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Fake News: The Butler Tapes

The content of this article is satirical and represents a work of fiction. The names of the characters within are fictious.

Category 5 Hurricane Jeffrey, which made landfall yesterday, is already shaping up to be among the most destructive tropical storms to have ever hit Florida. The state has already sustained an estimated $600,000 in property damage and at least 10 casualties just 32 hours after initial impact. As was suspected when Jeffrey was forming in the Atlantic, the Florida Keys find themselves in the most devastating position, and particularly the island of Key West.

The island’s residents, which are over 24,000 in number, have been making emergency preparations for weeks. One working mother of five, Frances Joplin, said that she felt “abandoned” by the municipal, state and federal governments. “They’ve left us to die,” she said, “and they aren’t even thinking twice about it. We haven’t heard a word from anyone with the power to help us. Most of us only know about the hurricane because of local news.”

It is unusual for municipal and state governments to remain silent in the event of an oncoming natural disaster. In this case, that is exactly what is happening. Local politicians vacated the Key West Town Hall within 24 hours of the news of Jeffrey’s formation making national headlines, and their whereabouts remained unknown until three days ago, when a pair of independent journalists thought to visit Florida Governor Aaron Butler’s $6 million Las Vegas mansion in search of answers.

Their findings, available for public consumption on the front page of the October 26th editions of The New York Times, the Key West Citizen, the Orlando Sentinel, and a plethora of other understandably bewildered newspapers, have since been a mainstay in the national news cycle. The journalists, Lauren Rothenberger and Tyson Thomas, Jr., say that upon knocking on the front door to the mansion, the door remained closed, they faintly heard what sounded like Governor Butler’s voice, and they were promptly tackled and escorted off of the property by two armed guards dressed completely in black.

“I still don’t know where they came from,” said Thomas. “I would say they must’ve been hiding in the bushes next to the front walkway, but that’s, like, some cartoon stuff. And how did these two huge men conceal themselves in moderately sized, meticulously trimmed bushes?”

While staking out the mansion from a telescope in their hotel room two blocks away and five stories above the mansion, Rothenberger identified and took pictures of Key West Mayor Reba Goddard and four of her staffers exiting and reentering the premises in the span of an hour, as well as numerous other Key West and state politicians.

It wasn’t until later that night that the pair returned to the property, having successfully snuck their way beneath one of the first-floor windows. As they were eavesdropping on a very clandestine operation, the massive, overly ornate curtains were drawn and keeping onlookers from peering into the proceedings, but Rothenberger and Thomas came equipped with high-grade surveillance bugs that they planted throughout the mansion’s exterior.

One of the most scandalous and widely quoted passages from the recordings, which have since been dubbed “the Butler Tapes,” appears to have been captured while Butler was in a drunken state. One can hear glasses falling over, some shattering, and people in the background clapping and cheering Butler on as he emerged into a freestyle rap verse, one harrowing line of which was “Broke b______ crying ‘bout some water and sh__ / I bought a pound of caviar for my daughter and sh__!”

Another line, which many believe to have been the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, or, in other words, what kick-started the wildly popular #ImpeachButler and #ButlerMustGo hashtags circulating throughout social media at present, as well as the many suggestions of his impeachment from mainstream news media, goes as follows:

“I’ve been drinking clear, I’ve been drinking brown / No peasants here—they can drink and drown”

Governor Butler declined to comment on the recordings.

The content of this article is satirical and represents a work of fiction. The names of the characters within are fictious.

Myles Walker

Myles Walker

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