A website fooled the former Quebec premier with #fakenews story

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A well-known Quebec TV journalist has testified that a website spoofing the Journal de Montreal newspaper fooled many people _ including a former premier _ with a joke story claiming she was in a relationship with a provincial cabinet minister.

Anne-Marie Dussault of Radio-Canada told a trial today pitting the Journal de Montreal’s owner against the satirical Journal de Mourreal that she considered the 2015 article a violation of her personal life.

She recounted that several educated, informed people, contacted her to ask about the story after the Journal de Mourreal reported she was dating Gaetan Barrette, the health minister at the time. Dussault said former premier Bernard Landry inquired about the health of her long-term relationship with another journalist.

She also said Radio-Canada’s ombudsman received a number of complaints from viewers complaining Dussault was in a conflict of interest because she had to interview Barrette and other members of the government.

Lawyers for Quebecor, which publishes the Journal de Montreal, are arguing the satirical site is eroding the credibility of the newspaper’s brand and creating confusion among readers.

They want the site to change its name, logo and web site address, all of which are nearly identical to those of the Journal de Montreal.