There is a fake story being passed around social media, with the headline that reads, “Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush Dies.” However, the article is a fake news report. As seen in the above photo, the last prominent time President George H.W. Bush and his wife Barbara Bush were seen in public was when the couple arrived at Super Bowl 51 for the coin toss in Houston, Texas, on Sunday, February 5.
The heated game between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots at NRG Stadium brought plenty of attention to the former president, and perhaps that’s the reason President George H. W.Bush was the subject of the latest fake news report. The article claimed that Mr. Bush died on Saturday, February 11. The fake news went on to claim that the cause of death was from a heart attack, according to “America’s Public broadcaster.”
The article has been debunked for a number of reasons. No valid news reports in Google News listed Mr. Bush as dead. Also, the fake news article claimed that Mr. Bush was 93 years of age — however, with a birthdate of June 12, 1924, President Bush is actually 92 years of age. The false reports also cited another unknown source — “PCTV channel 26” — as the source of the death report. The fake publication claimed that “PCTV” placed a black banner in their broadcast corner — and that people had sent condolences on Twitter, like from President Trump. But Mr. Trump’s Twitter account has not mentioned any death of President Bush.
The fake news article went on to call President George H. W. Bush an intelligent person, and went into depth about distinguishing the older Bush from his younger presidential progeny.
“‘He was one of the most intelligent people to ever enter American politics. His alliances changed and shifted as he went along, which is not to say he was unprincipled. He was just very good at politics,’ said Mohammad Marandi, an Associate Professor of North American Studies at Tehran University. Bush was the 41st President of the United States from 1989 to 1993 and the 43rd Vice President of the United States from 1981 to 1989. A member of the U.S. Republican Party, he was previously a congressman, ambassador, and Director of Central Intelligence. Since 2000, Bush has often been referred to as ‘George H. W. Bush, Bush 41, Bush the Elder’, or ‘George Bush Senior’ to distinguish him from his eldest son, George W. Bush, who became the 43rd President of the United States. Prior to his son’s presidency, he was simply referred to as George Bush or President Bush.”
According to the below trend graph from Trendolizer, the article has gained nearly 5,000 likes on Facebook since it was published. Whereas some people on Twitter and Facebook immediately recognize the article as fake news, others are spreading it around with words that confirm they believe President George H. W. Bush has really died.
So George H. W. Bush died yesterday? pic.twitter.com/eh6c3sW1BT— XOTWOD❤️ (@lite__brite__) February 13, 2017
A search on Facebook for the term “Fox News Bush dies” turns up a website masquerading as Fox News, with the fox-channel.com URL showing a report titled “Breaking! Former US President George H. W.Bush Dies” with more than 10,000 Facebook shares. However, the fox-channel.com URL redirects to a website called “States TV” with the URL states-tv.com/former-us-president-george-h-w-bush-dies, where the fake story can be found.
That’s why some people on social media think the report originated with Fox News, but the real Fox News Twitter feeds and website mentions nothing about the senior Bush dying. However, some people on social media are tagging the Fox News Twitter account and asking if Mr. Bush has died.
[Featured Image by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]