Fact Check: Pelosi's Daughters Were NOT Arrested Breaking Into Liquor Store For 'Quarantine Supplies'

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Pelosi's Daughters Were NOT Arrested Breaking Into Liquor Store For 'Quarantine Supplies' Trolling

Were Nancy Pelosi's Daughters Arrested Breaking Into Liquor Store For 'Quarantine Supplies'? No, that's not true: This story is from a website that caters to an audience which frequently falls for fictional stories that portray liberal politicians negatively.

The story appeared in an article (archived here) where it was published by bustatroll.org on May 11, 2020 under the title "Pelosi's Daughters Arrested Breaking Into Liquor Store For 'Quarantine Supplies'". It opened:

The apples don't fall far from the tree, they say, and nowhere is it more obvious than in the case of Nancy Pelosi's daughters. Often in trouble, they have lately shown that they share the trait most commonly associated with their mother.....a hopeless addiction to alcohol.

Both Melissa, 21, and Daphne, 19, were arrested this past weekend in San Francisco, California for breaking and entering. Officers were alerted to their crime by a silent alarm at "This Is The Way To Liquor," a liquor store close to their home that had recently decided to temporarily close due to slow sales during the state's lockdown.
The photo featured with this fictional article shows two women who appear to be handcuffed, these women are not Nancy Pelosi's daughters. She does not have daughters named Melissa or Daphne. The cropped photo is from a news story about two women who really were arrested in Peru for smuggling drugs. The photo appears in a slideshow in the August 25, 2013 Belfast Telegraph article (here) (archived here) titled, "Peru drug arrests: Dungannon woman Michaella McCollum 'forced to carry drugs.'
BelfastT.JPG

This swapped photo also bears the "S for Satire" watermark of this website. Another feature commonly found in these satire articles are pieces of hyperlinked text.
belfast01.jpgIn this case, the text, "associated with their mother" goes to Google Translate, with a caption preset as the phrase to translate into Russian:
belfast02.JPG

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. 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":

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 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 journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes bustatroll.org 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.


  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Southeastern Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


 

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