The Week (So Far) in Fauxtography: Fauxtos of Mystery

EU Referendum, the blog that has spent as much time as anyone exposing the almost certainly staged reporting out of Qana and the adventures of Green Helmet, posts on the mystery of the extra baby.

Ray Robison posted yesterday about the mystery of the wandering prayer rug.

Confederate Yankee brought us the mysterious wandering water bottle yesterday and calls shenanigans on the same photographer today.

Yesterday, The Jawa Report brought us the mystery of the deadly drink of water.

BuzzWhack defines fauxtography.

More fauxtography.

I'm working on a timeline of the Reutersgate/fauxtography scandal, which seemed to explode out of nowhere on Saturday, August 5. It's like trying to track the shrapnel from a grenade, but I hope to finish before I leave for vacation this weekend.

UPDATE 17:18 by Matthew Sheffield. Glenn Reynolds has some interesting thoughts on fake news:

We've seen this kind of fakery before, of course, and not just where Israel is concerned. The Boston Globe ran fake rape photos purporting to show U.S. troops raping Iraqi women. The photos turned out to come from a Hungarian porn site. Nor does the fakery stop with photos. Rutten's own L.A. Times ran a nasty piece about Paul Bremer's departure from Iraq, saying that he didn't even give a farewell speech and suggesting that he was afraid to look Iraqis in the eye. In fact, Bremer had given a speech that was nationally televised in Iraq. As columnist John Leo observed in response to this bit of bogosity: "What's new about the press is that so many people who follow it with a critical eye now have an outlet to howl about inaccuracy and partisanship. The big media used to be able to shrug off critics like this. Now they can't."

No, they can't. But I have to say that I'm disappointed with their response nonetheless. I had hoped that increased scrutiny from bloggers would make the press more honest, but so far there's no sign of that. And bad or dishonest reporting is destructive and unpatriotic (note that reporting bad news honestly is not, a distinction that dishonest media defenders sometimes try to elide). Can a free press survive if the public concludes that it's in the business of purveying politically motivated propaganda on behalf of civilization's enemies? And, if this kind of thing keeps up, will people be able to resist coming to such a conclusion? The press often responds to business scandals by noting that misbehavior by businessmen is likely to undermine support for free enterprise and lead to public demands for the abolition of free enterprise. I fear that the same dynamic may lead to reduced support for a free press, and to demands for government regulation of reporting in wartime.