Vanity Fair set off a small firestorm today by publishing a realistic-looking yearbook photo of a young Mitt Romney in a homophobic pose.

While the photo was meant to be a parody, such subtleties are often lost on many tweeters. This certainly isn’t the first time that lefties have fallen for something they’ve read. However, it may be the first time that they were aided by Politico’s Mike Allen. (Allen hasn’t posted anything else on the matter, so we’re left to wonder if he was in on the joke, or fell for it himself.)

The LGBT-interest magazine Out also tweeted the photo without a disclaimer, although its article did hint that its editors understood the picture was fake.

(Psst. Ali. It’s Seamus. Woof.)

Vanity Fair confirmed the fakery…

…but, darn it, the people want to BELIEVE!

Really? Wouldn’t it be better if you wished for your own candidate to do well, rather than grasping for scandal? This must be what desperation looks like. All that’s missing is a binder in Mitt’s right hand.