March #142 : Nobody’s Foo - by James Wortman

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March 2008


Nobody’s Foo

by James Wortman

The University of Utah’s student newspaper recently printed AIDS-related statements (see dailyutahchronicle.com) attributed to rock band Foo Fighters front man Dave Grohl. He was quoted as having called AIDS “God’s punishment to gays and drug users for doing things that are just morally wrong and completely against his wishes,” adding that HIV is a “conscious medical and pharmaceutical conspiracy.”

The story was fictional—part of a Daily Utah Chronicle satirical series. But it was based on a kernel of truth. In 2000, the band supported Alive and Well, an organization claiming that HIV doesn’t cause AIDS. That January, the multiplatinum rockers played a sold-out concert to benefit the group. The band, however, has since distanced itself from the denialist movement.

Says Matthew Phillip Piper, the college paper’s editor: “Some readers were confused by the hard-news style and took it as fact.” So he printed a clarification—but not a retraction.     


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