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Tweets falsely claim The Atlantic published story about ‘Biden’s negative growth economy’

A spokesperson for The Atlantic said the image shared on social media is “fabricated and not an actual Atlantic article.”
Credit: VERIFY
A tweet from political commentator Dinesh D'Souza with a fabricated headline from the news magazine The Atlantic

Several days after the U.S. Commerce Department reported that the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP) had declined for the second quarter in a row, people on Twitter began sharing an image of a headline about the economy under President Joe Biden.

The image appears to show the news magazine The Atlantic’s masthead with an article titled: “The Quiet Courage of Biden’s Negative Growth Economy,” written by the author Tim Nichols.

Matt Rinaldi, who serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, and political commentator Dinesh D’Souza are among those who shared the image on Twitter.

“This is NOT a parody,” D’Souza wrote on July 29.

THE QUESTION

Did The Atlantic publish an article titled: “The Quiet Courage of Biden’s Negative Growth Economy”?

THE SOURCES

  • Anna Bross, senior vice president of communications at The Atlantic
  • Search of The Atlantic’s website using the Wayback Machine, a digital archive tool
  • Advanced search of The Atlantic’s Twitter account

THE ANSWER

   

This is false.

No, The Atlantic didn’t publish an article titled: “The Quiet Courage of Biden’s Negative Growth Economy.”

WHAT WE FOUND

Anna Bross, senior vice president of communications at The Atlantic, said in an email that the image is “fabricated and is not an actual Atlantic article.” 

The publication doesn’t have a writer by the name of Tim Nichols, either, which VERIFY confirmed by visiting the magazine's writers webpage. There is a contributing writer for The Atlantic named Tom Nichols, who currently writes the Peacefield newsletter.  

“We have reported this as fake and as a trademark infringement,” Bross said.

The image shared on social media appears to imitate articles published to “The Atlantic Daily” section

VERIFY searched for the headline using the Wayback Machine, a digital archive tool, and did not find any mention of it on The Atlantic’s website. An advanced search for the headline on Twitter also did not return any results.

The Atlantic did publish a story with the headline “The Quiet Courage of Bob Moses” in July 2021, following the passing of the 86-year-old civil rights activist. That article was written by William Sturkey, a professor of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

This isn’t the first time that a fabricated Atlantic headline has circulated online. In June 2022, people on social media shared an image with a headline that read, “The Heroism of Biden’s Bike Fall” after Biden fell while trying to dismount his bicycle.

Bross told the Associated Press then that article was also “not a real article from The Atlantic.” 

The VERIFY team works to separate fact from fiction so that you can understand what is true and false. Please consider subscribing to our daily newsletter, text alerts and our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok. Learn More »

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