On 9 June 2016, during an ongoing controversy involving Brock Turner’s having received a light sentence in a sexual assault case, the Newslo web site reported that Turner’s father had issued unkind words towards his son’s victim:
The Stanford sex offender who blamed his assault on an unconscious woman on the “peer pressure” of fitting in at college was sentenced to just six months in jail. But he’ll likely spend less time than that behind bars. During his brief stay behind bars, Turner will remain in protective custody, as perpetrators of sexual assault are often targeted by other inmates, according to TMZ. Turner’s father had an outrageous statement regarding the crime, saying his son’s conviction is “a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.”
And as if his comment wasn’t already flat out lunacy, Turner Senior also told media outlets that “these sort of incidents are proof of how different people are treated unequally based on the circumstances they are portrayed in.” “I was born in this country, grew up here, spent my whole life being a law-abiding citizen. And then you have children, and one of them makes a slight mistake and gets sentenced to months in jail, while the slut that tricked him gets away completely free. This is just incredible.”
“I know women are the weaker sex and all that, and I completely understand they should be treated a bit differently in certain situations, but come on. Being a slut isn’t a crime yet, even though I think it should be. Tricking young, perspective athletes who are the future of this country by staging rape should be punishable by law. I mean, that girl ought to be given an Academy Award for her performance, seriously,” he added.
“Does anyone here have Steven Spielberg’s phone number?” Turner’s father asked members of the press. “Or maybe Angelina Jolie, I hear she’s also trying out as a director? Maybe Mel Gibson, he’s been through a lot and is always on the lookout for crazy, new talent? No? Too bad. Because I think that girl definitely deserves a shot at Hollywood, she was that good. I’ve heard of faking orgasms, but faking a rape? She’s something else. Great things await that girl in the future, if not in Hollywood, then she could always do porn. I mean, she’s obviously a natural.”
The article wasn’t widely circulated until Turner was released from jail (after serving only three months) in early September 2016. Its first paragraph referenced a letter written by Turner’s father that proved controversial during the trial, holding that Brock’s sentence was a “steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action out of his 20 plus years of life.” But as with all articles published by Newslo (as well as related sites sites Religionlo and Politicalo), the item used a factual introduction before introducing believable untruths. All articles on those three fake news sites featured a “show facts” or “hide facts” button (though all items displayed by default in “hide facts” mode, obfuscating subsequent fabrications to new readers):
Although Turner’s father did write a letter in mid-2016 which included the “steep price” line, he did not say “[b]eing a slut isn’t a crime yet, even though I think it should be, “[t]ricking young, perspective athletes who are the future of this country by staging rape should be punishable by law, or “that girl ought to be given an Academy Award for her performance, seriously.”
Newslo, Politicalo, and Religionlo articles almost always follow a format comprised of one paragraph containing true information and a balance of embellishments upon the truthful fraction. Previously, those sites spread falsehoods holding Chris Christie said a female version of Viagra would lead to increased “lesbianism” and voted down a gender pay parity bill for religious reasons, an Alabama politician proposed saliva-based “hunger tests” for food stamp recipients, Ted Cruz said the death of Antonin Scalia was suspiciously timed, Pat Robertson stated David Bowie was still alive after his death, and Mike Pence opined that if abortion was allowed in instances of rape that women would attempt to “get raped” in order to obtain an abortion. As with those articles, the item took Turner’s father’s letter and appended a balance of falsified statements.