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No, a Bartlesville man did not accidentally burn down his home after lighting Nike shoes on fire

It's nice to see fake news is still alive and well in America!

Earlier today, a website posing as USA Today reported a totally fake story about an Oklahoma man doing something very believable:

A Bartlesville man has been arrested after he accidentally burned down his home by attempting to burn a pair of Nike sneakers in protest of the latest Colin Kaepernick Ad.

According to authorities, Jason Helms, 26, placed a pair of Nike sneakers in his garage and soaked them in Kerosene before lighting them on fire and filming it with his iPhone. The fire ended up spreading to the garage walls and ceiling before spreading to his actual home. Helms called 911 but by the time firefighters arrived they were unable to save his home.

People across the country have been setting their Nike shoes on fire in protest against Nike, who recently made an Ad featuring controversial NFL star Colin Kaepernick and reading: “Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything… Just do it”. Officer Don Greenstein encourages people, “Don’t burn your Nike gear, just send them over to me”.

Although I don't think it's illegal (yet) to accidentally burn your house down, I'd like to give the Macedonian teenagers who crafted this work of art a solid A-.

Not only did they do a great job designing their fake news website – at a glance, it really does look like USA Today – but the headline is brilliant. It strikes that fine balance between attention-getting absurdity and believability that every fake news article needs. Oklahoma man sets fire to home while trying to burn Nikes??? Unless you have a level four or above B.S. Meter, who's not going to fall for that? In fact, it's so believable that KJRH in Tulsa took the bait.

Check this out:


Not too long after KJRH reported the story on their website, they realized they were duped and took it down. That's a classy move. It's nice to know that they have a sharp, knowledgeable team of editors who are fast to act after publishing a very false story.

One news outlet that didn't fall for the ruse was the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise. They actually conducted real-life reporting to see if the story was true, and learn that it wasn't.

Bartlesville fire and police officials said Thursday a story circulating on social media about a Bartlesville man burning down his house because of a protest over Nike products is a hoax.

Bartlesville Police Department Sgt. Robert Boals said the department has received several inquiries about the false story.

“We have gotten calls from several TV stations about that, and it is completely not true,” Boals said. “We have not made any arrest or responded to any call like that.”..

The false article concludes with a quote from an officer named Don Greenstein encouraging people, “don’t burn your Nike gear, just send them over to me.”

“We don’t even have a guy named Don Greenstein at the Department,” Boals said. “It’s all completely made up.”

Want to have some fun tonight? Call the Bartlesville Police Department and say you want to donate shoes to Mr. Greenstein.

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