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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Barr Did NOT File Charges, Did NOT Indict Obama

  • by: Sarah Thompson
  • (Fri, 03 Jan 2020 12:32:48 Z)

Did U.S. Attorney General William Barr file charges and indict Obama? No, that's not true: This false story is designed to make a mockery of people who share outrageous headlines without having read the article.

The claim originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by Be Best Website on May 18, 2019, under the title "Barr Files Charges, Indicts Obama". The article was written by Fallis Gunnington, a prolific pseudonym in the ALLOD network of websites. The story opened:

Conservative pundits, Republican leaders, and a collection of the most irrational dimwitted pumpkinheads are rejoicing this morning at reports of Attorney General Barr handing down an indictment for Barack Obama, and filing charges in Congressional court. The circumstances, however, may be surprising.

Since his start at the Justice Department, Barr has been not-so-subtly egged on by President Trump to somehow attack the former President who makes former failed businessman and reality show host Trump look like a dumpster full of pig feces set ablaze and rolling down a hill towards a gunpowder warehouse that's next door to a nuclear waste dump. But after a week or so of research, Barr found himself awash in deep admiration. He spoke to a reporter from the Washington Daily Queefton earlier this morning :

"I just really got to like the man, you know? Read his and his wife's books, reviewed their accomplishments....and let me tell you, he makes Trump look like a filth-covered caveboy in soiled underwear running around rolling in dog turds. That's why I've indicted President Obama, so I can meet him in person, and announce that I've filed charges to have Congress declare him officially the Coolest President Ever. Like with a plaque and a statue, and stuff."

Screenshot of https://bebest.website/barr-bell/

The trolling article also includes a banner ad for "Trump/Putin 2020" merchandise and additional absurdity comes later in the article, with a movie still of LL Cool Jay from the 1999 movie "Deep Blue Sea" included for no apparent reason.

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 wearethellod.com, bustatroll.org or bebest.website. 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 that 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.

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 bebest.website 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 bebest.website before. Here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

SarahThompson_userpic.png

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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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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