Is a Donald Trump action figure the hottest seller of the season in toy stores? No, that's not true. The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to educate gullible Trump supporters and Republicans about the need to actually click and read links before sharing or liking them in order to avoid being embarrassed by fans of the site later. All the events described in the article are not real.
The new Donald Trump action figure is flying off the shelves across America, says the Toy Association of Retail Dispensers. Retailers are straining to keep it in stock as deliveries and production of the plastic image ramp up in factories all the way from China to Hong Kong. At a consumer cost of nearly twenty dollars per unit, is this the child's toy that will be the "Tickle-Me Elmo" of 2018?
There is no "Toy Association of Retail Dispensers" and if it did the acronym for that organization would read "TARD". That's one of several clues the story is not real. Other clues are that the story also claims one of the primary reasons people are buying the toy would be that the head fits perfectly in the rear end of most dogs and could be used to stop canine diarrhea.
The site that posted the story comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:
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.
Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:
November 17 The only light in the house came from the glow of three computer monitors, and Christopher Blair, 46, sat down at a keyboard and started to type. His wife had left for work and his children were on their way to school, but waiting online was his other community, an unreality where nothing was exactly as it seemed.
If you are interested in learning more about Blair and the history of his sites, here is something to get you started:
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 bebest.website 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 bebest.website before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Lady Gaga, Hillary Clinton NOT to Perform at Superbowl Halftime
- Fake News: Trump Did NOT Divert Obama Library Funding to Veteran's Administration
- Fake News: Hillary Clinton NOT Arrested Drunk Outside of Trump Plaza Hotel
- Fake News: NO Fake Election Ballots in Georgia, Florida, Arizona Traced To Soros Compound
- Fake News: Bernie Sanders NOT Elected Governor of Virginia