My Week: Hugo Rifkind*

my-fake-news-shame

Wednesday 23rd

Trying to rack my brains for something I once wrote about the Donald. Have to do it manually in the cuts archive as you can’t find anything on the bloody Times website. Who says staying awake in semi-darkness attempting repetitive hand movements is a waste of time? Eventually I get lucky: “If Ivanka weren’t my daughter, perhaps I’d be dating her,” and her response: “If he wasn’t my father I’d spray him with mace.”

Thursday 24th

Pretty pleased nobody spotted that quote during the entire election campaign. I beat the entire US media – they must be collectively distracted by the intensity of reporting on @realDonaldTrump’s Twitter account.

I tweet out my scoop: “Why does the world recall Trump saying “if she wasn’t my daughter, I’d be dating her” but not Ivanka’s reply?” Everybody’s re-tweeting it. What a story! 500 re-tweets already…

Friday 25th

My find has already been followed up by the Telegraph, Independent, Express, Chicago Tribune, The Hill and The New York Daily News. None of them credit me. Better send another tweet reminding everyone who was responsible.

Slight pang of doubt though. Why did no one recall Ivanka’s reply? I wonder how not one member of the whole US media had unearthed such a great quote. Notable lack of people saying, “oh, I came across that already”. Ah well, look at those re-tweets…

Friday 25th – Evening

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Someone has traced the quote back to a joke told by a comedian in 2006. Ivanka didn’t say it at all. And my accidental lie has gone halfway round the world. So this is what they mean by all that ‘fake news’ going round.

I’m going viral again. But in a bad way.

*according to Guido.




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Ben Smith, Buzzfeed’s Editor-in-Chief, on the Trump in Russia allegations

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