Fact Check: Arkansas DA Did NOT Get Court Order To Exhume Vince Foster's Body -- It's Satire

Fact Check

  • by: Christiana Dillard
Fact Check: Arkansas DA Did NOT Get Court Order To Exhume Vince Foster's Body -- It's Satire Fact Check: Arkansas DA Did NOT Get Court Order To Exhume Vince Foster's Body -- It's Satire Plot Spoof

Did an Arkansas district attorney get a court order to exhume the body of former deputy White House counsel Vince Foster? No, that's not true: The claim, which suggests that former first lady Hillary Clinton was responsible for Foster's death, is satirical. Foster's death was ruled a suicide, although conspiracy theories dating back to the 1990s have reasoned that Foster was killed.

The claim appeared in an article (archived here) published by Tater Report on May 31, 2022, titled "Arkansas DA Gets Court Order to Exhume a Body." The article opened:

District Attorney Joe Barron from Batt, Arkansas believes he has enough evidence to charge Hillary Clinton in the 1995 murder of Vince Foster. All he's missing is the physical evidence he believes he can get from having Foster's body exhumed. His wish was granted.

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

Arkansas DA Gets Court Order to Exhume a Body

District Attorney Joe Barron from Batt, Arkansas believes he has enough evidence [...]CLICK TO TATE

Conspiracy theories about Foster's death have existed since Foster shot himself on July 20, 1993, at a Virginia park. Because Foster served as a staffer under former President Bill Clinton's administration, many of these unproven theories implicated the Clintons in Foster's death. However, Foster's death was thoroughly investigated and was ultimately determined to be a suicide.

The article did not make a serious attempt to hide that its claim is false. It was labeled under the category "Clinton Crime Syndicate Satire." It also used various fake names and locations: For example, there is no city or town in Arkansas named "Batt" and the "Naval Cemetery in Fort Kensington, Virginia" does not exist. Rather, Foster is reportedly buried at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Hope, Arkansas. There is also no district attorney named "Joe Barron" at the time of writing, nor does Arkansas officially refer to its prosecuting attorneys as "district attorneys."

Lead Stories has debunked several claims about Foster's death. Those fact checks can be found here.

Tater Report 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):

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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