Stand up for facts and support PolitiFact.

Now is your chance to go on the record as supporting trusted, factual information by joining PolitiFact’s Truth Squad. Contributions or gifts to PolitiFact, which is part of the 501(c)(3) nonprofit Poynter Institute, are tax deductible.

More Info

I would like to contribute

By Kyra Haas September 12, 2018

New York Times anonymous op-ed author isn’t a liberal troll

We still don’t know who wrote the anonymous New York Times op-ed, but we do know it wasn’t Art Tubolls — an anagram for "Busta Troll" and a regular fictitious character on a popular false news blog.

On Sept. 5, the New York Times Opinion desk published the op-ed, authored by an unnamed top official in the Trump administration. The author says he or she is one of many top officials "working diligently from within to frustrate parts of (Trump’s) agenda and his worst inclinations."

People inside and outside the White House continue to speculate on the writer’s identity, and some bloggers have jumped on the opportunity to spread misinformation. One example comes from TheLibertyNews.us with this headline: "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled."

This story 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.)

The story was copied word-for-word from one of America’s Last Line of Defense websites, and it attributes the op-ed to Art Tubolls, "an infamous liberal troll on the Soros payroll." Art Tubolls’ anagram Busta Troll is a pen name for Christopher Blair — the man who runs those sites, which are among the biggest sources of false news online.

Featured Fact-check

In addition to the fake author, the false article quotes a fake source: "senior editor John Pragerski." The New York Times does not have an editor with that name.

While the America’s Last Line of Defense websites call themselves satire, TheLibertyNews.us did not include a disclaimer on its home page or on the story.

We’ve fact-checked other stories featuring Art Tubolls — recently he’s appeared as Michael Jordan’s spokesman and as the CEO of Comedy Central. He’s neither, and he’s not the author of the op-ed, either.

We rate this claim Pants on Fire!

Share the Facts
1
1
7
PolitiFact rating logo PolitiFact Rating:
Pants on Fire
"White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled"
in a blog post
Friday, September 7, 2018

Our Sources

TheLibertyNews.us, "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled," Sept. 7, 2018

America’s Last Line of Defense, "BREAKING: White House ‘Resistance’ mole a fake – NY Times admits they were trolled," Sept. 7, 2018

America’s Last Line of Defense, "About," accessed Sept. 12, 2018

New York Times, "I am part of the resistance inside the Trump administration," Sept. 5, 2018

PolitiFact, "If you're fooled by fake news, this man probably wrote it," May 31, 2017

PolitiFact, "Michael Jordan isn’t parting ways with Nike," Sept. 6, 2018

PolitiFact, "No, Michelle Wolf wasn't fired after making fun of Sarah Huckabee Sanders," May 4, 2018

The New York Times, masthead, accessed Sept. 12, 2018

Browse the Truth-O-Meter

More by Kyra Haas

New York Times anonymous op-ed author isn’t a liberal troll

Support independent fact-checking.
Become a member!

In a world of wild talk and fake news, help us stand up for the facts.

Sign me up