Paul Horner has died at the age of 38. However, because the famous fake-news writer gained fame for crafting hoaxes, folks weren’t sure if Paul was trying to fool his readers about his own death. According to AZ Central, Horner had really died, with the writer losing his life in Phoenix on September 18. Horner gained fame by creating fake articles that spread like wildfire on Facebook and brought Paul $10,000 per day in Google AdSense earnings, as reported by the Inquisitr.
One of Paul’s most famous articles was titled “Donald Trump Protester Speaks Out: ‘I Was Paid $3,500 To Protest Trump’s Rally.” According to Snopes, the article wasn’t true. As reported by Refinery 29, Horner believed that his articles like “Obama Signs Executive Order Declaring Investigation Into Election Results; Revote Planned For Dec. 19th,” and “Gay Wedding Mobile Vans Cashing In On The Legalization Of Gay Marriage” helped Trump win the presidency, which was something that Paul didn’t want to happen.
As reported by The Washington Post, Horner wasn’t a fan of Trump, and he created the fake articles in order to make Trump fans “look like idiots” once they fact-checked the incorrect articles he published. Instead, Horner discovered that he didn’t hurt Trump’s campaign but inadvertently helped the campaign. Paul used slight variations of real news website names, like CNN and ABC News, in order to dupe some readers into thinking Jimmy Rustling was a real reporter. Horner crafted the pieces from his Phoenix apartment.
Horner believed his fictitious news stories had the moral purpose of targeting the things that Paul disliked in society. Horner’s death is the subject of an investigation, and police have not ruled out foul play, even though JJ Horner, Paul’s brother, said he died peacefully in his sleep.
Paul used a pattern in his fake stories that usually featured a famous person with a real image and a lede that seemed credible. Horner had some of his articles cited as fact by new organizations that were fooled by his creative writing. One of those folks was Corey Lewandowski, the former campaign manager for President Trump, who sent out a tweet about the fake paid protesters.
Horner found a lucrative business in writing fake news, with reports that he made anywhere up to $18,500 per month for his writings, or $10,000 per day during certain hot times. Horner also had a history as a talented kid who grew into a political activist, but he also had a history of drug problems. AZ Central reports that Paul was arrested in 2011 with $15,000 in drugs on him. However, Horner was also praised for how much he gave back to society by running a popular program that distributed socks to homeless people. Now, JJ’s Facebook page is collecting plenty of comments about the life of Paul.
[Featured Image by Raphael Satter/AP Images]