Orrin Hatch Would Like You To Know He's Still Alive After Google search results erroneously said the Utah senator had died in 2017, Hatch's staff had fun on social media showing that their boss was alive and well.
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Orrin Hatch Would Like You To Know He's Still Alive

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Orrin Hatch Would Like You To Know He's Still Alive

Orrin Hatch Would Like You To Know He's Still Alive

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

This afternoon, the Twitter handle @senorrinhatch posted a short video. It's of Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch reading The Washington Post - today's Washington Post, which is important to note. Hatch lowers the paper and says...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

ORRIN HATCH: The reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.

(SOUNDBITE OF DRAMATIC SOUND EFFECT)

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That sound effect is on the actual video. It is one of the latest tweets today proving that the senator is alive. Once again, Senator Orrin Hatch is alive and well.

CORNISH: Now, this all started last night around 10:30. A constituent flagged that if you Googled Senator Hatch, a top return listed him as dead since September 11, 2017. Matt Whitlock, deputy chief of staff and director of communications for Senator Hatch, explains what happened next.

MATT WHITLOCK: We had a really good laugh about it. And Senator Hatch thought it would be a great opportunity to sort of have some fun and show some of the highlights of his last several months on social media as a proof of life.

SHAPIRO: And so the tweets began. Just after 11 last night, the official Twitter account of his office posted, hi, Google; we might need to talk - and then a video of him signing bills and another tweet of Hatch alive earlier this month giving a gift to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL: Thank you. Bye-bye.

CORNISH: And then the senator alive meeting with Utah veterans at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

HATCH: I just love seeing these veterans. They're my heroes, my inspiration. And they remind me of the importance of my job as their representative.

CORNISH: There were several other videos, and you got to love the series of photos from his 84th birthday party in March - a shot of the senator with a glass of milk and a plate of bacon.

SHAPIRO: To be clear, the party had a bacon theme. All of this proof seemed to satisfy Google. The company responded to the tweets with this message - you certainly are alive and sporting a great sense of humor. We apologize for the error. We'll have it fixed shortly. And the Internet no longer lists Senator Hatch as dead.

CORNISH: If you're wondering how this happened in the first place, it appears that a user modified the Wikipedia page for Senator Hatch adding the fake death date. Hatch spokesman Matt Whitlock says along with the senator's sense of humor about it all...

WHITLOCK: His reaction was, I'm going to have to live another 20 years just to spite them (laughter).

CORNISH: Senator Orrin Hatch, who again is alive, retires in January after more than 40 years in the Senate.

(SOUNDBITE OF WORLDHITS INSTRUMENTAL'S "STAYIN' ALIVE (INSTRUMENTAL VERSION)")

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