A writer who became notorious for peddling “fake news” during the 2016 US election campaign has died at 38.
Paul Horner was found dead in his bed in Laveen, Arizona, on 18 September, after a suspected drug overdose, officials said.
Horner, who published fraudulent articles on Facebook and websites he set up, claimed he was the reason Donald Trump was elected in November.
According to Christian News Alert:
In an interview with the Washington Post, Horner claimed that his “fake news” stories influenced President Trump’s campaign, especially since most Trump supporters didn’t fact-check his hoaxes.
Horner’s brother J.J. said that his brother’s work was “satire” and played upon people’s vulnerabilities.
“So I think that was a lot of the genius behind a lot of his work was pushing ideas that either people wanted to believe or thought was possible,” J.J. said.
Two of Horner’s more famous stories were his posts about President Barack Obama being a radical Muslim and stories about paid protestors at Trump’s campaign rallies.
During the election, Horner created a series of websites that all pushed questionable information. Horner told many media outlets that his “trolling” put Donald Trump in the White House.
In the immediate aftermath of the election, the Clinton campaign latched onto this idea and began pushing the narrative that “fake news” had won the day. CNN and MSNBC ran with the “fake news” hysteria until President Trump started labelling them as “fake news.”
Police officials with Maricopa County have so far ruled out foul play, and have claimed that “accidental overdose” may be the reason why Horner expired.
Horner’s death has all the makings of a tragic accident. Earlier this year, the death of GOP strategist Peter W. Smith, who went public about his attempts to retrieve Hillary Clinton’s missing emails from Russian hackers, also raised a few eyebrows until police stated that he committed suicide.
The 2016 murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich has also raised the specter of political assassination, especially since plenty of circumstantial evidence points to the fact that Seth Rich was the DNC leaker to WikiLeaks. However, a group of forensic-psychology graduate students and instructors at George Washington University have concluded that Rich was murdered by a serial killer.
Of course, the most famous Clinton-connected suicide is the death of deputy White House counsel Vince Foster. For decades, many have accused Clinton and her associates of covering up the fact that Foster may have been murdered in order to keep him quiet about the Whitewater scandal. All investigations into the matter have concluded that Foster committed suicide.
These deaths will only serve to fuel suspicions that Hillary Clinton and her powerful backers have a relentless will to dominate that has no time for virtue, morality, or the other qualities that keep most people from constantly stepping all over each other.
The death of Mr. Horner should also be a wake-up call to Trump supporters: yes, there is “fake news” out there, and it would behoove all thinking people to question and fact-check before blindly accepting something as true.
“I think he just wanted people to just think for themselves and be credible for their actions,” J.J. Horner said. “Read more; get more involved instead of just blindly sharing things.”