Conservative media and President Donald Trump were fooled by a parody report pretending to be his elder sister Elizabeth Trump Grau.
On Nov. 18, an accounting running as Betty Trump with the direct @TheBettyTrump moved live on Twitter. It propelled with adoration for Trump and quickly began attacking his enemies, releasing a disturbance of tweets over the next three days.
As its following produce, conservative media took notice. “Betty Trump has now entered the blue fowl realm, ” affirmed one headline. The Wayne Dupree Show blogged victoriously that though she very rarely publicly explains, Grau had questioned a “bold statement” supporting her brother’s efforts to overturn the election results. “This was so powerful, ” the subhead gushed.
Trump himself retweeted the article, writing, “Thank you Elizabeth, LOVE! “
There’s only one small problem: The chronicle is a parody.
Chris Megerian, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times, first noticed something amiss. On Friday morning, Megerian wrote that he when he clicked the link to the article Trump retweeted, he found “an odd disclaimer.”
“This alleged account of Pres. Trump’s sister Elizabeth has not been removed by Twitter and has not been fact-checked by the social media managers, ” it read. “We announced it, based on it being shared by many other publications, but we want to make sure to let you know it has yet to be officially ‘fact-checked.'”
Delving further, Megerian determined that the fluffy blog about Trump’s sister run praise for her brother was based on @ TheBettyTrump, an unverified history with numerous evidences that it isn’t being run by the actual Elizabeth Grau, starting with the fact that it doesn’t even use her married name.
https :// twitter.com/ ChrisMegerian/ status/ 13298174429 8251878 4? s= 20
The account’s history is homophobic, transphobic, foul-mouthed and includes tons of tweets about cable bulletin and disloyal Republican. It even once suggested that the “perfect Trump drink on a bumpy day” is Natty Daddy.
Although the account’s profile initially claimed it was legitimate, there were other fairly obvious evidences that it’s satire. The header photo of Grau and her friend is found in many articles mentioning her in the wake of their niece Mary Trump’s tell-all book this summer. Similarly, its avatar is a grainy picture that Heavy worked in a piece about Grau, which it credited to a Facebook user.
While it follows Trump’s personal account, it doesn’t follow any other Trumps. The respite of the 239 accounts @TheBettyTrump follows as of this writing are unverified Trump supporters.
The communication style is also instead unexpected for a 78 -year-old millionairess. Anderson Cooper is frequently referred by the nickname “Anderson Pooper.”
On Nov. 19, it tweeted, “If someone rains gravy down Chris Wallace’s breathes at Thanksgiving dinner, I promise, I will take care of the law rewards! “
It’s fat-shamed Chris Christie; threw Tucker Carlson, Chris Wallace and Laura Ingraham; tweeted homophobic offenses about Cooper, Rachel Maddow and others; and made a not-so-subtle nod at some QAnon conspiracy theorists’ belief that John F. Kennedy Jr. is alive.
It doesn’t appear that Elizabeth Grau goes by the nickname Betty, either, as tales about her prior to this account’s creation regularly refer to her Elizabeth, as did Trump’s tweet thanking her.
None of this has stopped thousands from following the account — 20,000 in precisely two days–liking and retweeting it, and republican media falling for the act.
As speculation twirled about the account’s authenticity, Dupree’s website revised with a disclaimer that it was being told the account is a parody. “If this is true, we deep miss the error and defend, ” it said, “…It is never our intent to “fool” anyone, or spread misinformation.”
The real Grau too told Vice that she isn’t even on Twitter.
Subsequently, the account eventually gave to being a fake. It also said it didn’t anticipate duping the president.
It then changed its description to note that it’s a parody.
To be fair, it’s not like @TheBettyTrump was trying specially hard to fool anyone. After all, who could possibly believe that the prosperous near-octogenarian sister to the president would joke that Wallace and Neil Cavuto “missed their cry in Revenge of the Geeks, ” or tweet that Cavuto’s show coming on wants it’s “time to start drinking”?
Well, apparently a lot of conservative media and the chairmen of the United States.
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