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Disinformation as Art

The website pretends to be a conservative website, but its stories are all made up. In fact, the creator of this site Marco Chacon has elevated to a high art his goal of seeing how outrageous and unbelievable he can make a story, and still fool people.

He has written up fake transcripts of Clinton speeches to Wall Street. In the transcript, Clinton is explaining to the Goldman Sachs board of directors that Bronies are going to take over the election. If anyone reading the transcript looks up what a Bronie is, they would (hilariously) learn that Bronies are adult male hard-core fans of “My Little Pony”. In the middle of talking about Bronies, the transcript also had Hillary Clinton saying “bucket of losers”. Conservative sites were completely fooled and picked up the quote. Fox News reported that Clinton had “apparently called Bernie Sanders supporters a ‘bucket of losers.’”

Ironically, Chacon is a moderate Republican (and a veteran and bank executive to boot!). He just got tired of seeing conservative websites posting obviously false stories. One day a few months ago, he saw a story headlined “Obama Issues Executive Order to Take Over U.S.” and asked “How do you counter that? You can try to debunk it, but nobody cares about that. They just say it’s liberal media bias.”

Instead, he decided to make fun of it by making up the most ludicrous right-wing conspiracy theories he could think of, but making them look real. His made up stories have succeeded beyond his wildest dreams:

They’ve appeared on cable news. They’ve trended on Facebook and Twitter. Two polling companies, barraged with hatemail from Trump supporters about “leaked” memos created for RealTrueNews articles, have had to put out official statements denying the existence of such memos. Chacon’s stories are regularly accepted as fact in the pro-Trump message board canon. YouTube videos with tens of thousands of views exist solely to reinforce sentences and ideas Chacon dreamed up on his laptop in the middle of the night.

This article has a bunch of funny stories of people and news organizations that were fooled (including Donald Trump). Which are even funnier when you realize that the stories quote fictional characters, refer to countries that don’t exist, and generally are obviously false.



  1. Mountain Man wrote:

    I wish I could see the humor here. The problem is that the ultra right wing doesn’t even get that this stuff is a “joke.” They take it at face value and they’re off and away. They foam at the mouth about stuff that’s intended to be darkly funny. That’s when “funny” isn’t “funny” anymore. We seem to be dealing with people who are prepared to believe and pass on anything that’s suits their limited world view. Not a formula for anything good. Certainly not a laughing matter.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 7:26 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    I guess it depends on whether you thought Stephen Colbert’s conservative personna was funny. I did.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:39 am | Permalink
  3. Ralph wrote:

    These are many of the same geniuses that believed The Colbert Report was a serious conservative show back then. It wouldn’t surprise me if they also took The Borowitz Report seriously. Actually, some of his satire was indeed taken as real and distributed by a number of Chinese and North Korean news outlets, so there’s no monopoly on gullible.

    This election is as much a national IQ test as anything. It’s already exposed much of the religious right as hypocritical. Your post on Dobson the other day is Exhibit A.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:51 am | Permalink
  4. Ralph wrote:

    Ha, you scooped me again!

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  5. Wildwood wrote:

    Seeing someone do that on TV is a bit different than the written word.

    I agree with Mountain Man that this has done damage. Colbert I don’t think did. The written word is easier to take out of context, twist in your own mind to read what you want to see, and easier to disseminate over and over until it becomes “fact”.

    As to Borowitz, I have a cousin who I have had to tell at least twice that he is a satirist and comic when she chides me for my choice of reposts on FB.
    She remembers for a while that he is a satirist and then a couple months go by and that thought eludes her. We are both getting a little doty.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 12:22 pm | Permalink
  6. paradoctor wrote:

    The Bronies _aren’t_ going to take over? Rainbow Dash will be so disappointed.

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 2:40 pm | Permalink
  7. Redjon wrote:

    We’re going to build a wall!

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 5:32 pm | Permalink