At Least Four High-Profile Journalists Have Been Fooled by a Fake Tea Party Congressman's Twitter

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 19 2013 4:22 PM

At Least Four National Journalists Have Been Fooled by a Fake Tea Party Congressman's Twitter

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Christiane Amanpour was one of the journalists who fell for the parody.

Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images

A parody Twitter account has fooled at least four prominent TV news hosts, including CNN host Christiane Amanpour and MSNBC regulars Ezra Klein, Touré, and Zerlina Maxwell.

Today's chapter of Political Twitter Drama began when "Rep. Steve Smith" of Georgia tweeted at Touré, and he responded:

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It escalated from there:

It's worth noting that this is not the first time Touré has fallen for a Twitter hoax. Klein linked to the interaction and added, "Wow," and Maxwell chimed in with her disbelief. Amanpour also fell for the account just a day after "Smith" tweeted for the first time on Oct. 30. 

The sad and great thing about the account is, it's almost believable. It's easy to mock the journalists who were duped, but it really speaks to the caliber of the parody. "Steven Smith" may well be a doppelgänger for Rep. Steve Stockman. But the pièce de résistance is the fake congressman's Twitter avatar, which, as Mediaite points out, was culled from a big-and-tall clothing store based in New Hampshire. Carpetbagger!

Emma Roller is a Slate editorial assistant. Follow her on Twitter.

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