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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Trump's Budget Does NOT Contain Twenty Million Dollars for Bail

  • by: Alan Duke
  • (Tue, 12 Mar 2019 00:21:55 Z)

Did President Trump's latest federal budget proposal includet $20 million for bail money? No, it is a satirical report that purports Trump hid millions in the budget document to post bail for his children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric.

The story originated from an article published on March 11, 2019 titled "Trump's Budget Contains Twenty Million Dollars for Bail" (archived here) which opened:

Donald J. Trump's $4.7-trillion budget raised eyebrows on Monday when government-watchdog groups discovered that it contained twenty million dollars for bail.

The line item for a "bail fund" was buried in the fine print of the published budget, along with a footnote specifying that the money could be used only to bail out Trump and members of his immediate family.

A footnote listed family members who would be eligible for bail, including his daughter Ivanka but not his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

Screenshot of https://www.newyorker.com/humor/borowitz-report/trumps-budget-contains-twenty-million-dollars-for-bail

Despite this story being obvious satire from a well-known satire brand, more than a few commenters on Facebook took it as being real.

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

Trump's Budget Contains Twenty Million Dollars for Bail

A footnote listed family members who would be eligible for bail, including his daughter Ivanka but not his son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

The story actually appeared in the satire column of The New Yorker ("The Borowitz Report" by Andy Borowitz) which was acquired in 2012 by the magazine. Although the section with the columns and all the articles in it are clearly marked as satire the stories frequently get confused for real news by people who only see the title and summary on social media and who assume it must be real because the link goes to the actual website of The New Yorker. To them it would look somewhat like this, with an easy to miss "Not the news" being the only indication it is not real:

In part to combat this the main page of The Borowitz Report comes with a clear heading that simply states:

Satire from the Borowitz Report

satirefromtheborowitzreport.jpg

To be safe, whenever you see a link that goes to any article on the "newyorker.com" website, always check if the rest of the link says "/humor/borowitz-report/" somewhere. If it does, don't believe a thing you read...

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

The website of the celebrated weekly magazine The New Yorker. The site publishes news, reviews, investigative reports, and critical commentary about international politics, culture, and New York City events, as well as poetry, fiction, videos and podcasts, satire, and cartoons. Its political content is usually liberal in tone and outlook.

According to NewsGuard the site can generally be trusted to maintain journalistic standards. Read their full assessment here.

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

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About the author:

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after a 26-year career with CNN. He mainly covers entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosts a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke
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