Fact Check: Pelosi Did NOT Have 100-Year-Old Ten Commandments Monument Removed from Capitol

Hoax Alert

  • by: Alan Duke
Fact Check: Pelosi Did NOT Have 100-Year-Old Ten Commandments Monument Removed from Capitol Trolling

Did House Speaker Nancy Pelosi order a 100-year-old Ten Commandments monument removed from the U.S. Capitol? No, that's not true: This is a fake story published by a satire website. The publisher is infamous for trolling conservative readers with sensational claims, mostly about Democrats. These articles are often plagiarized by other websites without the proper satire warnings.

The claim originated in an article published by wearethellod.com on April 14, 2020 titled "Pelosi Has 100-Year-Old Ten Commandments Monument Removed from Capitol" (archived here) which opened:

Nancy Pelosi has stooped to a new low. This time, attacking a 100-year-old monument devoted to the 10 commandments that has been in the lobby of the capitol building for nearly a century.

Work crews showed up and made quick work, rolling the monument out and down the ramp for disabled people.

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

Pelosi Has 100-Year-Old Ten Commandments Monument Removed from Capitol

Nothing is sacred.

Nothing in this story is real. There is no Ten Commandments monument at the U.S. Capitol. The man who received the tablets from God does appear above the entrace to the House chamber. Moses is one of 23 marble relief portraits installed above the gallery doors around 1950. There us no evidence the Speaker Pelosi has made a move on ousting Moses.

6240605723_32c7834706_o.jpg

The photo used to illustrate the story is actually a photo of workers removing a Ten Commandments monument from the Alabama state capitol in 2003 under a federal court order.

The site comes with a clear satire disclaimer at the bottom of each article:

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.
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:

'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 wearethellod.com as:

One in a network of sites that publish false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, 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.

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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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