Rod Dreher was mightly amused at the American small town’s revenge.
In 2017, the German magazine Spiegel sent a reporter to Fergus Falls, Minn., to write a story about Deep Trumplandia.
Unfortunately for Spiegel, Fergus Falls residents Michele Anderson and Jake Krohn read the story (which is no longer available, for reasons youâ€™ll discover below), and wrote a stunning exposÃ© on all the things he got wrong. â€œGot wrongâ€ is too benign a characterization. The reporter, Claas Relotius, just made things up. Excerpts from the exposÃ©:
1. The Sleeping Dragon
â€œAfter three and a half hours, the bus bends from the highway to a narrow, sloping street, rolling towards a dark forest that looks like dragons live in it. At the entrance, just before the station, there is a sign with the American stars and stripes banner, which reads: â€œWelcome to Fergus Falls, home of damn good folks.â€
Fergus Falls is located on the prairieâ€Šâ€”â€Šwhich means our landscape mostly consists of tall grass and lakes. While we have trees, we do not have any distinct forests in our city limits, and definitely not in the route that the bus Relotius would have taken from the Twin Cities. And sadly, our welcome sign is quite mundane in its greeting.
Spiegel fired the reporter and began investigating just how much stuff he had simply made up.