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Hoax Alert

Fake News: President Trump DID NOT Order The Execution Of Five Turkeys Pardoned By Obama

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Wed, 25 Jan 2017 19:46:46 Z)

An article on satirical/fake news website 'Real News Right Now' claims that Donand Trump reversed the pardons granted by Obama to five (according to the headline) or sixteen (according to the body of the text) turkeys. The story opens:

In another sweeping move aimed at undoing the perceived damage done by the Obama administration, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday directing the Department of Justice to revoke all sixteen Thanksgiving Day turkey pardons issued by the former president during his eight years in office.

It comes complete with a fake quote from White House press secretary Sean Spicer:

After reviewing the decisions made by the previous administration, President Trump has determined that a number of turkey pardons issued by Barack Obama were done so in a manner that was both deceitful and hazardous to the American people. This morning, the president once again used his executive powers to see to it that justice is served and that the surviving creatures will be destroyed.

Of course the entire story is bogus. It appears to be written by "R. HOBBUS J.D.", who is described on the about page of the site like this:

R. Hobbus J.D. is an internationally acclaimed independent investigative journalist specializing in international politics, health, business, science, conflict resolution, history, geography, mathematics, social issues, feminism, space travel, civil rights, human rights, animal rights, fashion, film, astronomy, classic literature, religion, biology, paranormal activity, the occult, physics, psychology, and creative writing. He has appeared in countless publications including Time Magazine, Newsweek, Playboy, The Economist, The New York Times, Mad Magazine, Hustler, Guns & Ammo, People, Maxim Magazine, Highlights, The 9/11 Commission Report, The New Yorker, Bon Appetite, Rolling Stone, Car & Driver, Soldier of Fortune, Elle, Nintendo Power, National Geographic, and many more. He has received numerous awards for his work including the prestigious Stephen Glass Distinction in Journalistic Integrity (2011), The Oscar Mayer Award for Journalistic Excellence (2003), three Nobel Peace Prize nominations, one Pulitzer in Investigative Reporting (1998), and two Pulitzer Prizes in Commentary (1996, 2008). He resides comfortably in his modest home overlooking the coast of Nantucket surrounded by his wife and twelve cats.

If that doesn't sound like satire to you, you are probably one of the people who shared this story thinking it was real. This Trendolizer graph seems to show there are quite a lot of them:

About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk
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Lead Stories uses the Trendolizer™ engine to detect the most trending stories from known fake news, satire and prank websites and tries to debunk them as fast as possible. Read more about how we work and how we select stories to check here.

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