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Fake News: SCOTUS Did NOT Shoot Down Obama's $30 Million Taxpayer-Funded Funeral And Monument Plans

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Tue, 16 Jan 2018 22:26:44 Z)

There was no Supreme Court ruling saying that former President Obama's plans for a burial monument on the National Mall was an unconstitutional waste of money. The official website of the United States Supreme Court does not make even a single mention of the phrase "Burial Monument". The story was recently taken up again by a relatively new fake news website by the name "Police Times" but it originated on the satirical website Potatriot Post back in November of 2017 where it was published under the title "SCOTUS Shoots Down Obama's $30 Million Taxpayer-Funded Funeral And Monument Plans" (archived copy here).

scotus.jpg

The original article opened:

Former President Barack Obama was reduced to tears today when the Supreme Court ruled that his burial monument, courtesy of the US taxpayer, was an unconstitutional waste of money that would need legislation to enact.

It also said:

Critics say the statement is contradictory and won't make sense to conservatives, whose ability to reason cognitively reduces drastically when verbiage of an intellectual nature is associated with politics.

This implies conservatives don't understand political issues when difficult words are used. This is a clear hint the entire story is satire and this is confirmed in the footer of the Potatriot Post:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, OR ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
If you disagree with the definition of satire or have decided it is synonymous with "comedy," you should really just move along.

And again on the 'about page' of the site:

Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical.

The owner and main writer of the site is self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has made it his full time job to troll gullible conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his articles. He runs several other websites such as ladiesofliberty.net, shareotonin.com and dailyworldupdate.com. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". He has at least one accomplice who writes under the pen names "Freedom", "Captain Jellypants", "Butch Mannington" or "Captain Buck Atlantis".

Articles from Blair's sites frequently get copied by "real" fake news sites who often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past but new ones keep cropping up and he keeps knocking them down.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

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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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