Fact Check

No, Biden's Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack Wasn't Arrested

An alternate universe exists on the pages of Real Raw News.

Published May 2, 2022

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack speaks to reporters Wednesday, September 8, 2021, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Erin Scott) (Flickr / White House)
Image Via Flickr / White House
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack was arrested by the military in April 2022.

Fact Check

The pages of Real Raw News are full of stories that seem to come from an alternate universe. This website, which states in a disclaimer that it publishes satire, is full of fictional articles that play into far-right fantasies of liberal politicians and Hollywood celebrities being arrested and/or hung for a variety of alleged crimes. For example, Real Raw News has previously published junk news stories claiming that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor had been arrested and that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had been hung at Guantanamo Bay.

In April 2022, Real Raw News published another fantastically false piece of fiction, this time claiming that U.S. President Joe Biden's secretary of agriculture, Tom Vilsack, had been arrested for deliberately destroying agriculture food processing facilities in order to create a food shortage.

This fictional article plays on the conspiratorial notion that a supposed uptick in fires at food processing plants in the United States in spring 2022 was part of a deliberate effort to create a food shortage. We took a deeper look at this rumor and found that the number of fires was not unusual, the causes of the fires were not suspicious, and the damage caused by the fires was minimal.

Real Raw News publishes fictitious articles that build upon conspiracy theories. The website states in its disclaimer that it is an "entertainment" site that publishes "humor, parody, and satire." In other words, Real Raw News does not publish genuine news stories.


Military Arrests Biden’s Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack | Real Raw News. https://realrawnews.com/2022/04/military-arrests-bidens-sec-of-agriculture-tom-vilsack/#. Accessed 2 May 2022.

“PolitiFact - No, Hillary Clinton Wasn’t Hanged at Guantanamo Bay.” Politifact, https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2021/apr/28/blog-posting/no-hillary-clinton-wasnt-hanged-guantanamo-bay/. Accessed 2 May 2022.

“PolitiFact Investigation: A Look behind Real Raw News’ Sensational (and Fabricated) Headlines.” Poynter, 27 Sept. 2021, https://www.poynter.org/fact-checking/2021/a-look-behind-real-raw-news-sensational-and-fabricated-headlines/.

“U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack to Address the 2022 UMN Crookston Graduating Class.” University of Minnesota Crookston, 26 Apr. 2022, https://crk.umn.edu/news/vilsack-usda.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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