July 10, 2014

False Reuters Headline at Yahoo News: ‘President Obama Visits the Border’

I’m sure that many will pass off what Reuters and Yahoo News have just been caught doing as some kind of an innocent mistake, and perhaps it was. But isn’t odd how often those “mistakes” so often end up giving President Obama and the left more credit than they deserve?

Yesterday, a Reuters story at Yahoo News was headlined “President Obama Visits the Border.” That’s a pretty remarkable headline, given Obama’s quite widely known refusal — except perhaps by low-information Yahoo readers — to visit the Texas-Mexico border or to visit facilities where Unaccompanied Alien Children are being detained by the Border Patrol. The headline, before it was corrected to “President Obama Visits Austin,” along with evidence that Google News was still carrying the original headline until just a short time ago, follow the jump.

Here is the original headline (HT Rush Limbaugh via Twitchy):

ReutersYahooHeadlineOnObamaVisitsBorder071014

Here is the Google News result obtained at about 4 p.m. ET today:

GoogleNewsObamaVisitsBorder071014

Yahoo, whose story’s URL (https://news.yahoo.com/photos/president-obama-visits-the-border-slideshow/) still acted as if Obama had visited the border until just a short time ago, has since cleaned things up — sort of. Twitchy has noted that, contrary to its current headline, the story covers Obama’s visits to multiple cities.

Given that the story appears to have been up for over 12 hours before the problem caught meaningful attention, it appears likely that if center-right New Media hadn’t called Yahoo out, the bogus headline would still be there.

The press’s seeming tendency to make things up out of whole cloth to make Obama look good, or at least less bad, goes back to the the 2008 presidential transition period and the 2008 presidential campaign.

Here’s an example from the transition period: In late 2008, an enterprising Quincy, Illinois TV station created early November stories about a meeting which was to take place, and then which did take place, between the just-elected Obama and then-Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich. When Blagojevich was arrested in early December, i.e., a full month later, on “charges of conspiring to get financial benefits through his authority to appoint a U.S. senator to fill the vacancy left by Barack Obama’s election as president,” the station retracted its story and claimed to never have had any knowledge of the November meeting. The disappearance of those month-old stories was mighty convenient for Obama, who claimed after Blago’s arrest never to have had contact with him.

How many low-information new consumers, especially those who only look at headlines, will believe that Obama really did visit the border? Quite a few — and excuse me for believing that Yahoo News is quite pleased with that result.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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