Hoaxer Fakes Obama Laughing Over Gingrich’s Primary Victory

Fake Washington Post Page Jan. 22, 2012

The alleged Jan. 22, 2012, Washington Post Page 1 at left has been circulating on Facebook, and who knows where else, since Newt Gingrich took the South Carolina primary. It is, of course, a fake. As is obvious from the real front page, at right, courtesy of the Newseum, the Post currently uses “downstyle” heads, so the capitalization of the banner headline is wrong.


The lead deck in all caps also clearly deviates from the Post’s style.

Double oops.

An elementary Google search on the two surviving headlines, “Treasury invokes patriotism in pitch to bank executives” and “Obama Adds $60 Billion to Economic Plan,” shows that they are from the Oct. 14, 2008, edition of the Post. Evidently, the Post still used upstyle heds in 2008.

A little more research indicates that the photograph of President Obama was taken by White House photographer Pete Souza, on Jan. 24, 2011, and is posted on Flickr.

I will leave it to others to track down the culprit of this rather transparent fakery, which is not the first example of a hoax in American politics and unfortunately,  surely not to be the last.

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in Another Good Story Ruined, Front Pages, Politics and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

9 Responses to Hoaxer Fakes Obama Laughing Over Gingrich’s Primary Victory

  1. mmauerMark says:

    But it was funny.


  2. Greg Clancey says:

    Like it or not, it’s still hilarious.


  3. Gary Martin says:

    I’ve seen things like this since Mad Mag’s heyday in the 50’s. Just a standard variation on a political cartoon. I clipped and pasted a NYT’s the day Nixon resigned.(Ford refuses the Serve!)What’s sad is that there are too many people who don’t have the eye to catch the fakery…or the humor.


    • lmharnisch says:

      @Gary: What Me Worry? Actually, yes. The Daily Mirror has the Mad Magazine archive on CDs and we remember them all that way back to the 1950s. They’re wonderful, but they are clearly satire. In our Photoshop Era, when the “lamestream media” is the conservatives’ pinata, a little debunking is in order.


  4. This tactic may be what paper newspapers need to do to attract more customers! I certainly love the headlines of decades past compared to today.


  5. Gary Martin says:

    I could have added that this is funny because it is so true and that it is a relief to see political commentary that does not vilify or slander someone …or outright lie. And, yes, in the photo shop era I expect to begin seeing a whole lot more of this.


  6. Gary Martin says:

    I was made aware this weekend that there is a scandalous “santorum” result on google search. apparently they have declined his request to have it removed. Political satire is going to be taking a lot of new turns. Let’s hope it is none of it more hurtful than our president’s laughter …but I doubt it as I know you do too.


  7. Jim Demers says:

    The fact that it’s faked is painfully obvious the moment you see it … the “headlne” and photograph are sharp, while the rest of the image is a poor quality scan. You’d have to be hopelessly naive to think it was the real thing. As a gag, it’s pretty funny … and it may be pretty close to the truth. (Whatever Obama’s reaction was, it certainly wasn’t a worried look.)


  8. Jane says:

    Its an obvious fake and clearly meant to be a (very funny) joke….
    I doubt anyone with half a brain assumed it was a real cover…
    Great political satire …looking forward to more of this as the race heats up…


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