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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Pelosi Daughters NON EXISTENT Drug Trafficking Charges DID NOT Mysteriously Disappear

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 04 Jan 2019 21:43:53 Z)

Did the drug trafficking charges against two of Nancy Pelosi's daughters mysteriously disappear after their mother became Speaker of the House? No, that's not true: the charges didn't exist in the first place. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later. All the events described in the article are not real.

The story originated from an article published on January 4, 2019 titled "BREAKING: Pelosi Daughters Drug Trafficking Charges Mysteriously Disappear" (archived here) which opened:

Nancy Pelosi's daughters, Leanne, 24, and Kieriana, 25, were arrested coming across the Mexican border less than a month ago with 30 kilos of cocaine and bloogies. Today, those charges disappeared from the 3rd Federal Trial Court in Dallas. The charges, ranging from trafficking to racketeering, would have put the girls away for nearly 20 years and shed a negative light on Pelosi's speakership.

According to the Clerk of Courts, Art Tubolls, there never was a "USA v Pelosi":

"This is something the conservative media picked up from a satirical website hiding its true intent behind the guise of political trollery. They secretly want everyone to believe it so America crumbles and the fighting makes us vulnerable for a socialist Muslamic takeover. Seriously. There were no charges."

Screenshot of https://trumpbetrayed.us/breaking-pelosi-daughters-drug-trafficking-charges-mysteriously-disappear/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so it wouldn't have been immediately obvious the story was a hoax:

BREAKING: Pelosi Daughters Drug Trafficking Charges Mysteriously Disappear

Now that she's the Speaker of the House she's supposed to be all powerful.

The hoax is just a sequel to a string of previous hoaxes involving two Pelosi daughters. In all of them they were given fake names since their real ones are Nancy, Christine, Jacqueline, and Alexandra.

Fake News: Nancy Pelosi's Daughters NOT Arrested Smuggling Contraband at the Border | Lead Stories

Were Nancy Pelosi's daughters, Pamela, 22, and Loreen, 25 arrested at the Mexican border carrying cocaine and "bloogies"? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later.

The article was posted under the category "Destroying America with Satire" and the name "Art Tubbols" is an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of one of the men behind the website. The site also 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 trumpbetrayed.us as:

A website claiming to be satirical that publishes fabricated stories, run by Christopher Blair, a known purveyor of disinformation, that published fake stories about Senator John McCain after he passed away.

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

We wrote about trumpbetrayed.us 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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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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