Red faces at Washington Post after citing satirical article claiming 'American Idiot' is about George W. Bush
The Washington Post cited a satirical website that claimed the Green Day song “American Idiot” was about President George W. Bush.
The Washington Post is under fire on Tuesday for an embarrassing correction it was forced to issue after mistakenly citing a satirical website that claimed the Green Day song “American Idiot” was about President George W. Bush.
The Post cited a Clickhole.com article in which Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong declared the song was about the 43rd president. Clickhole bills itself as “the latest and greatest online social experience filled with the most clickable, irresistibly shareable content anywhere on the internet,” where staffers aim to mislead readers “just enough to make it go viral.”
Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos’ paper published an article headlined, “In honor of Trump visit, Brits launch campaign to lift ‘American Idiot’ to top of the charts,” by Meagan Flynn. The story was intended to explain that some protesters in the United Kingdom have launched a campaign to vault the Green Day song to the top of music charts to coincide with President Trump’s visit to the country. The paper cited the satirical blog entry that said Armstrong wrote “American idiot” about Bush because he “started a war.”
After facing ridicule on social media, the paper corrected the story and issued the following editor’s note: “A previous version of this report included information about the meaning of “American Idiot” that was attributed to a Clickhole.com article. Clickhole.com is a satire site. The information has been removed from the story.”
*Ahem*— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) July 10, 2018
This story has been updated to remove material attributed to a satirical Web publication, Clickhole. https://t.co/qxLXFS84Pw
The updated version of Flynn’s story notes the Green Day hit was written “in the throes of the Iraq War and the angst of post-9/11 America.” All references to Bush have been removed.
As the Post pointed out, the “Make American Idiot Great Again” campaign is actually working. The song is No. 1 on the U.K. Amazon chart.
Meanwhile, current Clickhole headlines include a call for Resistance members to “yell at Jill Stein about the 2016 election,” the tale of a man purchasing Rolos and juice in an airport like a “rock star” and a piece about mothers who repeat things over and over headlined, “Uh Oh: Mom read an article.”
Trump departed Tuesday for Europe, where he is expected to sit down with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Finland on Monday, after stops in Belgium, England and Scotland.
Fox News’ Brooke Singman contributed to this report.
Brian Flood covers the media for Fox News. Follow him on Twitter at @briansflood.