Fact Check

Did Trump Demand Billie Holiday Change Name to 'Billie Christmas'?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

Published Dec 18, 2019

NEW YORK - DECEMBER 1957:  Singer Billie Holiday records her penultimate album 'Lady in Satin at the Columbia Records studio in December 1957 in New York City, New York.  (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images) (Getty Images/Stock photo)
Image Via Getty Images/Stock photo
Claim:
U.S. President Donald Trump demanded that jazz singer Billie Holiday posthumously change her name to Billie Christmas.

On Dec. 15, 2016, The Hard Times published an article positing that U.S. President Donald Trump had demanded that singer Billie Holiday posthumously change her name to "Billie Christmas":

Donald Trump Demands Billie Holiday Change Name to “Billie Christmas”

President Donald Trump announced his intention to end what he perceives as the “liberal elite War on Christmas” by demanding that singer-songwriter Billie Holiday posthumously change her name to “Billie Christmas.”

“Every time I walk into a record store, I ask these loser clerks where I can find my favorite Billie Christmas albums — and these Hollywood liberals, they look at me like I’m a monster,” said Trump to throngs of supporters. “That’s why I will sign a presidential order to demand Billie change her last name to ‘Christmas’ once and for all.”

This item was not a factual recounting of real-life events. While The Hard Times disclaimer is a bit tongue in cheek, the site clearly states in its About Us page that it is a satire site (emphasis ours):

The Hard Times is a very real punk news site that you should not question. Just absorb the information as truth and move on. The historic satire site was founded in December 1976. It’s made by a group of punk and hardcore kids from all the different sub-genres of the DIY hardcore scene. Any resemblance to actual persons or band names is coincidental.

This piece of satire is commenting on the "War on Christmas." While readers may think that this holiday "war" is a modern invention, it can actually be traced back to at least the 1920s. You can read more about the history of the War on Christmas here

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.

Sources

The Hard Times.   "Donald Trump Demands Billie Holiday Change Name to 'Billie Christmas.'"     15 December 2016.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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