Tuesday, January 12, 2016

How the media was tricked by an Ammon Bundy parody Twitter account

The man who convinced dozens of media outlets that he was the occupying rancher Ammon Bundy with nothing more than a parody Twitter account is a 35-year old West Texan man who earns a living, at least in part, by raising chickens and goats. “I got goats in the background,” he told The Post in a Friday morning phone interview, speaking in a Southern drawl. Soon after, as if on cue, the interview was interrupted by a loud bleating noise. @Ammon_Bundy is not the real Ammon Bundy, who says he does not have a Twitter account. But the account was quoted and mentioned for days in news articles and cable broadcasts about the armed occupation of a portion of federal land in Oregon. “The Saint” registered the parody account in the earliest hours of Jan. 3, when he began tweeting a couple of real quotes that Bundy had given media. Within hours, his friends told him that they saw the account appear during a CNN broadcast — attributed to Bundy himself. “I was like ‘woah.’ I didn’t really expect anything to happen like that. That was not my intention,” he said. Soon after, reporters began reaching out to the parody account, expecting to reach Bundy through it. It was at that point that he decided to see how far he could go until someone caught on that the account was fake — that happened Wednesday morning...more

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