Oops! Daily Mail and Russia Today fell for our April Fools joke about Canada’s PM stripping naked
MailOnline and the French edition of Russia Today both apparently fell for a PinkNews April Fools joke – and reported that the Canadian PM is stripping naked for a gay photoshoot.
Our special correspondent ‘Fillop Rao’ published a joke story on April Fools Day claiming that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is planning to take part in a nude shoot for a gay magazine to raise awareness of body image issues.
The story claimed that a world-class photographer would be flying in for the shoot with the PM… and that other world leaders including Barack Obama and David Cameron had been offered the chance but turned it down.
However, despite a number of clues that the article was an April Fools joke, reporters for MailOnline and Russia Today both appear to have taken the idea seriously.
MailOnline published a serious piece reporting that “Canadian PM Justin Trudeau plans to bare all for gay magazine”.
It claimed: “Trudeau will be the first world leader to appear in such a cover shoot after he reportedly accepted a preliminary bid from a gay magazine.”
The Mail even faithfully recounted our fake quote from a source close to David Cameron claiming that he “could do more for the public good by keeping his clothes on”.
The newspaper’s readership was naturally outraged by the suggestion.
The highest rated comment says: “That’s just plain disgusting. We do NOT need to see that – how unbecoming of a world leader.”
Another user fumed: “Absolute embarassment to our country. He will destroy our livelihood and make us a laughing stock on the world stage. Shame on everyone who voted him in.”
However, the Mail wasn’t alone – the French language version of Russia Today also picked up the April Fools story.
The outlet reported “Le Premier ministre canadien Justin Trudeau poserait bientôt nu pour un magazine gay – Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau may pose naked for a gay magazine”.
More from PinkNews
It adds: “He reportedly agreed to pose nude for a gay magazine, whose name was not specified, to raise people’s awarness of testicular cancer.”
To their credit, Russia Today at least noted the report was written on April Fools Day.
Both outlets have since amended their stories to clarify that the original article was an April Fool… though the flub made it to the Mail’s US Political editor before being fixed.
Elsewhere, Transport for London was forced to officially deny that it was planning to rename London’s Jubilee line to the Pride line and recolouring it rainbow on the tube map.
PinkNews had reported the Queen had greenlit the change in honour of the “the many homosexuals who have spent decades serving in the royal household” after learning that a new line would be dedicated to her.
However, the story spread online and many took it seriously.
By the way, you might want to look closer at the author name…