Did Dr. Phil say on his show that women who support President Trump are damaged? No, that's not true: The story was published by a liberal satire website that tries to mislead Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made up stories that are clearly marked as satire when you actually click them. Articles from the site are frequently copied by foreign-run fake news websites, and that is exactly what happened with this one. The people liking and sharing these stories are enriching foreign website operators or a liberal from Maine via the ad revenue generated with the content which is probably not what they expected or wanted.
Well-known talk show psychiatrist Dr. Phil McGraw is no stranger to blunt diagnoses. As Oprah's guy pal and with a hit show, bestselling books, and successful all-nude soccer team franchise, McGraw has been riding the high life. That may all change with a bang after last week.
Dr. Phil often gets referrals from his associate Dr. Teeth. Janice is in rehab for the 60th time.
During a show titled : "Sophie's Choice", Phil met Sophie Baggersqueef of Diabetes, Florida, a housewife who had become more and more estranged from her husband of 20 years due to political differences. Ever since the last election, her husband Jonathan, a normal person, wanted nothing to do with Sophie, who had cast her vote for President Trump.
Dr. Phil McGraw, who gained fame on Oprah Winfrey's talk show before taking on his own program, never made such a statement. The claim is false and was clearly labeled as satire on BustaTroll.com's site. But some sites have picked it up and pushed it out to gain traction without any reference to the story's satirical nature.
The story claims, satirically, that Dr. Phil wrapped his show with this quote:
"Sophie, first of all, any woman who supports Donald Trump is damaged. Okay? No poor husband wants damaged goods. Women who would lower themselves to the level it takes to admire that mental midget of a con man have zero self-esteem. Zero. It's not even a matter of how stunningly stupid you must be. It's a matter of betraying your vagina. Your vagina is George Washington, Sophie, and you are Benedict Arnold. Your vagina is angrier than Mike Pence losing his wallet at a Chippendale's club. Stop being your vagina's Ike Turner."
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 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.
Here is a video of Blair explaining how his process works:
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 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:
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