Fake News: Trump-Owned Property In Agrabah NOT Burned To The Ground By Terrorists

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alan Duke

Was Trump-owned property in Agrabah burned to the ground by terrorists? No, that's not true: The president does not own property there, as Agrabah exists only in the minds of Disney fans as the fictional home of Aladdin. It's a fictional kingdom, and this story is a satirical piece stolen and republished by websites that did not also include the satire labeling.

The claim originated from an article published by tatersgonnatate.com on January 6, 2020, titled "Trump-Owned Property In Agrabah Burned To The Ground By Terrorists" (archived here) which opened:

They've begun their attack against our President's interests.

A small but significant property in Agrabah has been burned to the ground by terrorists claiming revenge for the killing of Iranian General Soleimani. The compound, used by the Trump family and friends when on vacation in the small Arab nation, wasn't well known but was chosen to convey a clear message.

Screenshot of https://tatersgonnatate.com/trump-owned-property-in-agrabah-burned-to-the-ground-by-terrorists/

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

Trump-Owned Property In Agrabah Burned To The Ground By Terrorists

They've begun their attack against our President's interests.

Although movie-goers may realize that Aladdin is not a real genie and Agrabah is not a real place, too many social-media users share content with actually reading it. If you are still a skeptic, read Aladdin's Agrabah Is Based On Many Places, & That's Kind Of The Issue.

Still, a poll from December of 2015 showed that 41 percent of supporters of then-candidate Trump were in support of bombing Agrabah to deal with the ISIS threat.

Here is a picture of the fictional palace in the fictional kingdom:

screenshot_29.png

The site is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-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):

About Satire
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with "comedy":

sat·ire
ˈsaˌtī(ə)r
noun
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:

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 tatersgonnatate.com 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 tatersgonnatate.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:

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  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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