Humiliating the press is one of the United States’ greatest traditions. Since the nation’s founding, intelligent and upstanding men have attacked journalists as annoying nerds unconcerned with truth. As Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1807, “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”
So when Rahul Ligma and Daniel Johnson fooled reporters into believing they were real Twitter employees who were fired by Elon Musk, the two cemented their statuses as Washington Free Beacon Men of the Year. Desperate to write sob stories about good liberals losing $300,000 a year salaries, reporters who wrote about the toils of poor Ligma and Johnson were instead revealed as the lazy partisans they are.
The con was ingenious, but not elaborate: The two stood outside Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters carrying cardboard boxes and—according to CNBC’s Dierdre Bosa—looking “visibly shaken” by their dismissals. They identified themselves as “Rahul Ligma” and “Daniel Johnson,” references to genitalia. We’ll let you Google the rest.
It didn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what was going on. Ligma, wearing bike shorts and an earth-toned Patagonia jackets and holding a copy of Michelle Obama’s memoir in a cardboard box, said the Obamas wouldn’t have had Musk owned Twitter in 2008. A distraught Johnson said he had to go home “to touch base with my husband and wife.”
CNBC, along with reporters at Bloomberg and NBC, fell for the bit only to run humiliating corrections later. Their credulousness served as a reminder that reporters are often lazy and stupid and we thank Ligma and Johnson for their public service.
“Daniel tells us he owns a Tesla and doesn’t know how he’s going to make payments,” Bosa wrote in a now-deleted Tweet after falling for the prank.
Ligma and Johnson’s success won them praise from Musk himself—the billionaire even pretended to hire them back.
Welcoming back Ligma & Johnson! pic.twitter.com/LEhXV95Njj
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 15, 2022
And of course, the gullible media class fell for that too. Socialist commentator Briahna Joy Gray, a full month after everyone already issued their corrections, said the picture of Musk with the two was Musk admitting his mistake.
Although Ligma and Johnson’s true identities remain a mystery, the Free Beacon managed to contact them. Sources tell us both men have been preoccupied with tending to their harems and counting money since the prank. Ligma was described by a close associate as “a beast” and “a true force of nature.” The Free Beacon couldn’t agree more.
As for Johnson, he is handling his Man of the Year award with grace. After he was notified of the other great men who have received the honor, Johnson said these were the sort of “men I’ve looked up to my whole life.”
“To be among them, I’m honestly speechless,” Johnson continued. “I got here just by carrying a box. Literally anything can happen in America. And you can quote me on that.”
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