Abstract

The February 2, 2017, false assertion by one of American President Donald Trump’s advisors of a terrorist tragedy in Bowling Green, Kentucky, has been characterized as a moment of significance that constituted a break in the “fake news clouds.” This article uses the vernacular response to the “Bowling Green Massacre” to understand the quick and decisive identification of bad faith communication and the strategic nature of resistance to hegemonic control over “fact” and “reality” in the wake of the Trump presidency. I explore the role of intertextuality, localization, and incongruity in the vernacular response to both a massacre that never happened and the overall phenomenon of fake news.

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