Some national media outlets, however, didn’t understand that it wasn’t real.
The Rock City Times, the self-proclaimed “Arkansas’ second most unreliable news source,” posted a satire article depicting a scene like something straight out of the movie “Anchorman.”
In the story, a disagreement between KARK Chief Meteorologist Keith Monahan and Fox16 Chief Meteorologist Jeff Baskin on the forecast culminated with a fistfight by the flagpole in front of the Victory Building.
While the story was meant to be amusing, some news outlets across the country believed the fight actually occurred. The story was reported as fact on one of Sirius XM’s national morning shows, a popular New York City radio program, as well as numerous media outlets across the country.
The parody piece noted that the weather brawl ended in the arrests of Monahan and Baskin.
On Tuesday, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office actually fielded a request from “Inside Edition” for comments on the incident. Needless to say, the request was met with laughter.
After initially deciding not to acknowledge the article, ArkansasMatters.com felt it had no choice after receiving numerous viewer calls, comments and social media posts.
Late Monday, KARK posted a message on Facebook noting the article wasn’t real. On Tuesday, Monahan and Baskin appeared on 93.3FM’s “Game On” program to talk about the satire-gone-wild.
“We’re buddies and everything,” Baskin told host Wess Moore. “So when this article came out, it was actually a bit of a surprise, because it’s actually not like that in real life.”
“I was rolling on the floor. I thought it was the funniest story I have read,” Monahan said in reference to reading the article for the first time. “I had so much fun at work yesterday playing along with it.”
At the end of the interview, Monahan and Baskin debated whether it would rain in Fayetteville for Saturday’s showdown between Arkansas and Texas A&M. They took the opportunity to have a little fun with the segment and decided to disagree.
While the original article certainly fooled some people, it’s far from the first time someone has been confused by a Rock City Times report. Other articles mistaken for the real deal include: “Local Man in Coma After Eating 413 Red Lobster Biscuits” and “Bruce Pennington and Jill Dabbs Banned from Saline County Fair After Opening Night”
For the site’s owner and writer Greg Henderson, the attention the article has received has been a bit surprising.
“The article took off more than I expected,” Henderson said in an email. “It seemed to spread through the weather community faster than any of us thought. It really goes to show how well-known both of them are nationally. “
As of Wednesday afternoon, Henderson reported receiving nearly 300,000 hits off the weather brawl piece. With the success of his piece poking fun of the meteorologists, Henderson couldn’t help but throw a couple more jabs in there.“We all know though that Jeff is a lover not a fighter,” said Henderson. “Keith… well I am not so sure about Keith, he may be scrappy.”
Desktop users can hear the radio interview and SiriusXM segment by clicking the corresponding videos above, mobile users can see them in the video section of the FOX16 News app.