Did Fox News dump anchor Chris Wallace, claiming Wallace was "spreading lies" through his reporting? No, that's not true: The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them.
Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators or a liberal from Maine via the ad revenue generated with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
The Wallace story originated from an article published by bustatroll.org on November 26, 2019 titled "Chris Wallace Fired By Fox News; 'We Can't Let Him Spread Lies Anymore'" (archived here) which opened:
Reports are coming in that state Fox News will soon be dropping Chris Wallace from their broadcasting lineup. Fox brass, it seems, have grown tired of his antics and say, 'His bias does not fit with our fair and balanced approach to journalism.'
Wallace has been targeted recently for presenting as fact what has been proven to be fake news. Specifically, he continues to push the Russian election interference lie and ignores the more widely proven suggestion that it was Ukraine who actually committed the election hack.
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Reports are coming in that state Fox News will soon be dropping Chris Wallace from their broadcasting lineup. Fox brass, it seems, have grown tired of his antics and say, "His bias does not f...
Many conservative Fox viewers had been calling for, or hoping for, Wallace's firing because of the journalist's often-tough questioning of Republican guests over President Donald Trump's policies.
Of particular concern to these viewers have been Wallace's pushing of GOP members who refuse to bend in their denial of Russian interference in the 2016 race against Democrat Hillary Clinton - or who entirely dismiss the current impeachment proceedings.
On November 24, 2019, Newsweek reported that:
Fox News host Chris Wallace confronted a Republican politician on television Sunday who refused to openly disagree with President Donald Trump in saying that it was Russia, not Ukraine, that had interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine 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):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
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.
Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
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 bustatroll.org 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 bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Ilhan Omar's Children NOT Arrested For Starting Church Fire
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi Did NOT Approve $1 Million Expense Accounts For Any Rep That Votes For Impeachment
- Fake News: LeBron Did NOT Tell NBA To "Dump The Anthem Or I'll Quit"
- Fake News: Malia Obama Did NOT Have 24 Classmates Expelled For Praying On Campus
- Fake News: UN Did NOT Award Obama "Leader of the Century Award"
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