Satirical Trump News Fools Chinese Website

No tin foil at the White House

It was one of Andy Borowitz’s funnier recent items.

Screen grab via:

In case you missed it, here is the gist of The New Yorker satirist’s March 4 goof, riffing off suggestions from the current Commander-in-Chief that some wiretapping has been going on:

According to the sources, President Trump contacted staffers Kellyanne Conway and Sean Spicer at approximately 6 a.m. Saturday and instructed them to purchase enough tin foil to cover every phone in the building.

The President, still wearing his bathrobe after what was reportedly a sleepless night, personally supervised the tin-foil installation, sources said.

“Wrap it tighter!” he was heard bellowing at Conway.

Not so funny is the fact that the item was treated as real reporting March 7 by Reference News, a website in China that translates international coverage for local consumption. Before the error was corrected, Borowitz’s fake-real news was traveling around the country, picked up by other outlets. According to website Sixth Tone, the daisy chain included a financial news outlet in Caijing as well as Sina, the Phoenix News and Tencent News.

Javier C. Hernández, a China correspondent for The New York Times, reminds that another Borowitz piece, about Jeff Bezos buying The Washington Post only because he clicked into the paper’s website by mistake, was also disseminated at the Chinese end in 2013.

P.S. How great is that extra bathrobe dig from Borowitz!