Fake News: Powerful CA Democrat NOT Outed As Grand Wizard Of The KKK

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk

Fictional California senator "Joe Burkschmidt" was accused of being a KKK member by fake/satire website Freedum Junkshun in an article titled "BREAKING: Powerful CA Democrat Outed As Grand Wizard Of The KKK" that began:

Liberals laugh when we point out that Democrats are the party of the Ku Klux Klan, but yet another DemoKKKrat has been caught following in the footsteps of Hillary Clinton idol Robert Byrd.

While he never attained Byrd's rank of Exalted Cyclops, California Senator Joe Burkschmidt's white hood and robe just got yanked out of the closet by one of his own - a disgruntled staffer who posted a photo of the state senator on Facebook. The photo was removed within a minute:

There is no senator Joe Burkschmidt, not in California nor anywhere else, as a quick Google search will confirm. And the image used with the story is actually Bill Wilkinson, a real-life KKK Imperial Wizard who fled to Belize in 1984.


And in any case Freedum Junkshun carries an explicit 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 the well-known liberal troll Christopher Blair, a man from Maine who seems to have made it his full time job to troll conservatives and Trump supporters into liking and sharing his satirical articles. He runs several other websites such as asamericanasapplepie.org, ourlandofthefree.com and nunadisbereel.com. Sometimes he is also known under his nickname "Busta Troll". He has at least one other 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 omit the satire disclaimer most of the time and who delete any other hints the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down in the past with some succes but new ones keep cropping up all the time.

If you see one of his stories on a site that does not contain a satire disclaimer, it is safe to assume it is fake news. If you do see the satire disclaimer it is of course also fake news.

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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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