National Review Finally Posts Correction for Fake “Venezuela” Photo After Michelle Malkin Throws Tantrum
National Review editor Rich Lowry has finally addressed that bogus photo attribution LGF contributor “weave” wrote about on Sunday: Venezuelan Store Shelves-Gate | National Review Online.
We ran a photo with Michelle Malkin’s column last week on Bernie Sanders’ economics that was supposed to be empty store shelves in Venezuela, but wasn’t. Our image editor grabbed the photo without verifying its source. We apologize for the error. (Of course, there is no lack of genuine photos of empty store shelves in Venezuela.) Michelle has been getting criticized as if she had anything to do with this snafu, but obviously syndicated columnists do not pick the art that goes with their columns in the various outlets that run them. (The erroneous photo also had an added weathered look, which our image editor sometimes adds for effect — see this Kevin Williamson piece from over the weekend for another example.)
The image editor adds this weathered look “for effect,” yes — when the effect they’re going for is to make something look dirty and disreputable, a classic propaganda technique. And notice that Lowry didn’t explain why the photo posted at National Review was cropped to remove the English language signs clearly visible in the original — which strongly suggests deliberate deception.
Clearly, they didn’t originally intend to post any sort of explanation at all, and only did so after Michelle Malkin threw a fit about it on Twitter, after being accused by many sites (but not by LGF) of posting the image herself. Here are some of the angry tweets she posted:
Take freaking responsibility. Post a clear retraction/explanation. And an apology would be the decent thing to do, too. Sick of this crap.
@kerpen It's a very useful lie for them to try and bring me down (or any other conservative writer for that matter).
Those last two are especially paranoid, of course; but the real point of this little brouhaha is that these kinds of articles comparing Bernie Sanders to Hugo Chavez or other communist tyrants like Stalin are deliberately deceptive, mean-spirited and simply wrong.
Nobody’s trying to “bring down” Michelle Malkin, and the only one discrediting her is… herself, every time she writes one of these nasty propagandistic screeds. Right wing blogs are now rushing to Malkin’s defense, trying to paint this as “smearing” her, but here’s a little fact for them: she doesn’t get to write these kinds of deceptive articles without push-back, much as she might like that. The bogus photo may not have been chosen by Malkin herself, but it’s a perfect illustration of how right wing journalists operate.
It’s gratifying that our humble little blog has forced them to back down and acknowledge their attempted deception, at least this once.