Even Newsweek knows how deranging Trump Derangement Syndrome can be.
The stalwart member of the establishment media — a publication that established a record during former President Donald Trump’s administration of publishing “news” that had the sole goal of bashing Trump and catering to liberal biases — saw fit this week to investigate a rumor that Trump’s plane had been impounded by the New York Police Department.
The result isn’t nearly as surprising as the fact that Newsweek thought it was necessary in the first place.
The story started with a Twitter post by a user going by the handle “Snark Tank,” which probably should have been a clue right off that maybe it wasn’t a Grade A source of information.
“BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump deemed flight risk, NYPD impounds Trump Force One,” the tweet stated.
BREAKING NEWS: Donald Trump deemed flight risk, NYPD impounds Trump Force One.#IndictmentWatch #IndictmentsAreComing pic.twitter.com/jcHND25HjT
— SnarkTank (@TheSnarkTank99) March 20, 2023
As a meme, it’s not bad, really, with a comically ludicrous photoshopped picture of “Trump Force One” hitched to an NYPD tow truck, and a groan-inducing play on the words “flight risk.”
If it had been published by The Onion, it would have been about perfect. As of Thursday morning, it had received almost a half-million views.
But in the context of American politics in 2023, a major news magazine decided it had to debunk the obvious.
“Fact Check: Has Donald Trump’s Plane Been Impounded Over ‘Flight Risk’?” the Newsweek headline asked.
Of course, the answer was “no.”
Despite the fact that Manhattan’s grotesquely political District Attorney Alvin Bragg has decided to revive a legal case against Trump — a decision that is being attacked by conservative Republican Rep. Jim Jordan among others — there was still no indictment of the former president as of Thursday morning.
A law enforcement agency can’t start taking control of an American citizen’s property based simply on news reports that a DA might be taking some action.
Most social media users apparently understood that — the vast majority of responses to Snark Tank’s post got the joke. But a handful had to ask if it were true.
The user behind the Snark Tank handle — self-described in the Twitter bio as “Physician, father, countertroll, occasional blogger, below average photoshoppist, blocked by Kari Lake” — came clean, admitting the source of the story was “My brain and photoshop.”
My brain and photoshop
— SnarkTank (@TheSnarkTank99) March 21, 2023
The good news is that so many who saw the post knew it was a joke right off. (The idea of a standard tow truck carting a huge jet through the streets of New York City should have been a tipoff.)
The bad news is that a major establishment media publication thought it was necessary to devote the time to inform its readers the story wasn’t true.
That says more about the state of the country — and the state of Trump Derangement Syndrome victims from the top of the Democratic Party to the basest elements of its base — than Newsweek could have intended.
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