In what can only be described as a glorious fuck up, the Washington Post has published an article quoting the globally renowned satirical website ClickHole, part of the Onion News Network. For those who are somehow not already aware, ClickHole launched in 2014 as the Onion’s parody of clickbait websites, such as BuzzFeed and Upworthy, creating fake sensationalised news, quizzes, and op-ed pieces. The Onion, if you’re even less aware, is probably the world’s most famous satirical news outlet.
Writing about the British Twitter campaign to get Green Day’s “American Idiot” to the top of the chart ahead of Trump’s arrival, Morning Mix reporter for the Post Meagan Flynn made this wonderful mistake:
this fuck-up is so pure it makes me weep pic.twitter.com/JOHHioqIAF
— Jon Hanrahan (@hanrahanrahanra) July 10, 2018
Citing a fake op-ed by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong published on ClickHole, Flynn writes, “But despite the ubiquity, Armstrong waited 13 years to reveal – in an article he wrote for Clickhole.com – that the ‘American Idiot’ was President George W. Bush.”
This is, of course, humiliatingly funny on its own, but it’s made especially funny by the context – that this writer (whose role is to have her finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist) quoted from one of social media’s favourite satrical news in a piece trying to show a masterful understanding of what’s hot on social media.
update, WaPo has posted a notice about the correction.
still waiting for the letter from the editor! pic.twitter.com/SUKJrTAyB7
— dan seifert (@dcseifert) July 10, 2018
Sadly and unsurprisingly, the citation has been edited out of the piece (although screenshots last a lifetime). While this is undoubtedly an embarrassing misfire, we would like to thank Flynn her for her service. This may prove to be the single shred of levity to this otherwise hellish week of news and politics.