'Boston Globe,' 'Motor Trend' Raise Eyebrows With Fake Covers

April 1st is the natural time to publish spoof articles. Even then, you’re  taking a chance, as some people do not find it all amusing to be tricked by text, even when it’s clearly just a joke. (I’ve been around that block a few times.)

But if you do it any other time of year it kind of just ends up being confusing, not to mention probably making people even angrier than April Fool’s Day. 

Recently, The Boston Globe and Motor Trend magazine both headed into this murky territory with covers – one satirical, one a somewhat misleading teaser – that aren’t strictly, well, true.

The cover of the “Ideas” section of the April 9, 2016 edition of The Boston Globe offered readers a surprising headline under a date a year later (April 9, 2017), reading “Deportations to Begin” over a picture of “President Donald Trump.”

For additional giggles, the fake front page carried some other “news items,” including one under the headline, “Markets sink as trade war looms,” in a nod to the GOP front-runner’s belligerent remarks on foreign trade.

The fake front page, coming a week after April Fool’s Day, attracted a predictably bilious reaction from Trump himself, who lashed out calling the Globe with his by-now familiar ad hominem attacks against the newspaper, tweeting, “How about that stupid Boston Globe? It’s worthless, sold for a dollar.”

Motor Trend got readers’ attention with a cover that seemed, at least to less observant readers, to imply that the auto enthusiast magazine had gained access to a preview of the new Apple Car (or whatever its name ends up being). In fact, this was exactly the opposite: The editors had convened a panel of experts to speculate what an Apple-designed automobile might look like.

In fairness to Motor Trend, the cover never stated that this was in fact a preview of the real thing. The headline asks “Are You Apple Car?” The car is shown in dark profile, which should indicate to savvy readers that this is a piece of speculation.

Still, auto enthusiast readers were not amused by what they perceived as a bogus attempt to cadge some of Apple’s perennial newsworthiness into newsstand sales – especially since, by many accounts, the car the experts came up with is kind of hideous.

Rival auto blog Jalopnik summed up the general sentiment with a post titled, “Motor Trend’s Fake Apple Car Is Extraordinarily Dumb and Dishonest.” Yes, Jalopnik, but how do you really feel?

1 comment about "'Boston Globe,' 'Motor Trend' Raise Eyebrows With Fake Covers".
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  1. Chuck Lantz from, network, April 19, 2016 at 8 p.m.

    "The car is shown in dark profile, which should indicate to savvy readers that this is a piece of speculation"  

    As a long-time reader of Motor Trend and other auto publications, I'm very familiar with their use of dark profiled images to indicate that whatever they are reporting on is, in fact, speculation. So I'm very surprised that anyone, especially Jalopnik, who should know better,  felt the cover was "dishonest" in any way. 

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