Fake News: Four Airmen NOT Suspended For Participating In Anti-American Display At Black University

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Famous fake/satire website Freedum Junkshun posted an article titled "Four Airmen Suspended For Participating In Anti-American Display At Black University" which opened:

On Thursday, black Howard University cheerleaders showed how much they hate America by kneeling during the National Anthem, and they were joined by some special guests: four members of the Air Force R.O.T.C.

"We ask that you please rise as we honor the United States of America," the announcer said. This was the last thing that would be done to "honor" America on Thursday night.

The university's "Showtime" band played the Star Spangled Banner as the cheerleaders did this:

(image omitted)

The R.O.T.C members joined the cheerleaders in kneeling, showing complete and utter disregard for the country they are supposed to be serving.

The image is real and was actually used in a New York Times article titled "Howard Cheerleaders Add Voices to the Anthem Debate by Taking a Knee". Notice the conspicuous absence of R.O.T.C. members in the picture:


That NY Times article opened in nearly the same way:

WASHINGTON -- A few minutes before kickoff last Saturday at Howard University's Greene Stadium -- about two miles from the White House -- the public address announcer said, "We ask that you please rise as we honor the United States of America." At the 50-yard-line, four members of the Air Force R.O.T.C. presented the colors.

But when the university's "Showtime" marching band played "The Star-Spangled Banner," Howard's cheerleaders, who were lined up at one end zone, did not heed the request. They were kneeling.

There is no mention of R.O.T.C members taking a knee, on the opposite, they are described as presenting the colors.

In addition to that, Freedum Junkshun carries a satire disclaimer at the bottom of the page which reads:

We believe that there is nothing more precious than the mind of an aging conservative. Here we gather a boatload of bullhonkey, works of pure satirical fiction, to give the fist-shakers of the world a reason to hate. Reality is often in the eye of the beholder. You won't find any of it here.
Join the fun in the comments on our Facebook page where you too can watch David Hasselhoff running over someone's poodle magically transformed into a crime against humanity by Barack Obama or yet another murder the Clintons got away with.

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 such as asamericanasapplepie.org, ourlandofthefree.com and freedumjunkshun.com. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". He has at least one accomplice who writes under the pen names "Freedom", "Captain Jellypants", "Butch Mannington" or "Captain Buck Atlantis".

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.

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. And in this case, we are aware of several fake news websites which have already copied the story without mentioning that it came from a satire website. Don't make a fool of yourself, don't share it...

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  Maarten Schenk

Lead Stories co-founder 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

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