Thursday, December 22, 2016

Fake news by omission

Three guesses on where in the newsosphere the morning's third most important story began!


Dammit, you peeked.

Fox is sticking with best practices for a career in, say, armed robbery or terrorism: follow the routines to reduce the risk of being noticed. Here, the routine is to spin the story forward -- "forward spin," unlike "Spin Alley," is a valence-neutral term of practice -- by adding context, reaction or interpretation. Going to Twitter, in this case, is no different from finding a Concerned Passerby to say "grinch" after someone robs the Salvation Army kettle. Here's the Fox tale in its entirety, credited to Heat Street (again):
 
Prior to the 2012 presidential election, the Washington, D.C., Metro system began preparing  special commemorative “SmartTrip” cards for Inauguration Day featuring both major candidates.

President Obama would go on to win reelection that year, but the Metro also designed a fancy Mitt Romney-themed SmartTrip card for the special occasion, just in case.

It looks like the D.C. Metro has gone to considerably less effort to prepare for Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20. Here is the design for this year’s commemorative Inauguration Day SmartTrip card:
The word “Trump” is nowhere to be found. Trump himself does not appear on the card. Twitters users were quick to point out what they saw as an obvious snub.
 

And that's that. (Though you can click through to the Heat Street original for a better sense of Fox's editing skills and Heat Street's awesome news judgment.) Conveniently, we've forward-spun right past that pesky WTOP story that Drudge was forced to link to, because WTOP -- hang on, kids -- actually committed some "reporting":

In an emailed statement to WTOP, Metro said it requested permission to use a photo of Trump but didn’t receive a reply from his campaign. “Due to the long lead time to produce the cards, the new pass commemorates the national celebration of the 58th Presidential Inauguration,” the agency stated.


In other words, it looks like Trump snubbed Metro, not the other way 'round. But that's not going to give the audience the right impression of the liberal establishment's perfidy, is it?

Can you call "fake news" on a story in which all the facts are true? (I mean, it's not Fox's fault that the hed doesn't say who snubwayed whom.) Reply hazy, ask again later. But by way of distinguishing Fox from the adults in the room, you can certainly call it fake journalism.

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