Saturday, January 06, 2018

Internet falls for Trump-'Gorilla Channel' parody

The internet falls for Trump-'Gorilla Channel' parody

"Michael Wolff’s bombshell book Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House is full of salacious stories from President Donald Trump’s first year in office. As media outlets published excerpts from the book in early January 2018, Twitter user PixelatedBoat took advantage of the frenzy to share a fake passage in which White House aides purportedly confessed that they had created a 'Gorilla Channel' in order to placate a furious Trump."

Here is the original Tweet

It's truly amazing that so many people were fooled by that fake excerpt. That is truly a tribute to both the gullibility and the illiteracy of the American public. There are periods outside of quotation marks. That's a mistake I also make when I'm writing hurriedly, but it would never appear in an edited book from a professional American publisher. (I specified "American" because the UK has different rules governing this aspect of punctuation.)


  1. I think so many people believed it because it's so believable. For genuine gullibility, I'd look at those who take Fox 'News' or Rush Limbaugh et al seriously.

  2. When I saw this on twitter I didn't really believe it or not believe it at the time because I knew it was supposedly from the book by Wolff and there were questions about the validity of the stories from the book, it was only when I saw the replies that I saw it was a joke and I knew for certain it wasn't true.

    The problem with calling people 'gullible' over this is:
    1.There are literally hundreds of cable channels, so why couldn't there be a channel that specializes in programs on gorillas? What I wondered about was this: how could Trump have been under the impression that he had watched the 'gorilla channel' if it didn't exist? But, maybe such a channel was available in New York but not in Washington D.C.

    2.Despite his denials, it's known that Trump can spend hours a day watching television (though mainly Fox 'News' and sometimes CNN and maybe other cable news channels) so, it's not impossible that early into his time in the White House he could have spent 17 hours straight watching television.

    3.The rest of the story is consistent with what Wolff said about his book: that it shows Trump is a child who craves instant gratification and is easily bored.

    I think judging people on this by not knowing grammatical rules is a little silly if for no other reason than it's unlikely anybody reading this story would look closely at the punctuation.

    The sorts of things I find people being gullible about are those who used to say when Obama was President that there were '95 million unemployed' but who now say the economy is 'booming' under Trump when the economy only created 2 million jobs in 2017. What about the remaining 93 million unemployed?

    1. You could buy into some of it, but not the part where he talks to the gorillas and thinks they hear him.

    2. Well, except it actually quotes a person saying "I think he thinks the gorillas hear him."

      Were this a real story:
      1.The person who said that could have been joking.

      2.A lot of people it seems talk back to their televisions, especially during sporting events. From what I've seen when I've seen people do this, they sometimes genuinely do forget that they're watching television and the people they're watching can't hear them.

      For a person like Trump who seems to live as if only the present moment ever existed (his making comments that completely contradict comments he made just a few minutes earlier) it wouldn't surprise me he would forget he's just watching television.

    3. Should say "For a person like Trump who SOMETIMES seems to live..."

    4. Nah. Not even remotely plausible. Kneeling in front of the TV, four inches from the screen? It was never meant to be believable. It's just that everything Trump does is so transgressive, and so just plain disturbed, that people are willing to stretch the boundaries of their credulity when it comes to his behavior. I can't say that I blame them, but it was obvious from the last four lines or so that this was meant to be a joke. As I mentioned, I knew something was fishy when the first sentence wasn't properly punctuated.

  3. I'd bet though that, unless it's impossible due to copyright problems, that there will be a 'gorilla channel' somewhere on cable by the end of the year.

  4. In a world where Big Bang Theory is a hit, I have to agree.

  5. Just for fun, they created it: