"(After that) we had a stock response ready," he said.
The Diggerer started last June as a post on Carpenter's other site, myWV.net.
Huntington illustrator Kathy Ferrell drew a picture of Batboy, the fictional "Weekly World News" character purportedly discovered in the Lost World Caverns near Lewisburg, eating a corndog.
Carpenter used the drawing in a June 10, 2011 post called "Batboy: West Virginia's most famous citizen." The picture didn't look right on the page, however.
"It seemed right to frame it in a tabloid," Carpenter said.
He racked his brain for a name for the fake tabloid and eventually came up with "Diggerer."
"Like the Enquirer, but in West Virginia we dig for things," he said.
In October, Carpenter decided to bring the Diggerer to life. A longtime web designer, he rebuilt the site three times before he was happy with its look. He readied the final version of Diggerer earlier this year, working under a hard deadline. Carpenter wanted to launch the fake news site on April Fool's Day.
The Diggerer now has 72 stories, with new content posted almost every day.
Though Carpenter contributes some stories, David Williams and Brady Robinson write most of the site's content. They write under the pseudonyms "Alligator Jackson" and "Arnold 'Scratch' Kelly," respectively.
Carpenter pitches stories to his writers through a private Facebook group he set up for Diggerer contributors. He throws out story ideas with a few suggested jokes, and Robinson or Williams takes up the assignment and brings it to life.
Carpenter acknowledges Diggerer stories have a conservative slant - one piece details a Democrat-backed voter rights campaign, aimed at zombies - but said he wants the site's politics to remain understated.
"If there's someone to poke fun at, we'll poke fun at anybody," he said.
He said he has no problem mocking West Virginia's laws and politics, but doesn't want to mock West Virginians.
One of The Diggerer's writers recently turned in a story about a certain West Virginia Powerball winner.
"The story was salacious and I said 'Nope, don't want to go that direction.' I don't want to personally attack anybody," Carpenter said.
He said he's not too worried about pulling the wool over readers' eyes, though. He's also not concerned the website's traffic will drop as people realize The Diggerer is a fake news site.
"As Barnum allegedly said, 'There's a sucker born every minute.' "
He said someone will always be fooled into thinking the site is authentic, and readers already in on the joke still can enjoy the goofy articles.
"I'd like it to be something West Virginia can be proud of, that we can make fun of ourselves," he said. "This website is uniquely West Virginia. We like to tell tall tales."
"Sometimes the best laugh is one that's delayed. In West Virginia storyteller fashion, I just sit back and smile. And hope that the light will kick on soon."
Contact writer Zack Harold at 304-348-7939 or zack.har...@dailymail.com.