Blog Posts

Did Fake News Skew the Presidential Election?

Filed under: Literary Hoaxes, Media Literacy, Prank News, Pranksters

UPDATE November 9, 2017: Paul Horner, the protagonist of this story, was found dead at home on September 18, 2017, possibly from a drug overdose. investigates how his websites have disappeared in recent weeks, plus other unanswered questions.

Among the myriad of influences on the presidential election results, a prominent and pervasive force has been fake news, propagated by unscrupulous merchants seeking traffic via social media. Here’s a quasi-confession of one such voice.

Here also, from is “An Extremely Helpful List of Fake and Misleading News Sites to Watch Out For“.

Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me'
by Caitlin Dewey
Washington Post
November 17, 2016


What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they're all make-believe - and invented by the same man.

Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he's British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. "South Park" lawsuit last year.

But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump's son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner's faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.

In light of concerns that stories like Horner's may have affected the presidential election, and in the wake of announcements that both Google and Facebook would take action against deceptive outlets, Intersect called Horner to discuss his perspective on fake news. This transcript has been edited for clarity, length and - ahem - bad language. Read more

Ask The Fiddler #3: Another Space Alien in the White House?

Filed under: Satire

fiddler-75Editor’s Note: Ask The Fiddler is a lifestyle advice column that aims to remedy more chaos and confusion than it creates. Questions may be submitted to us here at Art of the Prank, and good luck.

Dear Fiddler:

Can we expect to see another space alien in the White House as a result of the forthcoming presidential election?

Randy in Utah.

Dear Randy:

Your question suggests a belief that there has already been a genuine space alien occupant and of course a study of the speech patterns and manners of the younger Bush supports that thesis.

aliens9There is also photographic evidence of endorsement of both younger Bush and Bill Clinton by visitors from “out there.”

In the campaign for the last GOP nomination, Mitt Romney referred to Newt Gingrich as “Newt Skywalker,” perhaps he knew something. But Newt is not likely to try again.

My bet at the moment would be Hillary Clinton. She says that early in life she wanted to travel in space. That might be it, a serious clue. The lady is homesick. She says that at a tender age she wrote to NASA asking the qualifications for astronaut. At the time, she was told, “No women allowed.”

Well, let them try to stop her once she”™s president.

As things stand, the field is still open, we”™ll keep you posted.

Yours truly,

The Fiddler

Remember our motto here at camp: “If you take advice from The Fiddler, you need advice.” Send comments and questions to: Art of the Prank.


The Fiddler is a creation of W.J. Elvin III