On October 24 2022, an Imgur account shared what looked like a screenshot of an attention-grabbing, somewhat grammatically incorrect headline (“Pornstar Brandon Cummings, From The Famous ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Series Of Male On Male Porn, Has Been Arrested After Beating Up 35 Neo-Nazi’s”):
On the same day, very similar posts about “pornstar Brandon Cummings” were shared to Reddit’s r/HolUp and r/WhitePeopleTwitter. Of the two, the latter included a screenshot of a tweet about the headline:
A tweet attributed to Twitter user @UrbanNathalia appeared in that screenshot, and a search for “pornstar Brandon Cummings” returned a link to a matching tweet. That tweet was deleted, but a version of it was accessible in Google’s cache (archived here):
The same search returned a link to the content shown in the screenshots from the website dailynewsreported.com, dated April 22 2022. In that context, the satirical nature of the “news” was reasonably clear:
Van Nuys California- Brandon Parker (28) was walking his dog late last night when he was approached and harassed by a group of Neo Nazi’s. Brandon plays the lead role in scores of hardcore pornography films in the “Let’s Go Brandon” series of gay porn. He is so successful as an adult actor that flags and bumper stickers can be seen throughout our great country in support of his celebrity and contributions to society as a whole.
One of the Nazis moved in closer and went to kick Tiger, but Brandon was ready and hit him with a leg sweep knocking him to the ground. After that came a flurry of kicks and punches that eliminated each Nazi one by one. Authorities were called in by concerned citizens not knowing what had just taken place. Brandon was arrested and taken in for questioning and , but later released once video evidence showed that he was protecting himself against the 35 men.
An “About Us” page on dailynewsreported.com explained:
Daily News Reported is a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website. Daily News Reported uses invented names in all its stories, except in cases when public figures are being satirized. Any other use of real names is accidental and coincidental.
Daily News Reported is not intended for people under 18 years of age.
As for the image, its exact origin was unknown. A reverse image search indicated it appeared on a 2014 BuzzFeed listicle of “hottest mugshots,” based on a Tumblr account devoted to flattering mugshots, but there the trail went cold.
An October 24 2022 tweet (since deleted) of a headline — “Pornstar Brandon Cummings, From The Famous ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ Series Of Male On Male Porn, Has Been Arrested After Beating Up 35 Neo-Nazi’s” — spread across social media in screenshot form. Matching content on dailynewsreported.com was easy to find, but readers might not have noticed a disclaimer on the “About Us” page. It explained that the site was “a fabricated satirical newspaper and comedy website,” and the claim was completely untrue.