Fact Check: Nancy Pelosi Was NOT Removed From The House Floor For Being Drunk

Fact Check

  • by: Victoria Eavis
Fact Check: Nancy Pelosi Was NOT Removed From The House Floor For Being Drunk Trolling

Was Speaker Nancy Pelosi removed from the floor of the House of Representatives for drunk and disorderly conduct? No, that's not true: This is a fictional piece written by a known satire website. These stories are often re-published by other sites without the satire label. Pelosi was not removed from the House floor for being drunk back in April; it's a made-up story.

The claim originated from the satire site bustatroll.org, where it was published back in April. It recently went viral in a Facebook post (archived here) where it was published on July 8, 2020. The caption opened:

FACT Checked. TRUE. Why is it we do not hear about this on the news?????? Why do we hear about her Months Later? According to the Dunning-Kruger Times, 4/19/2020 Nancy Pelosi was removed from the House Floor for drunken and disorderly conduct.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Tue Jul 28 17:56:25 2020 UTC)

The bustatroll.org post cited the "Dunning-Kruger Times" which is a fake publication made up by the satirical writer and a play on the Dunning-Kruger effect, the psychological phenomenon in which a person overestimates their ability to complete a task when in reality, their ability to do so is low.

Bustatroll.org 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.

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  Victoria Eavis

Victoria Eavis is a fact checker at Lead Stories. She recently graduated from Duke University with a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology. In her last few months at Duke, she was a reporter for a student news site, The 9th Street Journal, that covers the city of Durham, North Carolina. 

Read more about or contact Victoria Eavis

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