June 19, 2024

A Pictorial Example of “Misinformation”

I think the average person has a short attention span and not enough time to get down to the facts behind a story.  Case in point – the bad impression generated by the following photo from the Justice Department showing alleged classified documents found in President Trump’s home.


The “obvious” impression is that President Trump’s staff was carefree and sloppy with files, strewing classified documents about the office at will.  The explanation for why these files were strewn on the floor was not a part of the expose news stories breathlessly reported on by the major news medias.  If one digs deeper, we learn that these files were artfully arranged by none other than the government, explained thus by the DOJ:

The Justice Department said the top-secret files in the photo were “recovered from a container” and “desks” in Trump’s office. “It is standard practice for the FBI to take evidentiary pictures of materials recovered in a search to ensure that items are properly cataloged and accounted for,” The New York Times explains, and these documents are clearly “splayed out so they can be separately identified by their markings.”

President Trump’s lawyers were obviously not amused at the DOJ’s attempt at misinformation, responding that the weaponized Justice Department overreacted by searching Mar-a-Lago and then arranging documents on the floor of Trump’s office. “The government’s response gratuitously included a photograph of allegedly classified materials, pulled from a container and spread across the floor for dramatic effect.”  What can’t be proved in court is sometimes less important than what is won in the court of public opinion.

The sad part of this mess is that due to extreme polarization of the nation, most people will believe what they believe about this raid based on confirmation bias, not the facts.

Quotes about Believing what you want (39 quotes)