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

183661990
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:

Advertisement

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.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 21 2014 11:38 PM “Welcome to the War of Tomorrow” How Futurama’s writers depicted asymmetrical warfare.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.