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Democratic US Senate candidate creates fake HuffPost headline to promote campaign — and gets busted

Well, this is embarrassing.

Image source: Teresa for Senate YouTube video screenshot

A Georgia Democrat running for U.S. Senate tried to pull a fast one on Thursday, when she posted a fake headline doctored to appear as though the Huffington Post reported she was "poised to win" her race in the deep red state.

But the publication took notice, and was quick to expose the candidate's fabrication publicly.

What are the details?

Early in the afternoon, candidate Teresa Tomlinson tweeted out a doctored image showing the phony headline — which read, "Georgia is in play and Teresa is poised to win it" — position under the HuffPost's banner. The Georgia Democrat included a message thanking a HuffPost reporter who had, indeed, covered the race.

However, the actual headline from the real story that profiled Tomlinson along with another progressive candidate, and pointed out that "Georgia Democrats haven't won a Senate seat in 19 years."

Within hours, HuffPost's Washington bureau chief responded to Tomlinson's message on Twitter, saying, "So...that is not our headline at all. And that quote isn't anywhere in the story. This is something the campaign made to make it look like we said this."

The chief included a link "to the actual story."

Tomlinson attempted to defend herself, responding to the HuffPost bureau chief by tweeting, "Yes, @aterkel, that is our headline on our website expressly stating that we are exhibiting 'excerpts from a Huffington Post piece.' We have removed the logo of the Huffington Post to prevent any confusion. The quoted excerpts are correct."

Rather than delete the bogus headline, Tomlinson stood firm, first adding a "note" via tweet that "This is not the Huffington Post headline" and admitting her campaign cooked it up.

As Tomlinson continued to face criticism for refusing to remove the false "HuffPost story" from social media, she argued, "The post is still up as are the critical comments related to the post. To delete the post would be to attempt to hide the criticism and the conversation."

Anything else?

As of this writing, the false HuffPost tweet remains on Tomlinson's Twitter feed.

One last thing…
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