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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Lady Gaga, Hillary Clinton NOT to Perform at Superbowl Halftime

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 03 Dec 2018 22:44:46 Z)

Will Lady Gaga perform again at the halftime show of this year's Superbowl, together with Hillary Clinton? Of course not, that's absurd. The story was put out by a liberal satire website that tries to fool gullible Republicans and Trump supporters into sharing over the top fake news so they look ridiculous. The story is not real but it is notable as it seems to be taking off more than recent other stories put out by the site.

The story originated from an article published on December 3, 2018 on "Be Best Website" titled "CONFIRMED : Lady Gaga, Hillary Clinton to Perform at Superbowl Halftime" (archived here) which opened:

Lead Entertainment Coordinator John Guluv confirmed to the New York Daily Eye yesterday that this year's act to headline the Superbowl halftime show would be artist Lady Gaga, including a duet and dance routine with uranium saleswoman Hillary Clinton. The two will be performing a song that Gaga wrote specifically for Clinton, called: "Trump A Little Bitch."

Screenshot of https://bebest.website/gaga-oolala/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail, so it wasn't immediately obvious it was a joke website:

CONFIRMED : Lady Gaga, Hillary Clinton to Perform at Superbowl Halftime

Lead Entertainment Coordinator John Guluv confirmed to the New York Daily Eye yesterday that this year's act to headline the Superbowl halftime show would be artist Lady Gaga, including a due...

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

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.

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, including potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". A second man working on the sites is John Prager as revealed in this earlier story we wrote.

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.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.

If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:

The Ultimate Christopher Blair and America's Last Line of Defense Reading List | Lead Stories

STORY UPDATED: check for updates below. Yesterday Eli Saslow at the Washington Post wrote a fantastic article about Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who has been trolling conservatives and Trump supporters online for years and occasionally even made a living out of it.

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.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bebest.website as:

A site that publishes false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, part of a network named America's Last Line of Defense run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.

According to NewsGuard the site does not maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. Read their full assessment here.

We wrote about bebest.website before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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About Lead Stories

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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