Fact Check: In-N-Out Burger Is NOT 'Leaving California Over Wage Hikes And Woke Policies' -- Claim Is From Satire Site

Fact Check

  • by: Alexis Tereszcuk
Fact Check: In-N-Out Burger Is NOT 'Leaving California Over Wage Hikes And Woke Policies' -- Claim Is From Satire Site Satire Site

Is In-N-Out Burger leaving California "over wage hikes and woke policies"? No, that's not true: This article originated from a website that labels itself satire. The site has a disclaimer that describes it as part of a network of "parody, satire, and tomfoolery." There is no evidence to support the claim that the fast food restaurant is leaving California amid a state minimum wage increase.

The claim appeared in an article published by America's Last Line Of Defense (ALLOD) on the Patriot Party Press website on April 8, 2024, titled "In-N-Out Burger Leaving California Over Wage Hikes And Woke Policies" (archived here). It began:

One of California's most iconic restaurant chains is mulling moving out of California completely after the state raised the minimum wage for fast food workers to twenty dollars an hour, a move that will hurt businesses all across the state.

Here is what the article looked like at the time of writing:

Screen Shot 2024-04-11 at 12.07.42 PM.png

(Source: Patriot Party Press screenshot taken on Thu April 11 16:50:33 2023 UTC)

The article claims that In-N-Out Burger, a California-based fast food company, is leaving the state after the minimum wage was raised to $20. Although the story says the company is "mulling moving out of California," the headline on the article is more definitive, saying "In-N-Out Burger Leaving California ..."

A search (archived here) of the thousands of credible news sites indexed by Google News using the keywords "in n out leaving california minimum wage hike" produced no results to substantiate this claim. The search did return multiple articles about the In-N-Out owner and president Lynsi Snyder (archived here) discussing the company's decision not to raise prices at their chains amid the California minimum wage increase, including reports by the New York Post (archived here) and the Daily Mail (archived here). She did not mention leaving California in those articles.

The article also has a quote from In-N-Out "spokesperson Joseph Barron." Joe Barron is the name of a deceased friend of the website founder Christopher Blair, who frequently uses a variation of the name in stories as an homage.

Lead Stories reached out to In-N-Out for a comment and will update the story when a response is received.


This 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":

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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  Alexis Tereszcuk

Alexis Tereszcuk is a writer and fact checker at Lead Stories and an award-winning journalist who spent over a decade breaking hard news and celebrity scoop with RadarOnline and Us Weekly.

As the Entertainment Editor, she investigated Hollywood stories and conducted interviews with A-list celebrities and reality stars.  

Alexis’ crime reporting earned her spots as a contributor on the Nancy Grace show, CNN, Fox News and Entertainment Tonight, among others.

Read more about or contact Alexis Tereszcuk

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