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Hoax Alert

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

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Fri, 04 Jan 2019 21:26:47 Z)

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. All the events described in the article are not real.

The story originated from an article published by America's Last Line of Defense on December 28, 2018 titled "BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi's Daughters Arrested Smuggling Contraband at the Border" (archived here) which opened:

Nancy Pelosi's daughters, Pamela, 22, and Loreen, 25, were caught at the Mexican border with more than $17 million in cocaine and bloogies. The girls, who admitted they had been in Mexico to develop a new strain of mescaline-based LSD, said they have diplomatic immunity as official aides to their Mom in Congress. The US Attorney says he has to look into that, since the Federal precedent does favor family members as aides (USA v Kushner).

If they can be charged, the girls face more than 302 years, as the bloogies count as a felony each because they're so deadly. This isn't their first time in trouble, either. Linda once took her sister to a "rave" when they were teenagers, and little Penelope, just 14 at the time, ended up having to get an abortion. They wound up in jail together in 2003 after a crack binge in Rehobeth, Maryland, and after counseling and another pair of abortions, looked like they were doing well. Then, this happened.

Screenshot of https://wearethellod.com/breaking-nancy-pelosis-daughters-arrested-smuggling-contraband-at-the-border/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so they would't have seen the story came from a site with several satire warnings:

BREAKING: Nancy Pelosi's Daughters Arrested Smuggling Contraband at the Border

They thought they were above the law.

A similar hoax story was already published in 2017 by the same people who created the current hoax:

FACT CHECK: Nancy Pelosi's Daughters Arrested for Trafficking Cocaine?

In July 2017, an assortment of unreliable web sites published articles reporting that two of U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's daughters were arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine. That the reports were pure bunk was immediately evident from the inaccuracy and inconsistency of their "facts."

As Snopes noted at the time, the Pelosi daughters are named Nancy, Christine, Jacqueline, and Alexandra. Just like the previous hoaxes the daughters were given made up names in this one.

There also is no drug named "bloogies", the word was made up by the owners of the site and has been used in several of their previous stories. All the links in the story went to prank links or gifs and the tale was posted under the category "Breaking Satire".

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 wearethellod.com 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 wearethellod.com 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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