Fake print editions of the Washington Post are circulating in Washington, D.C., with the headline “UNPRESIDENTED” screaming across the page, surrounded by fake articles about President Donald Trump stepping down from the presidency.
According to the Washington Post’s Twitter account, there is also a website mimicking the outlet’s.
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) January 16, 2019
Some of the visible headlines read: “Trump hastily departs White House, ending crisis,” “Celebrations break out worldwide as Trump era ends,” “From #MeToo to ‘you’re fired’” and “Pres. Pence begins ‘clipped duck’ term.”
Just plucked this piece of fakery from a trash bin at Union Station pic.twitter.com/oE8HyOiFS3
— ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 16, 2019
A Huffington Post reporter got a shot of an inside section.
A6 gets meta. pic.twitter.com/1ig3y2mkLS
— Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) January 16, 2019
A trickster activist duo called “The Yes Men” seems to be taking responsibility for the stunt. Onnesha Roychoudhuri, part of the duo and alleged paper creator, said that the paper “offers a blueprint to help us reclaim our democracy.”
An email to the account listed on The Yes Men’s post about the papers bounced, but a call was answered by a pre-recorded message: “Thank you for calling the Washington Post. Your call is important to us.” The phone rang a few times and went to a voicemail box.
An initial report attributed the phony papers to progressive group MoveOn, but they denied responsibility (though applauded the headline).
While we love the headline, we didn’t produce today’s satirical Washington Post.
— MoveOn (@MoveOn) January 16, 2019
CODEPINK, a women-led grassroots organization, also posted a video of members passing out the papers. The organization did not immediately confirm or deny authorship of the satirical edition.
- -Hiring More Journalists
- -Providing free memberships to those who cannot afford them
- -Supporting independent, non-corporate journalism