Politics Makes for Rich April Fools’ Fodder

Posted April 1, 2013 at 5:59pm

April Fools’ Day has come and gone, and while most of us have retained a certain amount of faith in the basic decency of humanity, others seem to have been taken in by the nation’s annual day of pranking.

For example, after “news” broke that Sen. Patrick J. Toomey, R-Pa., was throwing his hat in the gubernatorial ring in the Keystone State, one Pennsylvania reporter had to tell her editor this factoid was false.

“I had to break the news to him that it was a joke before he pitched it at the morning budget meeting,” the reporter told HOH. “I was like, ‘Simmer down. It’s fake.’”

The April Fool’s post was published by the blog PoliticsPA and made Toomey’s office sweat through multiple frantic press inquiries.

The Lehigh Valley’s Easton Patch site, however, was taken in and later had to clarify that the post was based on an “apparent April Fool’s joke.”

Jonathan Miller of the blog Recovering Politician nearly got a Hill reporter and good when he published an “exclusive item” wherein actress Ashley Judd decided that she was, in fact, going to challenge Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell for his Senate seat in Kentucky. (Judd announced last week that she wasn’t challenging McConnell.)

And, finally, no one was taken in, but we did chuckle when Americans for Tax Reform sent out a release claiming that Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway investors would hold a news conference to announce that Buffett would voluntarily comply with President Barack Obama’s proposed Buffett Rule, a proposal that would stipulate that the wealthy pay tax rates comparable to paycheck workers.

“[P]eople might assume that the Americans for Tax Reform press release was an April Fools’ joke mocking the hypocrisy and moral preening of Warren Buffett and the knowing dishonesty of his assertion that his investors do not react negatively to higher taxes,” Americans for Tax Reform spokesman John Kartch said.

He then sent HOH a “picture of the press conference” in which a cartoon Buffett handed Uncle Sam a bajillion-dollar check.