“Curfews extended in multiple cities.” “Markets sink as trade war looms.” “DEPORTATIONS TO BEGIN.” According to a scarily convincing satirical front page of the Boston Globe — the paper on which this year’s Best Picture Oscar winner, “Spotlight,” was based — these would be facts of life in the United States under President Donald Trump after Jan. 20, 2017.
There are other fearsome prospects of a Trump White House in the Globe’s false front page, dated April 9, 2017.
U.S. soldiers refuse to kill the families of members of the ISIS terrorist organization.
“A Republican-controlled Congress … passed sweeping changes to libel law in the United States, moving the bill to the desk of the new president who has promised to sign it. The legislation, a fulfillment of a Trump campaign promise, will make US libel law similar to Great Britain’s and is expected to expose journalists to frequent high-dollar lawsuits.”
“Markets from the Dow to the FTSE to the Nikkei have sunk on speculation that China is dumping some of its US Treasury holdings after the Trump administration announced tariffs as high as 45 percent for all Chinese imports and 35 percent for some Mexican goods.”
And perhaps most frightening of all, the forecast line “riots continue.”
Other parts of the front page are satire at its best: over-the-top scenarios befitting an over-the-top candidate.
“Japanese Emperor Akihito formally censured Ambassador Kid Rock for a speech calling on US allies to “Let the [expletive] business guy run the [expletive] country like a [expletive] business.”
“Education Secretary Omarosa Manigault summoned PBS officials to Capitol Hill to discuss remaking ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ using hand puppets.”
The tongue-in-cheek vision of life in Trump’s America was accompanied by a blistering editorial statement that pulled no punches.
“He winks and nods at political violence at his rallies. He says he wants to ‘open up’ libel laws to punish critics in the news media and calls them ‘scum.’ He promised to shut out an entire class of immigrants and visitors to the United States on the sole basis of their religion.
“The toxic mix of violent intimidation, hostility to criticism, and explicit scapegoating of minorities shows a political movement is taking hold in America. If Trump were a politician running such a campaign in a foreign country right now, the US State Department would probably be condemning him.”
The idea for the satirical page wasn’t hard to come by. Boston Globe editorial page editor Ellen Clegg told TheWrap, “The Globe’s editorial board decided to take Donald Trump at his word — that he’s going to do what he says he’ll do if he becomes president. We studied his policy proposals, listened to his speeches, and looked at the vision he lays out for America. It became clear that the best way to handle his vision was through political satire, a rich tradition in journalism.”
There was the expected reader reaction, Clegg said. Globe editors have been “interacting with scores of readers — they’re calling, tweeting and emailing. It’s safe to say not everyone agrees with us, but that’s the mission of an editorial page: to prompt conversation and debate.”
See the whole satirical page below.