April 14, 2024

A story that was widely shared by conservative politicos and right wing media has been retracted by its publisher, the Daily Caller.

The piece claimed that the Biden administration banned religious-themed Easter eggs from a contest at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll. In fact, the restrictions were long standing ones from the American Egg Board that have applied for the past 45 years, across administrations including that of Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump.

“Following the publication of this article, the Daily Caller became aware of additional context that undercut the central assertion of this article and its newsworthiness,” according to the retraction notice. “The ban of religious symbolism on eggs as part of the White House Easter egg activities has been longstanding, dating back decades, and the Biden administration did not make any modifications to this rule.”

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters, “I want to recognize the Daily Caller for having the integrity to retract their story about the false claims that circulated this week about the Easter Egg Roll…We hope others learn from their good example.”

The story became the latest chapter in the culture wars, typically playing out on social media and as a cable news talking point. Figures like South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem and House Speaker Mike Johnson had promoted the story, tying it to a narrative that the White House was engaged in a kind of war on Easter. Johnson called it “outrageous and abhorrent.” The White House also took criticism for a proclamation of March 31 as Trans Visibility Day, as that date fell on Easter. But Biden administration officials pointed out that the commemoration of transgender people falls on March 31 of each year, while Easter falls on different Sundays.

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