PHOENIX, Ariz. — As the president continues to call out “fake news” this week, one Phoenix writer says he’s proud of his made-up stories that he claims put Donald Trump in the White House.
Paul Horner, who’s been writing so-called “fake news” for the past six years, said Wednesday that his stories are no more misleading that the mainstream media.
“It’s an agenda. I think everything out there has an agenda and everything is fake news,” Horner said.
He says all of his stories include disclaimers at the bottom of the story, letting readers know it is fake.
During the presidential campaign, Horner authored numerous stories that he describes as satire, but tens of thousands of people believed they were legitimate.
This includes the president’s son, Eric Trump, who retweeted one of Horner’s fictions about protesters getting paid to demonstrate against his father.
“I don’t think my stories are anything like yelling fire in a crowded theater. I don’t think they’re anything like that. I’m proud of everything I write. I like the humor and satire,” Horner said.
Horner also says he has no regrets with what he’s written, even as many now worry that the rise of fake news makes it harder to separate fact from fiction.
“There (are) no things that weigh heavy on my conscience,” Horner said.
UPDATE, Feb. 23, 2017: The Phoenix-based writer says he “regrets” making the comment that he helped Donald Trump win the election.
He released this statement to PIX11 News:
“I truly regret my comment about saying that I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me. I know all I did was attack him and his supporters and got people not to vote for him. When I said that comment it was because I was confused how this evil got elected President and I thought maybe instead of hurting his campaign, maybe I had helped it. My intention was to get his supporters NOT to vote for him and I know for a fact that I accomplished that goal. The far right, a lot of the Bible thumpers and alt right were going to vote him regardless, but I know I swayed so many that were on the fence.”