Fake Military News Site Gains Traction: The Duffel Blog is becoming a satirical support source for soldiers
When a former marine started writing Onion-style stories on the satirical military news site he launched in March, he had little inkling how quickly they would spread.
Five months since he started The Duffel Blog, 28-year-old Sgt. Paul Szoldra, who was honorably discharged from the the marines in 2010, has duped multiple outlets with his fake newsflashes. One, about the Department of Defense banning TapouT—a mixed martial arts clothing line—inspired a furious blog on Yell Magazine. Another, about the deployment of the new “Inverted Multi-Purpose Ballistic Tomahawk Bayonet” complete with “sharp edge designed for quick chopping motions, a medium sized handle for effective manipulation, and a head which can be unscrewed for storage” had to be retracted from Gawker gadget site Gizmodo. “The problem with the US military is that sometimes their contraptions get so wacky that I can believe anything they say,” wrote Gizmodo contributing editor Jesus Diaz.
“There are a lot of things in the military that you don’t see in the civilian world,” Szoldra told CJR. “We have a lot of insider jokes. I knew there wasn’t anything just for that. The Onion occasionally does a military story, but sometimes they’re a little off.”