Did Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft, the owners of the Cowboys and the Patriots, buy 204 miles of land along the Texas border so President Trump could build his border wall there? 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 on February 18, 2019 titled "BREAKING: Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft Just Bought and Donated 204 Miles of Border Wall Property" (archived here) which opened:
The NFL may not be all bad after all.
Two owners, both respected Republicans who support our President, have stepped forward with an amazing gift to the American people.
Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have formed a coalition and purchased 204 miles of property on the Texas border the US Government has had a hard time purchasing.
Homeland Security spokesman Art Tubolls explains:
"The US Government owns very little of the propert they need to actually build the wall. We can't take the property by eminent domain because the Texas Border is literally a river and their cattle all drink there.
It's a problem the government simply couldn't solve."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
These are true American heroes.
But the story was published under the category "Wall Satire Because You Taters Asked For It" and the site comes with a warning in the header that says "Where liberal satirists play the tater lottery". And "Art Tubbols" is an anagram for "Busta Troll", the nickname of the man who runs the site.
The site 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 wearethellod.com, bustatroll.org or bebest.website. 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.
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.