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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Ilhan Omar Did NOT Propose Tax on Pork Products 'So Costly Nobody Will Buy Them Anymore'

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Mon, 27 May 2019 21:26:18 Z)

Did Ilhan Omar propose a tax on pork products so costly nobody will buy them anymore? 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 BustaTroll on May 26, 2019 titled "Ilhan Omar Proposes Tax on Pork Products 'So Costly Nobody Will Buy Them Anymore'" (archived here) which opened:

Ilhan Omar thinks she's found the perfect way to dispose of "unhealthy and immoral" pork products. In a secret meeting of US Musselamicmen for Shakira Law, Omar praised a plan brought by the now-majority Islamiatite Legislature to limit pork coming into the state, commenting that "It's a good enough plan to bring nationwide."

Omar's spokesman, Busa al Usta Taroli, said she's definitely looking to end the "smite" of pork:

"Pork isn't only spiritually unclean according to the Moon God, Allahu, it is also unhealthy for human consumption. The Almighty Moon would have never blessed the Prophetite Mecca with the Golden Dome of the Temple Mount in Philistine had he intended him to lead his people to swine."

Screenshot of https://bustatroll.org/2019/05/26/ilhan-omar-proposes-tax-on-pork-products-so-costly-nobody-will-buy-them-anymore/

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

Ilhan Omar Proposes Tax on Pork Products 'So Costly Nobody Will Buy Them Anymore'

The truth is right there in front of you.

And indeed it is: there are several satire disclaimers on the site and the article was posted in the category "Hot Potato, Satire That Will Anger the Average Tater".

The words "unhealthy and immoral" linked to a Google translation from English to Russian that read:

Sure it's in quotes, but nobody has actually ever said it. Well...Nobody anyone has ever heard of. Well...you get the point.

And the word "smite" was linked to a Russian translation of:

I'll take..."What Trump promises to Use the US Government to Do to YOU Until 2020 if you're not aligned with him politically." for $500, Alejandro.

The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine and his partner in crime John Prager along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.

Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

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.

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. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.

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. That happened in this case too, when a foreign run site copied the story:

Ilhan Omar Proposes Tax on Pork Products 'So Costly Nobody Will Buy Them Anymore' - Fight For America

Ilhan Omar thinks she's found the perfect way to dispose of "unhealthy and immoral" pork products. In a secret meeting of US Musselamicmen for Shakira Law, Omar praised a plan brought by the now-majority Islamiatite Legislature to limit pork coming into the state, commenting that "It's a good enough plan to bring nationwide."

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.

We wrote about bustatroll.org 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

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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