Fact Check: Kyle Rittenhouse Did NOT File A $400 Million Lawsuit Against CNN

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Kyle Rittenhouse Did NOT File A $400 Million Lawsuit Against CNN It's Satire

Did Kyle Rittenhouse file a $400 million lawsuit against CNN? No, that's not true: The article containing that claim was posted on a satirical website, with several indications that it was a fictitious story.

The claim originated in a November 26, 2021 article (archived here) published on the satirical site Daily World Update titled "Rittenhouse files $400 Million suit against CNN". One of the paragraphs read:

Sources close to the Rittenhouse legal team have leaked to America's Last Line of Defense that they are prepping the lawsuit to end all lawsuits for the young man, which would spring him into the 3rd position all-time for profiting from killing someone. George Zimmerman and OJ Simpson are numbers one and two.

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

Rittenhouse files $400 Million suit against CNN

Time to pay the piper, CNN!

The first sentence of the article read:

It looks like Kyle Rittenhouse, the newest hero of true patriots, will soon have enough money to buy CNN, once he's done suing them.

The hyperlink of "true patriots" leads to a Google Translate page which is screenshotted below:

google translate kyle rittenhouse.png

(Source: Google Translate screenshot taken on Tue Nov 30 21:31 2021 UTC)

There was also an off-color quote attributed to Rittenhouse that generated no other results using Google search.

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 that 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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  Christiana Dillard

Christiana Dillard is a former news writer for Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication. She received her undergraduate degree in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. She has been a freelance writer for several organizations including the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, Pitt Magazine, and The Heinz Endowments. When she’s not producing or studying media she’s binging it, watching YouTube videos or any interesting series she can find on streaming services.

Read more about or contact Christiana Dillard

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