Fake News: George HW Bush NOT Dead After Overdosing On Wife Barbara's Pills

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: George HW Bush NOT Dead After Overdosing On Wife Barbara's Pills

Did former President George H.W. Bush die of an Oxycontin overdose because he wanted to be with his wife Barbara who passed away several weeks ago? No, that's not true, the death hoax was made up by a site set up to troll conservatives and Trump supporters into sharing fake news. It is not real.

The story originated from an article published by Daily World Update on May 26, 2018 titled "BREAKING: George HW Bush Dead After Overdosing On Wife Barbara's Pills" (archived here) which opened:

Former President George Herbert Walker Bush has died of an overdose of the narcotic Oxycontin, according to a source from the Clam Shack in Kennebunkport, Maine. Jonathon Clam, owner of the small restaurant famous for being 41's favorite, says he was heartbroken when he dropped of the Bush's order to find his old friend clinging to life in a chaise lounge by the pool:

"He liked it when the people from town called him 41. I was there with 3 cakes and a couple a rolls for the Secret Service boys when I saw him. He was frothing at the mouth and his eyes were op[en and glazed-over. I felt for a pulse but got nothing.

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

BREAKING: George HW Bush Dead After Overdosing On Wife Barbara's Pills

The opioid epidemic has claimed yet another life.

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

sat·ire ~ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
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 potatriotpost.us, dailyworldupdate.us and nofakenewsonline.us. 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 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 and he keeps knocking them down.

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.

We wrote about dailyworldupdate.us before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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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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