When pranked, the State Department proves it’s as humorless as Rex Tillerson’s face

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stares into the blank abyss of his future.

Image: AP/REX/Shutterstock

Rex Tillerson’s State Department is a cold and humorless vacuum, in which laughter suffocates, and smiles are forbidden. 

And we know this how? Because there was an April Fool’s joke, that the State Department did not like. Like all April Fool’s joke, it was innocuous and silly. Unlike all April Fool’s jokes, however, it was subject to the cold, calloused bureaucratic soul of the Department of State in 2017.

On April 1, a blog that tracks happenings in Foggy Bottom published a fake “leaked cable.” President Donald Trump’s administration has been big on talk of cost-cutting, so the blog—Diplopundit—figured they’d poke fun at some cost-cutting measures at State. 

The fake cable listed some of the ways embassies had cut down on spending. One embassy was using sheep to pick at their lawns, instead of hiring folks to cut the grass. Another was using the toilets less. And one embassy’s thermostat was set to some excruciatingly cold temperature so as to reduce the money spent on heating. The cable also suggested that embassies should buy wine promoted by the White House.

Lol, unless you’re Mark Stroh, the acting spokesperson for the State Department. 

Stroh sent an email to Diplopundit about an hour after the fake cable went up. He called the cable “false, a forgery,” and asked for it to be removed. The blog recounts all this in a post later that night, and says they took a while to respond to Stroh because they were “out doing errands, and then we watched the most recent episode of Scandal.”

Stroh did not like this, either. Four hours after his initial email, he sent another one, asking that Diplopundit take down the fake cable, in all-caps, “IMMEDIATELY.” Instead, Diplopundit published both of Stroh’s emails. 

Sometimes April Fool’s? Actually good, if, for nothing else, exposing the party-poopers and humorless among us.

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