The front page had a banner headline saying: ‘
- The paper was distributed free of cost in Washington DC
- It was a mark of protest against the Trump administration
- News of the fake newspaper has become viral on the social media
People in Washington DC were in for a big surprise on Wednesday morning. US President Donald Trump has resigned, screamed a front-page six-column headline in The Washington Post. It read: ‘UNPRESIDENTED Trump hastily departs White House, ending crisis’. The lead story was accompanied with a four-column image of President Trump, visibly upset with his head down.
On left side of the paper, was a long single-column report. Its headline read: ‘Celebrations break out worldwide as trump era ends’. The newspaper was dated May 1, 2019.
To add to the surprise, this edition was being distributed freely on the streets of Washington DC, including areas near the White House.
FAKE NEWS-PAPER: A clever imitation of the Washington Post is circulating around town. It’s put out by a satirical group called the “Yes Men.” Some are not amused. “I find folks trying to imitate the Post with truly fake news quite unhelpful,” says Geoff Dabello. #fake #washpo pic.twitter.com/PwsKDSVsu8— Richard Reeve (@abc7Richard) 16 January 2019
Soon, The Washington Post clarified that it was a fake edition and the newspaper has got nothing to do with it.
“There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website attempting to mimic The Post’s. They are not Post products, and we are looking into this,” The Washington Post said in a tweet.
There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a website attempting to mimic The Post’s. They are not Post products, and we are looking into this.— Washington Post PR (@WashPostPR) 16 January 2019
News agency PTI in a report said that a middle-aged woman outside the White House told its reporter: “Grab this special edition of The Washington Post. This is free. You will never get this.”
PTI said that the woman had a stack of newspaper in blue plastic bag and was distributing it to passersby and office goers early Wednesday morning.
A video of the woman distributing the free edition of the fake Washington Post has also been uploaded on YouTube. In it, the woman can be heard saying: “Hi! Good morning! Did you get the paper? It’s a special edition.”
WHAT DID THE FAKE WASHINGTON POST EDITION SAY
According to the fake edition of the Washington Post, the lead story was authored by one Lisa Chung. It said that President Donald Trump abandoned the White House on April 30, 2019.
“He (Trump) issued no formal statement, though four White House sides – who spoke on condition of anonymity – claim that they found a napkin on the president’s desk in the Oval Office on the evening of April 30, scrawled in red ink with the following message: ‘Blame Crooked Hillary and Hfior and the Fake News Media,” the fake edition claimed.
According to a report in The Washington Post (the real one), 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”.
This might be the best visual ever. It’s a satire newspaper that shows what the front page of the paper will look like the day after Trump leaves office. With the headlines: UNPRESIDENTED. And: Celebrations breakout worldwide as Trump era ends. This is beautiful. This is art.🇺🇸 https://t.co/TU6jdQmgD0— Scott Dworkin (@funder) 16 January 2019
The other report in the fake edition claimed that people across the world are celebrating Trump’s resignation.
“Vice-President Mike Pence took the oath of presidency in the bible of his grandmother, at his hurried swearing in,” said another article in the fake edition.
According to the last page of the ‘Bye Bye’ supplement attached with the newspaper, it has been edited by one LA Kauffman, designed by Cristine Fleming from The Public Society and developed in collaboration with Onenesha Roychoudhuri and Jacques Servin.
THE BRAINS BEHIND
Ramsey Toucberry, a US journalist working with Newsweek, in a tweet has claimed that he spoke to one of the activists behind the fake newspaper edition. He said the activist, Lisa Fithian, told him that it was a “collaborative project” involving many activists.View image on Twitter
We just saw a staffer take one of these into the White House pic.twitter.com/HmWLWo1Jqt— MoveOn (@MoveOn) 16 January 2019
“Just spoke with one of the activists behind today’s fake @washingtonpost edition, Lisa Fithian. She told me her and others listed as authors of the “Guide to Bringing Him (Trump) Down” issued in the back of the paper did so as a collaborative project,” Touchberry said in a tweet.
LA Kauffman, another activist who has been protesting against the Trump administration, tweeted her photos holding the fake edition of The Washington Post outside the White House.
In the tweet she said, “We’re in front of the White House handing out this special edition of the @washingtonpost #ByeBye45 #BringHimDown”
Three hours earlier, she had posted another tweet saying: “Today seems like a perfect day to say #ByeBye45.”
In a report on the fake edition, The Washington Post said, “The print papers – dated May 1, 2019, and looking strikingly similar to actual copies of The Post – were filled with anti-Trump stories, which also appeared on a website that mimicked the official Post site.”
The newspaper said that a group that describes itself as a ‘trickster activist collective’ called the Yes Men has taken responsibility of producing the bogus newspapers and the fake website.
.@washingtonpost you might want to deal with the lady handing out fake copies of the Post outside Union Station. I tried to explain why this is problematic but she wasn’t having it. pic.twitter.com/pjohcCFSx7— Ian Kullgren (@IanKullgren) 16 January 2019
The report also carried an extract of a statement posted online by the Yes Men saying author Onnesha Roychoudhuri created the paper with author LA Kauffman. “The story this paper tells is more reasonable than our current reality,” Roychoudhuri said in the statement.
“And it’s anything but far-fetched. We’re already seeing unprecedented levels of protest and resistance. Now we just need to ask ourselves: What’s next? This paper offers a blueprint to help us reclaim our democracy,” the statement read.
News Credit: India Today