Did actor Mel Gibson say, "The only reason liberals hate Trump is they hate God"? No, that's not true: The actor never made such a statement. The article is a work of satire, and the author of such posts is trolling conservatives into believing and sharing them as though they were real.
The made-up quote originated from an article (archived here) published by Bustatroll.org on December 23, 2019, under the title "Mel Gibson:'The Only Reason Liberals Hate Trump Is They Hate God.'" It opened:
Mel Gibson is a devout Christian who has made great changes in his life. Once a reckless alcoholic who lived for fame and fortune through action-packed, violent Hollywood movies, he has now given it all up and turned to God.
These days he directs films, but not like the blockbusters he once starred in. Instead, his cinema is focussed on biblical stories that few go to see. But he persists in making them through private financing, as Hollywood has no interest in the genre. He spreads The Word through moving pictures.
Coming from the movie scene, he's familiar with the mindset of liberalism and so he has his own thoughts on why the socialists hate President Trump so much.
The story has been copied word-for-word by several other websites. For example, users on social media saw this copied headline:
Mel Gibson:'The Only Reason Liberals Hate Trump Is They Hate God' - Today Breaking News https://t.co/dG0iltcUdI-- Third World News (@ibro_bunu2520) January 15, 2020
Gibson was raised Catholic and directed "The Passion of the Christ," a 2004 faith-based blockbuster about the final hours of Jesus' life. However, Gibson never said that liberals hate God.
The site making the claim is part of the "America's Last Line of Defense" network of satire websites run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair. The Maine resident works with a loose confederation of friends and allies. Blair recently rebranded all his active websites and Facebook pages so they carry 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 that often omit the satire disclaimer and any other hints that the stories are fake. Blair has tried to get these sites shut down, 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 journalists 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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