.

Things certainly smelled fishy to Michael Van Sickler of the Miami Herald, who did some digging and found:

Greaves swore to god (his, of course) that this was no joke.

But upon further review, it turns out that Greaves is pulling another kind of joke on us.

Greaves is listed as the casting director of a feature film called …wait for it…The Satanic Temple.

A casting call was posted on the web site Actors Access on Jan. 7 seeking non-union actors for no pay.

“We are seeking people from all walks of life, goths, grandparents, soccer moms, etc to be the followers of a charismatic yet down to earth Satanic cult leader,” the post stated. “The shoot will be on January 25th in downtown Tallahassee. Actors will be required to wear tasteful Satanic garb.”

The casting call said the movie was a mockumentary about the “nicest Satanic Cult in the world.” It was seeking actors for eight speaking roles “to play minions” and 10 featured extras. (The positions have since been filled).

So, wow. This didn’t sound like your run-of-a-mill political rally for satanists.

What’s really going on here?

Greaves couldn’t be reached Wednesday. But he told Naked Politics on Tuesday that he won’t reveal the true purpose of the event. He wouldn’t explain his Facebook page, which appears to have been launched in January and which posts a scathing MSNBC video of Scott (an odd thing to have for a Scott supporter). Greaves said he lives in Cambridge, Mass and is 30, but on Tuesday acknowledged that he’s not revealing his real name.

He wouldn’t say why. Perhaps its the film critics he fears the most.

Besides Bashir, the left-wing e-rag Gawker took the bait. Ditto with Yahoo! News and the Huffington Post.

As of 3:15 p.m. Friday, Bashir has not issued a correction. We'll see if he does on his 4 p.m. Eastern program today.

Here's the transcript for the segment:

MARTIN BASHIR: Florida governor Rick Scott has managed to alienate just about every voter in his state. In fact, he was so unpopular Mitt Romney chose to avoid him throughout the presidential campaign.

And yet his administration's policies, which include purging voter rolls, drug testing welfare recipients, and warehousing disabled children in nursing homes, have shown signs of support amongst one notable but often overlooked demographic -- Satanists.

Yes, the Satanic Temple in Florida is organizing a rally next week to support Mr. Scott for signing a 2012 law that essentially would allow student-led prayer in school.

We spoke to one of the Satanists today about why they support the law. Lucian Greaves, and yes, that is the name the gentleman gave us, told us that the law would prevent the marginalization of Satanism and other smaller religious groups and lead to, quote, "a boom in religious diversity."

Yes, Rick Scott, champion of diversity.

It does seem hard to believe, but in the spirit of new year generosity, let's give him the benefit of the doubt.

Because if Rick Scott even by accident is now a supporter of diversity, then we say, "Hail Rick Scott."

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters