Newspaper fooled by fake ‘In Memoriam’ ad

The Washington Post
was duped on April Fools Day, running a fake "In Memoriam" ad honoring a man who isn’t dead—placed as a joke by his (possibly former) best friend. “There is no formal process for checking the truth of the ads,” the paper says, according to Editor & Publisher. “Unlike death notices or news obituaries, which are fact-checked, families often take out ‘in memoriam’ ads to remember a deceased relative months or years after the person’s death.” Given the Post’s declining circulation (down 13 percent in four years), maybe it should start running obits for itself. OK, that was harsh. I’ve been pouting ever since AdFreak refused to run my April Fools gag item, about a Ralph Nader for President Web site that has a tiny Nader headshot up top and uses whichever Web page you started from as its background. Maybe I’ll submit it to the Post instead.

—Posted by David Gianatasio