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Hoax Alert

Fake News: NO Paintings or Artworks Worth $10 Million Stolen From House of Elijah Cummings

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Sat, 03 Aug 2019 08:36:28 Z)

Were paintings and artworks worth $10 million stolen from the house of Rep. Elijah Cummings? No, that's not true: the story was put out by a parody Twitter account after a real report about a failed burglary at Cummings' house surfaced.

The story originated from a tweet published by parody account @CronkiteSays on August 2, 2019, supposedly written by "Walter Cronkite" (archived here). The tweet read:

Screenshot of https://twitter.com/CronkiteSays/status/1157274439765102597

However the bio of the Twitter account that originally put out the story reads:

The most trusted name in fake news. I'm not the real Walter Cronkite because he is dead but tune in for truth/parody. I report you decide. DM for follow back.

cronkitebio.jpg

The real Walter Cronkite did indeed pass away in 2009.

The account @CronkiteSays usually posts short, satirical quips about current events. The Cummings burglary tweet was likely based on real reports of a possibly attempted burglary in which nothing was stolen:

Rep. Cummings Says Someone Tried To Break Into His Home. 'Too Bad!' Trump Says

Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland says an intruder tried to gain entry into his home in Baltimore early Saturday. Cummings said the incident happened at about 3:40 a.m. ET. "I was notified of the intrusion by my security system, and I scared the intruder away by yelling before the person gained entry into the residential portion of the house," he said in a statement.

The image used in the parody tweet was definitely not the house of Elijah Cummings, it shows the Hall of Mirrors in the Palace of Versailles in France:

Hall of Mirrors

The Hall of Mirrors ( French: Grande Galerie or Galerie des Glaces) is the central gallery of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. Within the hall, the German Empire was declared in 1871 (Deutsche Reichsgründung) and the Treaty of Versailles signed by the victorious powers of World War I in 1919.

Despite the fact that the tweet was sent as a joke many people appear to have fallen for it, including Chuck Woolery, who tweeted this to his 598K followers in reply to the hoax tweet:

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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