Promoter of Pro-Trump "Fake News" Stories in 2016 Election Cycle Found Dead

President Donald Trump waves after delivering his inaugural address after being sworn in as the 45th president of the United States during the 58th Presidential Inauguration at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Friday, Jan. 20, 2017.(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

This is awful, on so many levels.

Paul Horner was very active during the 2016 election. To be specific, he was active in spreading pro-Trump, fake news on social media.


On September 18, Horner, age 38, was found dead in bed, in his Maricopa County, Arizona home, of an apparent overdose. The cause of death has yet to be finalized, however.

To be clear, Horner’s fraudulent posts were not meant to help Trump, even though they cast his opponents in a negative light and Trump as some sort of hero.

Horner gave an interview after the election that made his true intentions clear.

Horner, whose fake news stories often went viral on Facebook and Twitter, told The Intersect, a Washington Post blog, last year that Trump supporters were especially susceptible to being fooled.

“My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time,” Horner said. “I think Trump is in the White House because of me.

“His followers don’t fact-check anything — they’ll post everything, believe anything. His campaign manager posted my story about a protester getting paid $3,500 as fact. Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craigslist.”

I’ve been saying that for over a year. Trump’s supporters don’t fact check, because they don’t want to know. All they need is justification in their own minds. That’s why hoaxes like the pizza parlor child sex ring, Hillary Clinton’s “spirit cooking,” and the Seth Rich nonsense has clung so stubbornly to social media.

Present them with actual facts, attempt to have a reasonable conversation, and 9 times out of 10, they’ll scream, “FAKE NEWS!” at you and claim victory.


Never in our world’s history has ignorance been so celebrated.

Horner was clear, however, that his efforts were to make Trump supporters look bad. The problem was, it backfired. They don’t care if they look bad, because you can’t convince them that being clueless is not a virtue. They don’t even care if the news they’re picking up is true or not, as long as it supports their narrative.

Keep in mind, these are the same people who spread memes of a virile, muscular Trump, with good hair, riding a tank, with an American flag in one hand and an American Bald Eagle on his shoulder.

“I thought they’d fact-check it, and it’d make them look worse,” Horner said. “I mean, that’s how this always works: Someone posts something I write, then they find out it’s false, then they look like idiots.

“But Trump supporters — they just keep running with it! They never fact-check anything! Now he’s in the White House. Looking back, instead of hurting the campaign, I think I helped it. And that feels [bad].”

I hope Horner knew that it wasn’t just him promoting lies about who Trump was to the public. One man couldn’t do this. What he was doing as a gag, some people base entire news networks on.


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