Fake News: Hillary Clinton NOT Arrested in Fentanyl Raid at D.C. Airport

Fact Check

  • by: Maarten Schenk
Fake News: Hillary Clinton NOT Arrested in Fentanyl Raid at D.C. Airport

Was Hillary Clinton arrested in a fentanyl raid at a D.C. airport? 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 story originated from an article published by Be Best Website on January 14, 2019 titled "Hillary Clinton Arrested in Fentanyl Raid at D.C. Airport" (archived here) which opened:

Following a tip from I.C.E., federal officers traced a series of Fentanyl shipments being quitely run through Washington D.C.'s Ronald Reagan National Airport, and this morning, arrested 18 people including former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Authorities believe her ties with several south-of-the-border cartels made her a serious part of the entire operation. In addition, the Clinton Foundation was searched in conjunction with the arrest, yielding an additional 200,000 pounds of the narcotic.

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

Hillary Clinton Arrested in Fentanyl Raid at D.C. Airport

Looks like she's getting locked up at last!

But right in the header of the site it says "Information you probably shouldn't trust to be best" and the article was posted under the category "Satire That Reaches For the...Sky.".

The image used to illustrate the story is an old meme about arresting Hillary Clinton which was created by adding Clinton's head to a photo showing the arrest of a woman named Roxanne Rubin in Nevada in 2012:

Woman arrested in Las Vegas for alleged voter fraud

A wide-eyed Roxanne Rubin was led away from the Riviera in handcuffs Friday, accused by Nevada election officials of voter fraud. Agents from the state's multi-jurisdictional Elections Integrity Task Force with FBI assistance arrested Rubin, 56. She is charged with trying to vote more than once in the same election, a felony.

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.

Blair and his operation were profiled by the Washington Post on November 17, 2018 by Eli Saslow:

'Nothing on this page is real': How lies become truth in online America

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:

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 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:

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See who is sharing it (it might even be your friends...) and leave the link in the comments.:

  Maarten Schenk

Maarten Schenk is the co-founder and COO/CTO of Lead Stories and an 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.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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