Saturday, May 20, 2023

Cartoonist Falls for Hoax

From CTV News.

Cartoon by Dana Summers, Triune Content Agency.

The Mid Hudson News reports that the story of homeless veterans being kicked out of hotels in Newburgh in order to take in migrants was a hoax.

Seven homeless men say they were part of a group of 15 who were supposed to act as vets to keep up the scheme. 

They claim they were offered $200 for their job, which none of them ever received

The controversy began after New York City Mayor Eric Adams, a Democrat, bused a small group of asylum seekers to a suburban hotel as the city's homeless shelter system struggled to accommodate an influx of migrants from the U.S. border with Mexico.

The group's transfer prompted a political backlash from Republican county officials, who accused the mayor of trying to offload his problems on unprepared communities.

Then, the founder of a small charity in the area added an explosive claim: To make way for the migrants, a hotel in Newburgh, New York, evicted nearly two dozen homeless veterans.

That story, told by Yerik Israel Toney Foundation chief executive Sharon Toney-Finch, was picked up May 12 by The New York Post and quickly followed by Fox News, Newsmax and other conservative news outlets.

The Post on Friday published a follow-up story reporting on the latest development.

Cracks in the story emerged after an investigation by a local newspaper, the Mid Hudson News.

The managers of the hotel told the paper the story wasn't true. 

A receipt purporting to show that the Crossroads Hotel had been paid US$37,800 to house the veterans appeared to have been sloppily doctored.

In a follow-up report Friday, the Mid-Hudson News reported that several men staying at a homeless shelter in Poughkeepsie, New York, had come forward to say they were recruited to pretend they were among the veterans kicked out of the hotel. 

The paper quoted some of the men as saying they were offered $200, food and alcohol to take part in the ruse.

They said they met with Toney-Finch, then participated in a meeting at a veterans center in Orange County with local chamber of commerce officials.

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