Fake @CokieRoberts Twitter account fools journalists

One of two things happened on Monday:

  1. Veteran political news analyst Cokie Roberts joined Twitter and began a hapless and uncharacteristically snarky campaign of ranting, later mistaking Twitter for Google and tweeting Applebee's-related search queries; or
  2. Someone pretending to be Roberts decided to start a hoax account mocking the twitterphobic NPR and ABC journalist.

The answer: No. 2.

The @CokieRoberts account has a legit-sounding bio: "Senior news analyst for NPR; Commentator for ABC; Proud mother of two and grandmother of six." But the tweets are a bit extreme.

Andy Carvin called out @CokieRoberts as a fake and sais "she told NPR via email that she didn't set up the account."

Lots of journalists have been retweeting the misguided Applebee's queries. BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski speculated the whole thing may be an "Applebees viral marketing campaign."

In 2009, Roberts told a crowd at the Newseum that Twitter is a "rude" and "appalling" technology, according to The Hill newspaper. Perhaps that was inspiration for the hoaxster.

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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