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

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:


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.



The Self-Made Man

The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.

Michigan’s Tradition of Football “Toughness” Needs to Go—Starting With Coach Hoke

Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?

The First Case of Ebola in America Has Been Diagnosed in Dallas

Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister

Damned Spot

Now Stare. Don’t Stop.

The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.

Building a Better Workplace

You Deserve a Pre-cation

The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.

Don’t Panic! The U.S. Already Stops Ebola and Similar Diseases From Spreading. Here’s How.

Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD

The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  News & Politics
Sept. 30 2014 6:59 PM The Democrats’ War at Home Can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Sept. 30 2014 7:02 PM At Long Last, eBay Sets PayPal Free
Sept. 30 2014 7:35 PM Who Owns Scrabble’s Word List? Hasbro says the list of playable words belongs to the company. Players beg to differ.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 30 2014 12:34 PM Parents, Get Your Teenage Daughters the IUD
  Slate Plus
Behind the Scenes
Sept. 30 2014 3:21 PM Meet Jordan Weissmann Five questions with Slate’s senior business and economics correspondent.
Brow Beat
Sept. 30 2014 4:45 PM Steven Soderbergh Is Doing Some Next-Level Work on The Knick
Future Tense
Sept. 30 2014 7:00 PM There’s Going to Be a Live-Action Tetris Movie for Some Reason
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 30 2014 6:44 PM Ebola Was Already Here How the United States contains deadly hemorrhagic fevers.
Sports Nut
Sept. 30 2014 5:54 PM Goodbye, Tough Guy It’s time for Michigan to fire its toughness-obsessed coach, Brady Hoke.