On 10/29/2022, the Santa Monica Observer produced a story that was shared on Twitter by Elon Musk called “The Awful Truth: Paul Pelosi Was on Drugs And In a Dispute With a Male Prostitute Friday Morning.” The story appears to be fake and defamatory. At this writing on 10/30/2022, the website is no longer accessible. It is unclear if the website is down due to a surge in traffic or if its ISP took them down.
Update: The story is now back online after being inaccessible for several hours. Elon Musk deleted the tweet in the early afternoon on Sunday 10/30/2022.
There is a tiny possibility there might be more to this story than meets the eye https://t.co/HCaF5DrRjP
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 30, 2022
The Santa Monica Observer is an imposter website that is designed to look like an authentic local news source. In reality, these sites publish propaganda and misinformation, usually to favor one party over another. In this case, the SM Observer favors the Republican party. Our review is as follows:
A questionable source exhibits one or more of the following: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, a complete lack of transparency and/or is fake news. Fake News is the deliberate attempt to publish hoaxes and/or disinformation for the purpose of profit or influence (Learn More). Sources listed in the Questionable Category may be very untrustworthy and should be fact-checked on a per-article basis. Please note sources on this list are not considered fake news unless specifically written in the reasoning section for that source. See all Questionable sources.
- Overall, we rate the Santa Monica Observer Questionable based on the routine publication of false and misleading information and the use of poor sources.
Reasoning: Poor Sourcing, Fake News, Lack of Ownership Transparency, Imposter
Bias Rating: RIGHT
Factual Reporting: LOW
Press Freedom Rating: MOSTLY FREE
Media Type: Website
Traffic/Popularity: Minimal Traffic
MBFC Credibility Rating: LOW CREDIBILITY