On Wednesday, reports of the death of a famous fake news writer from the 2016 presidential elections emerged. 38-year-old Paul Horner died outside of Phoenix on September 18.
Horner was known for writing false stories, and his notoriety grew when many of them went viral during the election. While his stories were extremely exaggerated and written to generate controversy, Horner claimed that many people never found out they were fake.
In an interview with the Washington Post in 2016, Horner said that he thought people who shared the stories would eventually discover that they were false. Instead, some of the reports were cited as real news.
He said, "My sites were picked up by Trump supporters all the time. I think Trump is in the White House because of me."
One of Horner's most popular stories was that a protester was getting paid $3,500. He said that President Trump's campaign manager posted the story as a fact.
Horner said, "Like, I made that up. I posted a fake ad on Craiglist."
Later, he said that while his intention was to hurt the campaign, he believes he helped it. Horner became a well-known name in fake news and continued to share satirical stories after the election ended.
Paul's brother, J.J, said that the fake news writer wanted to encourage people to think for themselves. He said that his work was about "pushing ideas that either people wanted to believe or thought was possible."
Mark Casey, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office spokesman said that the autopsy showed no sign of foul play in Horner's death. He said that the writer had a history of prescription drug abuse, however, and that the "evidence at the scene suggested this could be an accidental overdose."
The toxicology reports from the medical examiner's office are still pending, and no other information about Horner's death has been given.
Regardless of political views or difference in opinion, please be praying for Paul's brother and the rest of his family as they experienced this loss. For another breaking news story, read our latest article about the ESPN host who said "lesson learned" after calling President Trump a white supremacist.