TV celebrity Regis Philbin didn’t leave $20 million to support the election of current US President Donald Trump. The news of leaving money in the form of a donation to Trump after his death is completely false. There’s no proof of the same.
The story originated from a liberal satire website called America’s Last Line of Defense on July 28, 2020. The article is titled “Regis Left $20 Million to Trump Campaign.” The site kinda tries to mislead Trump supporters and Republicans into sharing made-up stories. However, if you click on any of them, you will find them tagged as satire only.
Foreign-run fake news websites generally copy articles from the above-mentioned satire news website. It helps them get visitors/views and as a result website operators earn revenue with the content.
The content on the original satire website opens as:
“There are not many people in Hollywood who are worthy of our respect or admiration, but there are a few. Regis Philbin was one of those few.
Philbin passed away at the ripe age of 88. He leaves behind a legacy of an enormously successful career in film and television. His moments on the screen filled many with joy, his humor is always on point, never crass. He was always a gentleman just like President Trump.
He was also a lifelong conservative and republican, one of the few who was open about this in Hollywood and still managed to maintain a prominent role in the industry. He was proud of this and attributed it to his threats of lawsuits were he to be blacklisted as so many of his fellow conservatives in Hollywood have been.”
It was published under the category named “Silly Tater Satire” with many disclaimers regarding the satire. However, it’s true that Regis Philbin did pass away as a result of heart attack due to Coronary Artery Disease. He was to turn 89 in just a month. The truth about donation is that Philbin had donated to both Republican and Democrat campaigns in the past as per FEC.
The website that published the satire article is run by self-professed liberal troll Christopher Blair from Maine along with some friends and allies. It is not the only web property that he owns and runs. He has a network of sites and Facebook pages with satire disclaimers.
Their main purpose is to trigger especially Republicans, conservatives, and evangelical Christians by publishing made-up stories. Generally, people don’t read the whole story and start sharing and commenting on just reading the headlines.
In just a few hours after publishing the story, it was shared in around 61 Facebook groups and pages. After 24 hours, it has registered over 560k impressions as per the report of social media monitoring tool CrowdTangle.
All the sites of the above network has an about page that says:
Before you complain and decide satire is synonymous with “comedy”:
The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
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. See above if you’re still having an issue with that satire thing.
There are some real fake news websites that copy the article but forget to put the satire disclaimer that these stories are nothing but a fake. One persistent and worthy mentioning name is Pakistan’s Kashif Shahzad Khokhar aka DashiKashi. He runs such a network and has already spammed hundreds of such stolen stories into conservative and right-wing Facebook pages and makes money with the ad revenue.
When fact-checking sites analyze such stories, they and other people who enjoyed reading those stories get mad at the fact-checkers instead of appreciating them. They don’t usually redirect their anger at the spammers or the liberal satire writers. A “thank you” is enough and much appreciated.
There is a company employing trained journalists to rank the reliability of websites. It is called NewsGuard and describes americaslastlineofdefense.com as:
A network of sites that publish false stories and hoaxes that are often mistaken for real news, run by hoax perpetrator Christopher Blair.
NewsGuard says that the site doesn’t maintain basic standards of accuracy and accountability. You can check their full assessment here.
Regis Philbin Death: Cause & Reason
Per the reports, Philbin died of a heart attack on July 24, 2020. He had been battling heart diseases for many years. He was 88 years old when he passed away, and would have turned 89 in just a month.
Regis Philbin Net Worth
Regis Philbin has an estimated net worth of around $150 million. In 2004, Philbin recorded a Guinness World Record for Most Hours on US television. In his entire lifetime, the TV celebrity had earned being a television talk show/game show host, actor, singer, and author.
According to TMZ, before retiring from the Live!, Philbin was earning $18 million to $20 million per year. Regis was awarded seven Daytime Emmys as well as other awards and honors.