On 30 September 2018, the same day a real act of vandalism connected to sexual assault accusations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was reported at the Republican Party headquarters in Rockford, Illinois, false reports emerged saying Kavanaugh’s family home had also been vandalized.
The reports, published on the websites America’s Last Line of Defense (Trumpbetrayed.us) and abcnews.live, and shared widely on social media, said “left-wing protesters” caused at least $11,000 in damage to the residence:
The family home of Judge Brett Kavanaugh was a scene right out of a frat party gone wrong yesterday, as over 200 left-wing protesters, many wearing masks, shouted profane slogans, waved signs, and threw calendars, bricks, and bottles at the property. Kavanaugh himself was not in the residence, as he is currently in Washington for a symposium on anger management. His wife and children vacated the premisis [sic] and are currently housed in an unknown location for their own safety.
The Judge’s home, located at 1512 Whiteman [sic] Street in Mayo Lake, PA, was deluged early in the morning, at the 9:00 hour, as the protesters arrived by van and poured out onto the sidewalk and lawn areas. Neighbors and witnesses reported screaming and loud “jungle drum-like” noises and local police were notified. Officers were shown protest permits, most signed by Diane Fienstien [sic] and Kamala Harris, and chose to remain at the scene in a public-safety capacity. No charges were filed, and the authorities left the area by noon. It was then that the crowd became riotous, and caused upwards of $11,000 worth of damage.
The articles included a photograph allegedly taken by Kavanaugh’s neighbors:
All the image shows is two individuals erasing graffiti from the garage door of a house, however. It pictures no mob of 200 mask-wearing protesters, nor any sign of thrown bricks or bottles, or any other visible evidence of vandalism.
As well, no such incident was reported by reliable news sources, including ABC News, despite their logo’s appearance above the article published on abcnews.live.
The reason the supposed incident wasn’t mentioned anywhere else is that it was completely fabricated. The Kavanaugh family doesn’t live on “Whiteman Street” in Mayo Lake, Pennsylvania — in fact, there’s no such place as Mayo Lake, Pennsylvania.
The image dates from 2016 and originally accompanied an article in the Hamilton Spectator (of Ontario, Canada) concerning an act of vandalism prompted by a neighborhood dispute over the cutting down of a tree.
America’s Last Line of Defense (LLOD) is a network of junk news websites and social media accounts that peddles fabricated, politically divisive content under the guise of “satire.” A disclaimer on the site reads:
Everything on this website is fiction. It is not a lie and it is not fake news because it is not real. If you believe that it is real, you should have your head examined. Any similarities between this site’s pure fantasy and actual people, places and events are purely coincidental and all images should be considered altered and satirical.
Abcnews.live is a spoof website attempting to earn clicks and ad revenue off the name and reputation of ABC News. Its content appears to consist mostly, if not entirely, of material republished from America’s Last Line of Defense.
Paddon, Natalie. “Ancaster Home Vandalized After City-Owned Tree Chopped Down.”
The Hamilton Spectator. 29 July 2016.
WREX News. “Winnebago County GOP Headquarters Vandalized Overnight.”
30 September 2018.