Claim: Steve Burns of Blue’s Clues was killed in a car accident.
Origins: On 1 November 2015, the “MSMBC News” web site published a “news” video and article positing that entertainer Steve Burns, best known as the original host of the long-running children’s television program Blue’s Clues from 1995 to 2002, had been killed in an automobile accident:
Steve Burns, 42, was killed in a one-car crash in Pennsylvania, a local coroner said.
Burns was pronounced dead at 7:11 p.m. Friday at The Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Reading, Berks County Coroner Randall Wiseman told The Associated Press.
Burns, best known as the original host of the long-running children’s television program Blue’s Clues, suffered severe head trauma and internal injuries after he wrecked a 2014 Dodge Challenger near the community of Shillington.
Within hours many readers were circulating references and links to the article via social media as if it were a genuine news report. However, there was no truth to the story: “MSMBC News,” hosted at msmbc.co is a fake news site that plays upon its deliberate similarity to the legitimate MSNBC news organization and domain (msnbc.com) to lure readers into believing and spreading their fictitious, clickbait stories.
This particular fake story echoed a long-running urban legend holding that Steve Burns died of a heroin overdose.
Last updated: 1 November 2015
Originally published: 1 November 2015