Just Because It's Trending Doesn't Mean It's True
Hoax Alert

Fake News: Ilhan Omar DID NOT Just Host a Flag Burning Party

  • by: Eric Ferkenhoff
  • (Tue, 10 Dec 2019 18:23:22 Z)

Did Ilhan Omar host a flag burning party? No, that's not true: The story about the Minnesota congresswoman originated as satire on a website that publishes fake stories designed to trick and embarass Trump supporters who believe and share them. There was no such flag burning party.

The story originated from an article (archived here) where it was published by BustaTroll.org on Oct. 19, 2019 under the title "Ilhan Omar Just Hosted a Flag Burning Party". It opened:

The invitations went out to one and all in her community:

"Saturday Night At Ilhan's! Bring Your Flags And Throw Them Into The Bonfire! Burgers, Shawarma, and Tea For All!"

And they came in droves. Hundreds of Ilhan Omar's Democrat friends showed up at the door of her palatial estate, American flags in hand, to attend the "First Annual Flag Discard Bonfire and Barbeque". The backyard fire was massive and it only grew larger as more and more arrived to fuel it with fabric. With the Stars and Stripes. It was a disgusting display of absence of patriotism and possible treason.

Screenshot of https://bustatroll.org/2019/10/22/ilhan-omar-just-hosted-a-flag-burning-party/

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 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.

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:

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 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:

Want to inform others about the accuracy of this story?


Click this link to copy it to your clipboard
Then click here if you have Facebook or click here if you have Twitter to see who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.

About the author:

eric.jpgManaging Editor Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also runs a news outlet for a former “news desert” in Chatham County, North Carolina, and he writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.

 

Read more about or contact Eric Ferkenhoff

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.

Spotted a hoax that you think we should investigate? Have a tip? Want to send us a correction? Contact us!

You can also follow us here:


Most read

Recent

Like or Follow us to get the latest!

NEW! Subscribe to our YouTube channel: