Donald Trump Jr. has made waves in the discussion surrounding media and ‘fake news’, this time by tweeting actual false news articles.
Trump Jr. linked to a story on the conservative site Gateway Pundit which used footage of Muslim demonstrators supporting victims of the London Bridge terror attacks being ushered through a police cordon and argued that this was evidence that the event never actually happened.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) June 5, 2017
In a statement given to Fox News, CNN described police allowing demonstrators through so they could “show their signs to the media”, a group of outlets of which CNN, BBC and AP were part. Journalists, attempting to get photographs and videos of the demonstrators, can be seen encouraging protesters to positions where they can be seen on camera.
“This story is nonsense,” CNN told Fox in email. “The group of demonstrators that was at the police cordon was being allowed through by officers so they could show their signs to the gathered media. The CNN crew along with other media present simply filmed them doing so.”
In their analysis, Mediaite pointed out that the public is largely unfamiliar with news reporting practices which likely contributes to the spread of the false claims of a ‘hoax’.
“For those not familiar with live news production, it is actually not that uncommon for hosts and producers to arrange protesters or pedestrians behind reporter to provide a varied background,” said Mediaite.
CNN responded to Trump Jr. specifically, by characterizing his tweet as an attempt to mislead followers.
This is absolute nonsense. You are misleading your followers. CNN didn't stage a demonstration. Those are the facts. https://t.co/mWQFvw2fS1
— CNN Communications (@CNNPR) June 5, 2017
CNN’s PR also tweeted a link to Snopes’ analysis which called the story a “politically motivated mischaracterization” of actual events.