Now, it seems like news outlets pump out a phony outrage every single day. It almost always falls apart once new facts emerge, but not before doing a tremendous amount of damage and leaving a trail of very angry readers and viewers in its wake.
This is just the latest example:
Pope Francis beckoned to the little girl, who had stepped out of the crowd. Sofía was part of a delegation of 6 children and 19 adults who had come from their California church with one important mission - to seek the Pope's advocacy and support for legalizing the millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S.
What's the real story here? Did widdle Sofia's parents lose their legal status when they disassembled a clock and tried to pass it through Customs? Did mom flee Mexico after being brutally gangraped on a bed of broken glass?
Or maybe a 5-year-old girl who was traveling with a political advocacy group just happened to get through security to deliver this perfectly-spelled letter in Spanish:
AND THEN A POLICE OFFICER WHO HAD TRIED TO STOP SOFIA BEGAN A SLOW CLAP, WHILE OBVIOUSLY HOLDING BACK TEARS. THE OTHER MEN ON THE FORCE JOINED IN AND THE MANAGER OF THE SECURITY DETAIL WINKED AT SOFIA KNOWINGLY.
People have gone straight to the skeptical phase on this one. Here are the comments on Slate:
OK, so this story is a bit of a softball. The Ahmed clock hoax and the dead Syrian boy, to name two other examples, are a bit more complex. But what amazes me is the rate at these stories are being sloppily churned out, then debunked.
I believe it's the combination of the faster pace of news and the brain drain facing the journalism field, forces I talked about in greater detail in this post. To summarize, journalism isn't a very attractive industry anymore and media outlets can't retain their best people. News outlets increasingly gravitate toward hiring fresh college grads who will work for terrible pay, but are not savvy enough to sniff out bullshit. These young people are typically idealistic and eagerly embrace any story that seems to confirm their worldview.
What's really interesting is the proliferation of comments sections, forums and alternative news outlets where people can collectively dismantle these narratives. I'll cover that a bit in post #2, on the Ahmed clock hoax.
Though many of these stories could be posted in multiple threads, I wanted to start one dedicated exclusively to taking apart phony media narratives. Post some of your favorite examples from the past few years.
Edited by FAGGOT STRIVER POOR, 25 September 2015 - 01:22 PM.