Did U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi show up too drunk to sign her name at 8 o'clock in the morning? 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; however, it has been copied and published by non-satire websites as true.
The story originated from an article published on March 21, 2019 titled "Nancy Pelosi Too Drunk to Sign Her Name at 8 AM" (archived here) which opened:
Nancy Pelosi showed up to the ceremonial signing of a bill this morning so drunk she couldn't even properly sign her name. Ceremonies often call for using multiple pens, which was far too confusing for the intoxicated Speaker of the House.
Under her breath, those close enough could hear what she was saying:
"Orange shitgibbon gonna veto anyway...motherf*cker. Left my goddamned mimosa for this?"
The Dems around her were chuckling, knowing she wouldn't be heard loud enough to make it on camera, but the Republicans in the room were appalled:
"We are required to sit through these things and when the Speaker of the House demands more mimosas, it makes it seem cheap somehow."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:
Nancy Pelosi Too Drunk to Sign Her Name at 8 AM
She should have stayed in bed.
Everything about this article is made up. First, the house speaker does not sign bills at ceremonies. That is the president's job. Also the purported legislation was "a bipartisan effort that will approve $40 million for advanced attacks on the Mediterranean Bull Weevil, which has been wreaking havoc on soy and wheat crops." There is no such pest or bill.
The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run byself-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine and his partner in crime John Prager along with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair has been in a feud with fact checking website Snopes for some time now and has also criticized other fact checkers in the past who labeled his work "fake news" instead of satire. In reaction to this he has recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry extremely visible disclaimers everywhere.
Every site in the network has an about page that reads (in part):
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":
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.
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site's pure fantasy and actual people, places, and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical. See above if you're still having an issue with that satire thing.
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. One such site that copied this story is SupportForTrump.com.
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 bustatroll.org 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 bustatroll.org before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
- Fake News: Nancy Pelosi NOT Escorted Out of White House, Did NOT Show Up 'Too Drunk to Speak'
- Fake News: Denzel Washington Did NOT Leave Democrat Party, Did NOT Say: 'I've Had it With the Lies'
- Fake News: Trump DID NOT Invoke 25th Amendment to Expel Nancy Pelosi for Mental Health Reasons
- Fake News: Judge Jeanine Pirro Did NOT Take a Job Consulting for the White House
- Fake News: NBC Did NOT Finally Pull The Plug - Saturday Night Live NOT Canceled