Activists distributed hundreds of fake “special editions” of The Washington Post on Jan. 16. Here’s who was behind the hoax.
WASHINGTON D.C. (Reuters).- Fake editions of The Washington Post claiming that President Trump was leaving office were handed out Wednesday morning at multiple locations in Washington.
The print papers — dated May 1, 2019, and looking strikingly similar to the actual Washington Post — were filled with anti-Trump stories, which also appeared on a website that mimicked the official Post site.
Washington Post spokeswoman Kris Coratti said. “We will not tolerate others misrepresenting themselves as The Washington Post, and we are deeply concerned about the confusion it causes among readers. We are seeking to halt further improper use of our trademarks.”
Late yesterday morning, Wednesday 15th of January a group called the Yes Men who describes itself as a “trickster activist collective” said it produced the bogus newspapers and website.
Under the headline “Unpresidented,” the fake newspaper’s lead story said Trump had left a resignation message on a napkin in the Oval Office and left Washington for Yalta, the Crimean resort that was the site of a meeting of Allied leaders during World War II.
The false story also reported that his abrupt departure was prompted by “massive women-led protests” around the country, suggesting that the stunt was a promotion for a planned women’s march on Saturday.
Jacques Servin, who uses the pseudonym Andy Bichlbaum, said he is one of the founders of the Yes Men and that the paper was intended to offer the “grass-roots movement” ideas for how to support the impeachment of Trump. “The idea was a newspaper from the future and how we got there — like a road map for activists,” he said.
The print and digital newspapers cost about $40,000, Servin said, adding that $36,000 was raised from the organization’s mailing list. The group printed 25,000 copies, and he estimated that 10,000 of the papers were distributed.
The group put together a similarly fake copy of the New York Times in 2008. That fake edition, which came out after the election of President Barack Obama, had stories depicting liberal activists putting pressure on the new administration. For more than 20 years they have pretended to represent official groups, such as the World Trade Organization and U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
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