On Thursday evening, Twitter account @pixelatedboat tweeted out a parody segment supposedly lifted from Michael Wolff’s new bestselling White House gossip book Fire and Fury. Here’s the hilarious segment:
There was only one problem. People took the story seriously.
As @pixelatedboat tweeted, the whole purpose of his story was to show how ridiculous Wolff’s coverage was — that he had merely retold random, wild anecdotes in an attempt to sell books, without any effort to corroborate those anecdotes. Instead, people just took the parody seriously, thinking it was real. That’s because confirmation bias drives too many people to believe stories that are too good to disbelieve. Thus, official #Resistance leader Scott Dworkin tweeted:
Trump-Russia conspiracist Eric Garland fell for it, too:
Shadi Hamid of Brookings Institute fell for it, as did Australian journalist Samantha Maiden:
By late Friday, The Gorilla Channel was trending on Twitter.
The bad news: there is no Gorilla Channel.
The worse news: people will believe anything that’s convenient for them to believe, particularly about President Trump.
The worst news: now that people know the Gorilla Channel was a fraud, there can never be a real Gorilla Channel.