One of the most viral hoaxes on the Internet is the Malia Obama pregnancy rumor. The 16-year-old is not pregnant, but naïve netizens have fallen for the phony story after Empire News — a satirical news site — fabricated it Nov. 26. Jenna Bush Hager, someone who probably knows what Malia is going through because of the vicious rumor, said she felt defensive for the president’s daughters.
“I’m fiercely protective of them, obviously,” Bush Hager told “Watch What Happens Live” Dec. 4. “I don’t think that it’s easy. It’s not a job that they wanted. … I had a hard time [growing up in the White House], but it’s also a privilege.”
Though the pregnancy rumor is more than 2 weeks old, it gained life again Sunday after the Washington Post wrote a story about the Internet rumors of the week. Compounding the fact people didn’t realize Empire News is a phony site, the rumor was perpetuated by a Facebook account named “Fox News Channel.” When they shared the story, many confused it with Fox News and believed it to be true,Buzzfeed noted.
The White House has not responded to the pregnancy rumor, which came after Elizabeth Lauten criticized Malia, 16, and Sasha, 13, for their Thanksgiving turkey-pardoning attire. The communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-Tenn., later apologized for her “classless” comment and then resigned.