Contrary to what you might have heard, President Donald Trump has not stepped down, despite headlines of fake copies of The Washington Post proclaiming otherwise.
The publication, dated May 1, 2019, stated: "UNPRESIDENTED: Trump hastily departs White House, ending crisis." A fake website included such headlines as "Celebrations break out worldwide as Trump era ends" and "From #MeToo to 'You're Fired."
People wish it was real.
In today’s aspirational news. https://t.co/ogMamj4PP5— Claude Taylor (@Claude Taylor)1547659534.0
"Democracy Awakens in Action" Brilliant parody newspaper may predict future with uncanny accuracy. Stay tuned for m… https://t.co/BadCcBBYC3— Jon Scott (@Jon Scott)1547667680.0
This is brilliant https://t.co/HLn1mzOMK0— Martha Holland 🌔 (@Martha Holland 🌔)1547654207.0
Newspapers from a better timeline appeared around Washington D.C. this morning. #Unpresidented #NotTheWaPo https://t.co/QAYWf22s8f— Buxley Hall (@Buxley Hall)1547658309.0
Its existence prompted many to speak out and contact the Post's offices:
Friend of mine said she was handed a FAKE @washingtonpost paper at Union Station this morning. Dated May 1, 2019. S… https://t.co/HcruH4J5p2— Van Applegate (@Van Applegate)1547654308.0
.@washingtonpost you might want to deal with the lady handing out fake copies of the Post outside Union Station. I… https://t.co/nwTKaoNd0q— Ian Kullgren (@Ian Kullgren)1547648571.0
The fake @WashingtonPost newspaper being passed around Union Station has an accompanying parody website and the sou… https://t.co/sSeJNkoMLF— Andrew Ba Tran (@Andrew Ba Tran)1547651938.0
Actual #FakeNews being spread around D.C. today. People handing out these fake @washingtonpost papers justify it by… https://t.co/gYKq14IESa— Mark Irons (@Mark Irons)1547654948.0
The fake publication was also accompanied by a fake email blast:
Whoa that Fake Washington Post paper was accompanied by an email blast that looked like it came from the Post.… https://t.co/mzcH1Tz68H— PoPville (@PoPville)1547661670.0
The Washington Post's PR account said its staff is "looking into" the fake newspaper.
There are fake print editions of The Washington Post being distributed around downtown DC, and we are aware of a we… https://t.co/eDULUrjzcA— Washington Post PR (@Washington Post PR)1547653775.0
The Yes Men, a group which identifies itself as a "trickster activist collective," took credit for producing the paper along with writer Onnesha Roychoudhuri and author L.A. Kauffman.
“The story this paper tells is more reasonable than our current reality,” Roychoudhuri said in a statement on the site. “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 Yes Men have certainly attracted significant attention not just from major news outlets but from protest groups like Code Pink, which posted a video of co-founder Medea Benjamin passing out the fake paper as well as photographs of people posing with their copies.
.@medeabenjamin says...this just in...#Trump is gone. Crisis over! 😏 https://t.co/aupP8m3Uze— CODEPINK (@CODEPINK)1547664476.0
@medeabenjamin Extra! Extra! Read all about it! UNPRESIDENTED! #Trump is out. https://t.co/PZSrFakzWN— CODEPINK (@CODEPINK)1547664634.0
Benjamin told Politico she is "not at liberty to tell" who produced the paper, and she declined to identify other organizations that are distributing copies.
She said that the paper was "using" the Women's March, which is being held on Saturday, "as an opportunity to give a sense of our hopes and dreams to people participating in these marches over the weekend."
For what it's worth, The Washington Post has been a good sport about the whole thing, using the parody to advertise its sports coverage.
Today, activists passed out fake versions of The Post around D.C. The papers pointed to a fake website that include… https://t.co/g2sVNSNqLo— The Washington Post (@The Washington Post)1547662643.0
The White House has not yet commented on the parody paper.