Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, an ally of President Donald Trump, has been fired, a misleading clickbait headline suggested.
"Breaking: Mike Huckabee just fired!" said a June 11 headline on Red State Wave, a conservative website.
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"Only thing sadder than De Niro's vile rant is that high-toned elite snobs at the event gave him a standing O. Were U raised by wolves? Your hate and contempt works in H'wood, NY & DC, but in the land of ‘God, Guns, Grits & Gravy’ ppl pray for you to get over your bitterness," Huckabee tweeted June 11.
He followed up with a more comical rebuttal of De Niro in a second tweet:
"I just called Robert De Niro and told him that he's out of my ‘circle of trust.’ He cried like a 6 year old who didn't get cake at the birthday party and begged to get back in. http://No.Can.DO ."
Huckabee linked to a scene in the movie Meet the Parents in which De Niro, a retired CIA officer, tells his future son-in-law, played by Ben Stiller, he is now in the "circle of trust."
Huckabee ran for the GOP presidential nomination in 2016 but later endorsed Trump. He is now the host of "Huckabee" on TBN and a Fox News contributor. His daughter Sarah Huckabee Sanders is Trump’s press secretary.
The Red State Wave article about Huckabee was written by an unnamed "MAGA student," a reference to Trump’s 2016 campaign slogan "Make America Great Again." A disclaimer states that redstatewave.com is a "passive service for storage and dissemination of the works that redstatewave.com members may choose to post and distribute."
Red State Wave has used similar clickbait language before when it wrote in a misleading headline that Fox News’ Laura Ingraham was "fired," when she actually fired off at Democrats.
A headline said "Breaking: Mike Huckabee just fired!" Huckabee wasn’t fired -- he fired off at De Niro. We rate this statement Pants on Fire.
After the Fact
Red State Wave says it will stop misleading use of "fired" in headlines
Added on June 20, 2018, 1:33 p.m.
After our fact-check appeared, Red State Wave responded to our Facebook message.
"When one of guys did that title, the whole title should have been ‘Mike Huckabee Just fired a shot!’ ‘Fired off’ would’ve been a better title. Sometimes (our) titles can be a bit baity, but it was just a play on words. We have directed our people to stop using that as a title."