A viral article states that Regis Philbin, who passed away at the age of 88 on July 24, left $20 million to Donald Trump’s campaign. Philbin and Trump have been friendly in the past and the president took to Twitter to eulogize his passing, leading some to believe the article could be accurate. The article has been viewed 4 million times and shared more than 20,000 times since it was published. However, the article is a satirical piece designed to go viral.
The piece is tagged as “Silly Tater Satire” and was published by a website named America's Last Line of Defense: Satire for Your Confirmation Bias. The website’s about page explains that its goal is to trick readers who don’t read past the headline of articles into sharing their satirical pieces. “Our mission is to do our best to show them the light, through shame if necessary, and to have a good time doing it,” it says on the about page. The website targets conservatives specifically, publishing articles with straightforward headlines that tie into topical cultural conversations and controversies.
Recent examples of America’s Last Line of Defense’s work include articles like “Trump Signs Law Removing Lifetime Benefits from Congress,” “Tom Brady: ‘If Anyone on My Team Kneels, I Quit,’” and “Epstein Accomplice, Ghislaine Maxwell, Found Dead of Apparent Suicide in Prison.” Articles from America’s Last Line of Defense have gone viral in the past, and many have been re-shared by websites that are not satirical, leading to stories that originate with the site to be confused for real news stories elsewhere.