Several prominent media figures fell Friday for a parody that claimed White House staff set up a mock “gorilla channel” for Trump after he was upset that such a channel did not exist.
Twitter user @pixelatedboat, who's known for parodying political figures and posting satire, posted an image on the social media site Thursday that purported to be an excerpt from author Michael Wolff’s hotly anticipated book on the Trump administration, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House."
The parody imagined Trump being upset over a lack of a “gorilla channel” on White House televisions.
Wow, this extract from Wolff’s book is a shocking insight into Trump’s mind: pic.twitter.com/1ZecclggSa— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018
The parody, written as if it came from Wolff's book, described White House staff using a "hastily-constructed transmission tower" to create a "gorilla channel" for Trump that featured footage of gorillas fighting.
“To appease Trump, White House staff complied a number of gorilla documentaries into a makeshift gorilla channel, broadcast into Trump’s bedroom from a hastily-constructed transmission tower on the South Lawn. However, Trump was unhappy with the channel they had created, moaning that it was ‘boring’ because ‘the gorillas aren’t fighting,’” part of the parody read.
Several major and verified accounts on Twitter shared the parody as if it were an actual excerpt from the book, while others speculated whether it was real. Some fell for the parody and believed Trump had demanded another "gorilla channel." Other Twitter users said they thought the the fake "gorilla channel" excerpt actually was in Wolff's book, but was untrue.
At press time on Friday, "Gorilla Channel" was trending on Twitter, with more than 16,000 tweets.
Eric Garland wonders why everyone dunks on him and then he goes and does this pic.twitter.com/JOUxVEBZ7p— Gene Park (@GenePark) January 5, 2018
Dammit guys, I got totally punked on the Gorilla Channel thing - but when you've already gotten to "eating KFC in bed," I mean, we're through the looking glass.— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 5, 2018
Thanks to all who called me out. We keep it clean and Deza-free at Game Theory HQ.
Can I keep my bio the same for the rest of the day, though? It's too freaking funny. pic.twitter.com/RnprRQT7E9— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 5, 2018
FYI: Cable programmers, I WOULD watch a 24/7 Gorilla channel. Just a bit of focus group for you, for free.— Eric Garland (@ericgarland) January 5, 2018
Peeps, would you watch a Gorilla Channel? pic.twitter.com/wd2qUHVgTd
I thought it was real for a minute https://t.co/hfh76ibMiz— Charles Gasparino (@CGasparino) January 5, 2018
i concede the first point and like you, and others, don’t know what he said to get the story. i’m more troubled by things like the “gorilla channel” tale which rings false to me. like someone told wolff the story just to see if he’d print it. but hard to know with . https://t.co/9TJF0lIW7w— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) January 5, 2018
yeah. that one was ridic from jump. parody account makes sense. https://t.co/4Gcect2AEM— Don Cheadle (@DonCheadle) January 5, 2018
he deleted it, but: pic.twitter.com/2Rm8m6lZtJ— Jake Offenhartz (@jangelooff) January 5, 2018
I don’t believe the Gorilla channel story. #MichaelWolff— Touré (@Toure) January 5, 2018
Thank you to everyone who's pointing out that the gorilla channel story is not true—it’s from a parody site, not Michael Wolff’s book.— Touré (@Toure) January 5, 2018
I’m sorry I have a question— Farhad Manjoo (feat. Drake) (@fmanjoo) January 5, 2018
Is the gorilla channel thing real or fake?
I thought it was clearly fake but people are talking as if it’s real and I don’t know who’s mistaken.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about don’t look it up because it might be fake.
Don’t tweet screenshots of fake text (of book excerpts, court transcripts, etc) even as a joke.— Farhad Manjoo (feat. Drake) (@fmanjoo) January 5, 2018
You’re making things worse.
The jokes just don’t work in a partisan-echo-chamber-feed world where everything is divorced from context and authorship.
Also they’re not funny
In an effort to stop people from falling for the obvious parody, @Pixelatedboat changed his Twitter display name to “the gorilla channel thing is a joke” on Friday.
“Wonder if this new display name will help. Probably not,” the user tweeted.
tfw you parody a guy making up shit about Trump but people believe it so you become part of the problem— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018
Wonder if this new display name will help. Probably not.— the gorilla channel thing is a joke (@pixelatedboat) January 5, 2018