Fact check: Widely circulated tweet claims Pres. Trump demanded the 'gorilla channel'

ByDanny Clemens WLS logo
Friday, January 5, 2018
Tweet claims Pres. Trump demanded the 'gorilla channel'
No, Pres. Trump did not demand the 'gorilla channel' in the White House.

"On his first night in the White House, President Trump complained that the TV in his bedroom was broken because it didn't have 'the gorilla channel.'"

So begins a widely circulated tweet claiming to be an excerpt from Michael Wolff's controversial book "Fire and Fury."

The tweet goes on to claim that Trump's staffers built a "hastily constructed transmission tower on the South Lawn" to broadcast a number of gorilla documentaries on a loop. Alas, the president still found the channel boring because "the gorillas aren't fighting" after watching for 17 hours a day, the tweet said:

The problem? The tweet is a product of self-described parody account @pixelatedboat, an artist who goes by Ben and usually shares comics and other memes on his various social media accounts.

Nonetheless, some people ran with the tweet, which has received tens of thousands of shares and retweets on @pixelatedboat's account as of Friday afternoon. It has also been shared by other Twitter users out of the context of the satire account that originally posted it, leading some to believe the apish tale.

It got so bad that @pixelatedboat changed his display name on Twitter to 'the gorilla channel thing is a joke' and responded with a follow-up tweet:

"[That feeling when] you parody a guy making up [stuff] about Trump but people believe it so you become part of the problem," he added an hour after the original tweet, also saying the gorilla story was "more credible than most of the [stuff] I make up."

On Twitter, many readers said they believed the story until reading the comments decrying the tale as false. Cable company Spectrum apparently fell for the ruse, responding to one reader's request to have the (non-existent) gorilla channel added to their service lineup.