Fact Check: Third Bridge Spanning The Chesapeake Bay Is NOT In Planning Stages: It's April Fools'

Fact Check

  • by: Sarah Thompson
Fact Check: Third Bridge Spanning The Chesapeake Bay Is NOT In Planning Stages: It's April Fools' April Fool's

Did Jeff Bezos agree to pay for a six and a half mile long bridge in Maryland in exchange for the rezoning of some land to build an Amazon distribution center and drone launching facility? No, that's not true: A short film produced by Queen Anne's County Television was an April Fools' hoax. The video began with elements typically found in a real news broadcast including an enthusiastic pitch in favor of the project by the Queen Anne's County Commissioner but as the satirical news segment progressed, the narrative became increasingly outrageous and silly, and finished with an April Fools' announcement.

The short film was presented in a post (archived here) where it was published by 'Queen Anne's County Television - QACTV' on April 1, 2021. It was captioned:

Breaking News in QAC - Chesapeake Bay Bridge 3rd Span Confirmed.

This is what the post looked like on Facebook at the time of writing:

Facebook screenshot

(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 2 13:53:37 2021 UTC)

This short satire film had several elements of an authentic local news segment, including smooth camera work and editing, stills of maps and B-roll footage of construction sites. The story includes specific details for the local Maryland audience which add to the believability, the irony, and possibly some momentary outrage before the viewer picks up on the joke. A key element of the satirical news story is the appearance of Jeff Bezos himself. Clips from a 2013 Hanson Hosein 'Four Peaks' interview with Bezos in Seattle have been spliced to fit into a new context for this Maryland Bridge project joke.


(Source: Facebook screenshot taken on Fri Apr 2 14:56:25 2021 UTC)

At the end of the four minute long video, the QACTV.com chyron displays the text, "BREAKING NEWS April Fools in Queen Anne's County" as county commissioner Chris Corchiarino explains:

Anybody who has watched this whole newsbreak and believes what I am saying, has got to be an April Fool.
Folks, We know that the bridge is a very serious topic and it is something that we are going to have discussions on for years to come- but we thought, 'Why not have a little levity on April Fools Day?"

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  Sarah Thompson

Sarah Thompson lives with her family and pets on a small farm in Indiana. She founded a Facebook page and a blog called “Exploiting the Niche” in 2017 to help others learn about manipulative tactics and avoid scams on social media. Since then she has collaborated with journalists in the USA, Canada and Australia and since December 2019 she works as a Social Media Authenticity Analyst at Lead Stories.


Read more about or contact Sarah Thompson

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