Fact check: These New York Post, Washington Times headlines are fake

Posted November 20, 2020 2:17 p.m. EST
Updated November 20, 2020 5:07 p.m. EST

— A spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s campaign shared a fake front page with the banner headline "President Gore" as evidence that the media isn’t always right when it calls an election. Now the president’s supporters have followed suit.

"The media was wrong in 2000," Mathew Staver, the founder of Liberty Counsel, wrote on Facebook, sharing the doctored Washington Times front page. "20 years ago they were wrong. History has a way of repeating itself."

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

The fake page has an image of Al Gore from 1997, when he was sworn in for a second term as Bill Clinton’s vice president. Below the words "PRESIDENT GORE," the page says: "Florida pushes Gore over the top with bare majority."

After Trump spokesperson Tim Murtaugh tweeted the image as "a reminder that the media doesn’t select the president," the Washington Times responded.

"These photos have been doctored," the newspaper tweeted. "The Washington Times never ran a ‘President Gore’ headline." In a second tweet, it added: "Mr. Murtaugh has been officially notified via email about this error."

Murtaugh has since deleted his tweet.

In the 2000 presidential election, some TV news networks called Florida for Gore over George W. Bush, and then, a few hours later, withdrew that projection.

Fake New York Post

Someone crafted a fake New York Post front page in similar fashion.

As the host of "The Apprentice," before he was elected president, Trump would kick contestants off the reality show by saying, "You’re fired."

Trump’s detractors have co-opted the catchphrase since Democrat Joe Biden was projected as the winner of the 2020 presidential race.

The New York Post is not among them, though a fake cover circulating on social media could make you think otherwise.

"My fellow Americans, our long NATIONAL NIGHTMARE is over," reads a quote on the fabricated page, next to a photo of the president walking with his tie undone after a campaign rally in June.

Below the quote — an allusion to Gerald Ford’s speech when he acceded to the presidency in 1974 — the headline "YOU’RE FIRED" appears in all caps.

"Even the NY Post has turned on him!" wrote one Facebook account sharing the image.

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.

The date on the image of the tabloid cover says Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020, though news organizations didn’t call the election for Biden until several days later.

The cover also says "FUTURE EDITION," whereas the actual Nov. 4 cover just listed the day, date and weather forecast.

That cover — the real one — read "NAILBITER."

"Trump defies polls, election on razor’s edge," the cover said alongside an image of a woman biting her nails.

On Nov. 8, the day after the race was called for Biden, the cover said: "IT’S JOE TIME."

PolitiFact: False

We rate both of these fake headlines False.

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