The Quitting Tale That Suckered The Whole Internet
Photos of an aspiring broker purportedly telling off her boss garnered widespread news coverage and more than 105,000 Facebook “likes” Tuesday. Too bad they’re from two guys who have pranked the media before.
TheChive.com was first to post a series of pictures of “Jenny”, in which the supposed office worker held up a dry erase board with a series of messages dissing her chauvinist, micromanaging boss “Spencer” and outing him for spending all day playing FarmVille and reading TechCrunch. From there it spread basically everywhere; the post was on New York magazine’s site, Mashable to The Atlantic the New York Post, and TechCrunch, just to name a few. Gawker Media picked up the story, too, on our sister site Jezebel and on Kotaku.
But over at All Things D, writer Peter Kafka grew suspicious. He noticed that TheChive was owned by the same people who promoted a prior website, Derober, with a fabricated story about Donald Trump leaving a $US10,000 restaurant tip, tricking the Post and Fox News. Site owners John and Leo Resig promoted the fake 2007 Trump story with a falsified receipt, and they seem to be promoting TheChive with a fake resignation.
Because when Kafka called up Leo Resig and asked if Jenny’s story is real, this is what he said:
“This one is to be determined. People are kind of making up their own stories.”
We go on this vein for a bit. Since Leo won’t tell me the story is real, and the Trump story definitely wasn’t, I’ll assume that this one is make-believe, too. “If you want to assume that, you can. We have a track record.”
Resig said Jay Leno and Good Morning America want Jenny on their shows. Maybe after Resig has had his fill of free publicity, he’ll tell what really happened. Clearly, his post was carefully timed for when the media was already in a lather about a spectacular, and very real, quitting story involving that JetBlue flight attendant who resigned via inflatable chute. And it came during that time of year when bored office workers are happy to be entertained by even the fishiest of “news” stories. At the very least, the Resigs supplied the world with yet another bizarre story to laugh at this week. That’s no small accomplishment, even if did mean suckering everyone into trusting some known pranksters.