Did Vice President Mike Pence beg President Trump not to make him sit next to a woman during the State of the Union? No, that's not true: Pence will just sit next to Speaker Pelosi, the entire story was made up by the satire section of a popular publication.
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)--Vice-President Mike Pence has begged Donald J. Trump not to make him sit next to a woman during Tuesday night's State of the Union address, sources confirmed on Monday.
According to those sources, an emotional Pence came close to breaking down in tears as he explained that being seated next to a woman other than his wife was a violation of his personal code of behavior.
Pence offered Trump a variety of solutions to the problem, including introducing a third chair between him and the woman where his wife, Karen Pence, could be seated for the duration of the speech, "to make sure that that woman doesn't try anything."
Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail so they wouldn't have noticed which section the story came from if they didn't look too closely:
Pence offered Trump a variety of alternatives, including introducing a third chair between him and the woman where his wife, Karen Pence, could be seated for the duration of the speech.
But the story actually appeared in the satire column of The New Yorker ("The Borowitz Report" by Andy Borowitz) which was acquired in 2012 by the magazine. Although the section with the columns and all the articles in it are clearly marked as satire the stories frequently get confused for real news by people who only see the title and summary on social media and who assume it must be real because the link goes to the actual website of The New Yorker. To them it would look somewhat like this, with an easy to miss "Not the news" being the only indication it is not real:
In part to combat this the main page of The Borowitz Report comes with a clear heading that simply states:
Satire from the Borowitz Report
To be safe, whenever you see a link that goes to any article on the "newyorker.com" website, always check if the rest of the link says "/humor/borowitz-report/" somewhere. If it does, don't believe a thing you read...
NewsGuard, a company that uses trained journalist to rank the reliability of websites, describes newyorker.com as:
The website of the celebrated weekly magazine The New Yorker. The site publishes news, reviews, investigative reports, and critical commentary about international politics, culture, and New York City events, as well as poetry, fiction, videos and podcasts, satire, and cartoons. Its political content is usually liberal in tone and outlook.
According to NewsGuard the site can generally be trusted to maintain journalistic standards. Read their full assessment here.
We wrote about newyorker.com before, here are our most recent articles that mention the site:
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- Fake News: Trump Did NOT Say White House Is No Place for Lying Lowlife from Reality Show
- Fake News: Pence Did NOT Call Space Force Necessary to Protect U.S. from Gay Aliens