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Hoax Alert

Fake News: Opinion Writer Does NOT Believe Trump Should File Article 2 Motion To Impeach Nancy Pelosi

  • by: Ryan Cooper
  • (Fri, 17 Jan 2020 19:53:23 Z)

Does an op-ed writer believe that President Trump should file an Article 2 motion to impeach House Speaker Nancy Pelosi? No, that's not true: The story is a work of satire from a website created by a liberal who trolls conservatives.

The claim originated from an article published by tatersgonnatate.com on December 30, 2019, titled "Opinion: Trump Should File an Article 2 Motion To Impeach Nancy Pelosi" (archived here). It opened:

President Trump is a master of playing the game politicians have been failing at for decades. There's this little thing in our country called the "Constitution." Unfortunately, most people are pretty unaware of what it says, and that includes our elected officials.

A great example is the current impeachment coup. Some folks are stuck on the belief that impeachment is fair and legal just because it's listed as a duty of the House of Representatives. That's not true at all. The process, as laid out in Article 2, says that the Speaker of the House must commit to a fair and legal inquiry otherwise she is in contempt of Congress and subject to impeachment herself.

Screenshot of https://tatersgonnatate.com/opinion-trump-should-file-an-article-2-motion-to-impeach-nancy-pelosi/

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

Opinion: Trump Should File an Article 2 Motion To Impeach Nancy Pelosi

He's the President. He can do it.

The story is completely fabricated and labeled "Satire and/or Conservative Fan Fiction" at the top of the article, next to the byline.

The column contains two hyperlinks, which offer an amusing perspective on what the author is really thinking. The first link takes readers to a Google Translate entry from English into Russian that says:

You're about to read the biggest load of nonsense ever laid on the tater community."

The second link also offers a Russian translation of this:

None of this actually happened. It's utterly ridiculous."

The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair. The Maine resident works with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact-checking website Snopes and has also criticized other fact-checkers who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction, he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry 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 other 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, 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 journalists to rank the reliability of websites, describes tatersgonnatate.com 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 tatersgonnatate.com before. Here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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About the author:

Ryan Cooper.jpeg

Ryan Cooper, a staff writer and fact-checker for Lead Stories, is the former Director of Programming at CNN International, where he helped shape the network's daily newscasts broadcast to more than 280 million households around the world. He was based at the network's Los Angeles Bureau. There, he managed the team responsible for a three-hour nightly program, Newsroom LA.

Formerly, he worked at the headquarters in Atlanta, and he spent four years at the London bureau. An award-winning producer, Cooper oversaw the network's Emmy Award-winning coverage of the uprising in Egypt in 2011. He also served as a supervising producer during much of the network's live reporting on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict in 2006, for which CNN received an Edward R. Murrow Award.

Read more about or contact Ryan Cooper

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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