Fox News reporter Eric Shawn told viewers on Thursday that signatures from “Mickey Mouse” and “Adolf Hitler” were “allegedly on petitions in Wisconsin in the recall for Governor Scott Walker.” Fun little story with the potential to go viral? Absolutely. True? Not so much.
In fact, the original story that Shawn evidently built his report off of is about a strictly hypothetical situation discussed by members of the Wisconsin’s Government Accountability Board who were asked what would happen if someone signed the petition as Mickey Mouse. There’s been no actual allegation that anyone actually signed the petition against Walker that way.
To be fair to Shawn, the original story about the hypothetical signatures was pretty unclear. It claims the signatures of Mickey Mouse and Adolf Hitler “will be counted on recall petitions” — as if such signatures had already been or were guaranteed to be collected instead of a theoretical possibility — “as long as they are properly dated and include a Wisconsin address.”
In fact, Government Accountability Board member David Buerger said that suspicious signatures would be flagged and that parties would be able to challenge the signatures. The local news report notes that Hitler’s name was struck from a previous recall petition immediately because the address given was in Germany.
Petitioners who wish to take down Walker have until Jan. 17 to collect 540,208 signatures to force a recall election. On Thursday they announced they were nearly there. View Fox’s report below.