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The Anatomy of Fake News

Once again…”Fake News” doesn’t have to contain factually incorrect information.  More often it simply amplifies misleading information while minimizing or ignoring clarifying information.

Example #41,981,023 appeared in a photo released overnight by the Reuters Wire Service.  It shows a woman, a child and a soldier in a desert area.  This is the official caption Reuters used.


I must say this is pretty masterfully crafted.  The caption does not mention the soldier’s nationality.  The clear implication is that he is American, since the Narrative tells us that every American involved in border enforcement is a Bigoted/Nazi/Fascist/Trumpian/Puppy-Kicker.   It was designed to create responses ranging from the solemn (“This is Trump’s America), to much more indignant diatribes.

The photo, however, did not include some crucial context.  This is a Mexican soldier who stopped them in Mexico.  The photo is intentionally angled low enough not to show any of the flags or ID on his uniform because that would let everyone know this is a Mexican soldier.  That changes the photo’s dynamic.  By quite a bit.  What blows it into angstrom-sized pieces is information that is buried in the EIGHTH PARAGRAPH of the accompanying story.

“Lopez Obrador’s spokesman Jesus Ramirez said the image was an example of the National Guard doing its job of looking after public security.  He said the soldier did not impede Perez from crossing, but advised her of the dangers of doing so.”

That’s right.  Not only is this not an evil American guard…it’s a Mexican guard.  And he’s NOT preventing them from crossing the border…he is merely advising them on the perils of the subsequent journey.  Technically, she’s begging to be let out of Mexico.

Like all Fake News, this information is presented in such a manner so as to provide the news outlet plausible deniability once they’re called out.  That can argue that the caption includes no mention of the soldier’s nationality…and that the clarifying information IS included in the story.

But again, Reuters and other progenitors of Fake News know that 75-80% of their consumers do not look past the picture and/or headline of a story.  This was crafted in such a way to generate maximum outrage from those who oppose Trump’s border policies; while burying information about the photo that does not jibe with the narrative.  Reuters engineered this to be shared by angry Trump opponents, while maintaining their journalistic integrity—or whatever remains of it.

One upshot is that the photo and it’s gross misrepresentation is bringing one uncomfortable fact to light.  Mexican soldiers are doing FAR more to secure the US border than are American Democrats.

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