FACT CHECK: Did The Washington Times Run A ‘President Gore’ Headline After The 2000 Presidential Election?

Elias Atienza | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 1,900 times purportedly shows the Nov. 8, 2000 front page of The Washington Times with the headline “President Gore.”

Verdict: False

The image has been doctored. The Washington Times confirmed it never published the headline shown in the image.

Fact Check:

The image of the alleged “Election Special” front page from The Washington Times has circulated widely on social media in recent days. (RELATED: Did Time Magazine Publish A Cover Calling Donald Trump The ‘Worst. President. Ever’?)

Tim Murtaugh, a spokesperson for President Donald Trump’s campaign, tweeted a photo of the supposed newspaper front page on Nov. 8, saying, “Greeting staff at @TeamTrump HQ this morning, a reminder the media doesn’t select the President.” In the alleged front page, the newspaper puts up the headline “President Gore” and shows a photo of the then-Democratic presidential candidate.

In response to Murtaugh’s now-deleted tweet, The Washington Times on Twitter debunked the notion that it ran such a headline, noting that the image is doctored.

“Those photos have been doctored,” the newspaper tweeted. “The Washington Times never ran a ‘President Gore’ headline.”

Through a reverse image search, Check Your Fact found that the doctored front page has been circulating online since at least 2010, when it was posted on a DeviantArt blog. The Mitchell Archives, a comprehensive database of newspapers, appears to show the actual Nov. 8, 2000 front page of The Washington Times with the headline “President Bush” and a photo of then-Republican candidate George W. Bush.

Al Gore lost to Bush in the 2000 presidential election after a legal battle in which the Supreme Court resolved the contest in Bush’s favor, according to Reuters. Some media outlets initially called Florida for Gore in 2000 but later rescinded it.

Murtaugh told Axios that he did not realize the front page was fake.

This fact check is available at IFCN’s 2020 US Elections FactChat #Chatbot on WhatsApp. Click here, for more.

Elias Atienza

Fact Check Reporter
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