Rush Limbaugh and a host of other right-wing "news" websites have a breaking story — brought to you by a Twitter troll.
Jim Hoft, the right-wing blogger behind the popular conservative website Gateway Pundit, published a story on Monday claiming that a postal worker in Ohio bragged about destroying absentee ballots that voted for Donald Trump.
There's a problem: That supposed postal worker is @Randygdub, a well-known Twitter comedian.
If Hoft had looked at any of @Randygdub's previous sarcastic tweets, it would have been instantly clear that his comment was a joke.
Randy also lists a location on his Twitter profile; it says he is in California, not Ohio.
Hoft, a top candidate for the stupidest man on the internet, was not the only right-wing website to run with the fake story. Popular conservative aggregation site Drudge Report also shared it.
Drudge Report, one of the most popular sites on the internet, put the fake story at the top of its page.
— raandy (@randygdub) October 17, 2016
Even conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh fell for the obvious joke.
So too did the right-wing website The Inquisitr, along with other reactionary hubs like Free Republic and Proud Conservative.
After publication, Gateway Pundit subsequently updated his post, writing, "So the left says this story is a joke. Because stealing elections is funny."
"So will authorities follow up on this?" Hoft asked in anger. And they indeed did.
The U.S. Postal Service's help desk in fact tweeted that it investigated, and does not believe the comments by the well-known Twitter troll were serious.
The help desk wrote, “The Postal Service has completed an initial investigation of the mentioned tweets and does not believe these tweets were made by a postal employee. However, the Postal Service will continue to monitor this situation and if it is determined that the individual making the tweets is a postal employee and there is substantiated evidence of mail being tampered with or destroyed, then the Postal Service will take appropriate corrective action to address the situation.”
Randy, meanwhile, is continuing his trolling — and enjoying it.