Rostra April Fools’ post labeled “Pants on Fire!” by POLITIFACT

Barry Jantz Barry Jantz 1 Comment


Consider a few of us very proud today.  The following ran on POLITIFACT. Seriously. At least they take a humorous approach to humor. Thanks to Elisa Brent for the heads up!

No, the Mueller report wasn’t leaked

The Mueller report wasn’t leaked on April Fools’ Day.

If often feels like April Fools’ Day here at PolitiFact, where we fact-check lots of Facebook posts that fabricate quotes or peddle fake news. Today is no different. A new post we first saw on April 1 has people questioning whether special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation was leaked.

“CBS, CNN report that full Mueller report has been leaked,” reads the text of the post accompanying an image of what looks like the first page of an official federal document, complete with a Department of Justice seal, and the title: “Report from the Special Counsel Investigation into Russian Interference During and Before the 2016 Presidential Election.”

The post, which was published on the Facebook page San Diego Rostra on April 1, was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

We couldn’t find any coverage of a report leak on CBS or CNN’s websites. But following a link from the Facebook post leads to a story on the website San Diego Rostra, where the site’s authors and outside contributors publish their opinions.

The story, written by the a website administrator under the name “Thor’s Assistant,” provides a link to the report that it says “an anonymous source uploaded.”

Anyone hoping for details about Mueller’s thoughts on allegations that President Donald Trump obstructed justice will be disappointed. The “report” makes no mention of the obstruction, Russia or even Trump. Instead, you’ll find the lyrics to “All Star,” a 1999 song by the band Smash Mouth.

We’ll let lead vocalist Steve Harwell sing us out.

“Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me

I ain’t the sharpest tool in the shed

She was looking kind of dumb with her finger and her thumb

In the shape of an “L” on her forehead”

We rate this post Pants on Fire!


Really. Here’s the link to the POLITIFACT story.


Comments 1

  1. It was an honor to fall for the leaked report on April Fool’s Day. My husband and I got a big laugh out of it. Great stary to a Monday morning! I shared the post yesterday after getting fooled and apparently one of my friends flagged the foolish post. FALSE FLAG! I received a notification from Facebook with Politifact’s determination on the post as being Pants On Fire. I have since reported the false flag to Facebook. So glad to help boost your media presence. #winning

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