Wednesday morning at 12:05 a.m. Eastern Time (9:05 p.m. Tuesday Phoenix time), Reuters tweeted a photo with the following description: "Pro-Trump supporters face off with peace activists during protests outside a Trump rally in Phoenix."
The photo by the wire service's Sandy Huffaker also appears in a photo montage at the UK Guardian with the caption "Pro-Trump supporters face off with peace activists."
We'll get to how utterly irresponsible it is to call the anti-Trump protesters in Phoenix, many of whom were loud and proud "anti-fascists," aka "antifas," aka "left-wing fascists who think they get a pass for their obvious fascism because they're left-wing," anything resembling "peace activists" in a moment.
The photo at the UK Guardian (scroll about halfway down at the link) is the same, except for being cropped a bit at the top.
Perhaps other readers have better eyes than mine, but all I see is one guy — apparently needing a crutch, and perhaps two — pointing at something or perhaps someone or some people off-camera. One can't even know for sure that the man is a Trump supporter even after greatly magnifying the button he's wearing. It appears to say "Built Trump Tough," but one can't be certain.
So where are the "pro-Trump supporters" Huffaker referred to in the photo? I see one at most.
With whom is this one "pro-Trump supporter," assuming he really is one, having a "face off"? Certainly it's not with anyone who is visible in the photo.
What evidence is there that anyone in the photo is a "peace activist," or even a "protester"? There is none. The two people nearest the alleged Trump supporter are holding cameras and appear to be journalists. Even if they're not journalists, they are not engaged in a "face off" with this man.
There is absolutely nothing about this photo which communicates what its photographer claims. In other words, resurrecting a term from Reuters' scandalous photography practices in the Middle East a decade ago, this is a clear example of fauxtography, defined as "visual images, especially news photographs, which convey a questionable (or outright false) sense of the events they seem to depict.”
Now let's get to the "peace activists" lie contained in both photo captions.
Breitbart.com reported that "Rioting broke out among leftists in the aftermath of President Donald Trump’s Tuesday rally in Phoenix, AZ."
Breitbart appears to have downplayed its description. At the 0:40 mark of the local 12 News video found here, a police spokesperson, despite the overly indulgent language used before and after her description, reported that people who chose to engage in criminal activity "began to break down the pet fencing" (barriers to keep out those who wished to disrupt) and "at one point dispersed gas into and at the police officers." If people are gassing the cops, they're aren't "merely" rioters destroying property and stealing things. They're directly hostile attackers whose intent is to seriously harm members of law enforcement.
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Getting back to that Reuters photo and tweeted description, here's someone's succinct response:
One wonders how far and how deep the press's written and photographed lies have to be before someone at these organizations steps in with something resembling adult supervision. Perhaps the problem is that these organizations have run out of genuine adults.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.