After Trump got elected I started thinking about the millions of people who voted for him. To this day I still feel a mix of anger and empathy towards them.
You want to use your vote to make your healthcare less affordable? Fine. You’re voting so that I’ll pay less taxes and you’ll pay more? Fine. But Donald Trump? Fucking Donald Trump? You made that guy our President? This clown represents me now? Fuck you.
Then I remember they’re victims too. They got duped because our education system failed them, and that’s not their fault… But it is a problem. They’re getting their information from dubious sources, and they believe anything as long as it sounds like their brand of conservatism.
Then I thought, alright, if they’ll believe anything that sounds conservative, no matter how credible the source is, maybe that’s a way to reach them. And that’s how I decided to create a fake news site.
First I needed a name. It had to sound both conservative and unbiased, which is paradoxical, except in the alternative world where my target audience lives. I settled on Real Right, America’s best news source.
The idea was simple, could I use fake news as a weapon against itself? Any person who believes a made-up story hastily written on a brand new Medium account is clearly unfit to vote. And so my first article announced that the Electoral College has decided to reelect Donald in 2020. No voting required.
I thought I’d instill some empathy and magnanimity by imagining Trump offering food to protesters.
This whole creative endeavor lasted just a few weeks, enough to help me cope with the aftershock of the election. Still, my favorite fake news story was the one I wrote about Crocs, the footwear company, endorsing Trump. It was inspired by a real story about a New Balance exec favoring Trump, which prompted some of his supporters to call for buying New Balance shoes.
If one more Trump fan bought and wore those hideous crocodile shoes because of me, then it was worth it.