Fact Check: Pelosi Did NOT Defer $2.2 Billion From Social Security to Cuomo's Budget

Fact Check

  • by: Eric Ferkenhoff
Fact Check: Pelosi Did NOT Defer $2.2 Billion From Social Security to Cuomo's Budget Trolling

Did U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi defer $2.2 billion from Social Security to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget amid the ongoing battle against the coronavirus pandemic? No, that's not true. This is a satirical piece written by a known network of fictional news sites that tries to trick conservatives into sharing bogus reports. Often, click-bait sites steal the satire and republish it as real. There was no such move by Pelosi to help Cuomo.

The claim originated in an article (archived here) published by Taters Gonna Tate on May 28, 2020, titled "Pelosi Defers $2.2 Billion From Social Security to Cuomo's Budget," which opened:

Since the outbreak of the deadly pandemic crisis that's been running rampant in the United States, Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York has been taking every opportunity he can to overshadow *President Trump and add his "expertise" to the conversation. His constant, daily beseeching of aid for his especially-hard-hit state has become rote. And now his friend Speaker Nancy Pelosi is handing out a favor.

Pelosi is no stranger to pillaging our social security money in fictional satire articles. Even though it is literally impossible for her to do such a thing, the intellectually-troubled Trump supporting crowd will shoot up and spill their colostomy bags all over themselves to excoriate her about it every time because the Homestyle Buffet is still closed and the repeats of Big Bang Theory are finally becoming annoying. Old people can't understand jokes about Ray Palmer having a tiny dick.

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

Pelosi Defers $2.2 Billion From Social Security to Cuomo's Budget

Helping out her friends at our expense.

There is zero evidence that Pelosi, a California Democrat, diverted funds to Cuomo's state budget. The piece in Taters Gonna Tate is complete fiction, but it has already been copied and presented as "real" news by the blog Washington Breaking News. In the Washington Breaking News, you can see that site messed up and repeated parts of the rest of the original satire piece, which continues below:

Sandy Batt of New York's Hey I'm Walkin' Here magazine wrote a short essay on the Empire State and it's treatment:

'On 9/11, New York had the sympathy of the whole country and the solidarity of US against those who wanted to destroy us. Now that Trump is in the White House, suddenly the pretend patriots who run under his shorts sniffing his balls don't care. As long as the pandemic hasn't reached Cousinhumper, Kentucky, they figure, Jesus will handle it. If you needed any more proof that Trump is the worst *President in history, he's basically encouraged his traitorous followers to split back to the Civil War battle lines. That takes full on seditionist work. You know, it almost makes it okay if Pelosi COULD take that money. They deserve to lap up Alpo in their trailers.'

The fictional billions that the Speaker is functionally transferring will help shore up necessary aid and projects in New York, which is the number one state contributing to America's tax base. Trumpers would do well to remember that blue States and Democrats provide them with aid when they take too much oxy and need reviving drugs or get hit with a hurricane and need a place to stay, eat, and remain safe. They'll be thanking future President Cuomo.


Taters Gonna Tate 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. He runs several websites and Facebook pages with visible satire disclaimers everywhere. They mostly publish made-up stories with headlines specifically created to trigger Republicans, conservatives and evangelical Christians into angrily sharing or commenting on the story on Facebook without actually reading the full article, exposing them to mockery and ridicule by fans of the sites and pages.

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":

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 omit the satire disclaimer and other hints the stories are fake. One of the most persistent networks of such sites is run by a man from Pakistan named Kashif Shahzad Khokhar (aka "DashiKashi"), who has spammed hundreds of such stolen stories into conservative and right-wing Facebook pages in order to profit from the ad revenue.

When fact checkers point this out to the people liking and sharing these copycat stories, some of them get mad at the fact checkers instead of directing their anger at the foreign spammers or the liberal satire writers. Others send a polite "thank you" note, which is much appreciated.

NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalists to rank the reliability of websites, describes tatersgonnatate.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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  Eric Ferkenhoff

Eric Ferkenhoff has been a reporter, editor and professor for 27 years, working chiefly out of the Midwest and now the South. Focusing on the criminal and juvenile justice systems, education and politics, Ferkenhoff has won several journalistic and academic awards and helped start a fact-checking project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he continues to teach advanced reporting. Ferkenhoff also writes and edits for the juvenile justice site JJIE.org.


Read more about or contact Eric Ferkenhoff

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