Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HuffPost fauxtography scam: U.S. "climate change" fraud edition

(1,350 words)

On the evening of Tuesday, July 24, HuffPost plastered the following screaming headline at the top of its main page:

To the uninitiated, this may seem like merely an alarmist headline --- which it is. But it is actually HuffPost's effort to conflate separate issues, then perpetrate an even bigger fraud on its readers.

First, "climate change" is not what's being depicted in the photo that HuffPost chose to run: it's severe air pollution.

Second, note that this is the U.S. edition of HuffPost (see the upper left corner of the screencap), and how it says "How climate change will affect your daily life." Given these facts, we contend that any literate reader would automatically assume that the picture is of a U.S. city.

But several things about that picture immediately grabbed our attention:
  • Have you ever seen a U.S. city that looks like that?
  • (Below) Have you ever seen a building with that unusual insignia? Or with that unusually-shaped spire in the background?

Neither did we. So we tried to find the source of the image by doing a (PC) right-click atop the image and selecting "View Image Info," which brought up this data panel:

As you can see, it says that the image name is: "CLIMATE-CHANGE-RUIN-huge.jpg" --- which brings up nothing when you Google it. This brings up a few new questions:
  • What is the image actually depicting?
  • Why did HuffPost not just leave the image's original file name intact --- or if it chose to make a new one, at least indicate where it came from? (example: "Reuters - Detroit 2011")
  • Why did HuffPost not even give attribution to where the photo came from, as is customary practice in responsible "newspapers"?

Then, consider the fact that the headline and copy on HuffPost's story page clearly indicated that this "news" piece is about the U.S.; it reads:
Story page headline: "Climate Change Effects: Things Global Warming Just Might Ruin For Your Kids"

Opening copy: "The continental U.S. has just experienced the hottest 12 month period in recorded history. The West is on fire. The Maldives are going underwater and California can expect a sea level rise of six inches in less than 20 years."

The fautography scam HuffPost decided to perpetrate on its readers

The reality is that the image is not depicting a city in the USA, or even one in North America, or even one in the Western Hemisphere --- and HuffPost knew it, or should have known it.

Turns out, that is an image of the world's most polluted city, in Linfen, China. How do we know? Because we did a simple search that took all of about three minutes using "city smog" and variants. And look what turned up, from our new friends at

Note that the caption reads:
The world’s most polluted city is Linfen, China. China’s State Environmental Protection Agency also reported that Linfen—in Shanxi province—has the worst air in the country.
[ Time Magazine “The World's Most Polluted Places” Sept. 12, 2007 ]

You can confirm this for yourself:
Just click this Google search of "Linfen, China smog" and look right at the first row:

So why did HuffPost decide to mislead its readers into thinking that was a picture of a U.S. city?

Who knows --- but it's a question you might consider asking HuffPost's senior management, here. You might ask them, specifically, if this deception has anything to do with HuffPost's efforts to manipulate voters' perceptions in these final months before the federal elections (see below; and given the fact that Arianna has clearly been lying since day one about why she created the site).

Also, you might consider:
  • Asking HuffPost's advertisers why they financially enable it to engage in these deceptions (more below), here.
  • Forwarding this article on to any journalists you know or who you think might be interested in exposing HuffPost for once again (below) engaging in deceptive "journalistic" practices.

These questions becomes more urgent when one considers the fact that HuffPost is the #1 most widely-read, advertiser-supported "news" site in the world --- and how many times Arianna has publicly proclaimed that her "newspaper" is different and better than its rivals:

“[T]oo many reporters have forgotten that the highest calling of journalists is to ferret out the truth, consequences be damned.”
- Arianna Huffington

“[W]e are increasingly seen ... as an Internet newspaper, not positioned ideologically in terms of how we cover the news.”
- Arianna Huffington

Some examples of the hate-filled user comments that HuffPost incited through its fauxtography and deception

The following is but a sampling of the hate-filled comments that HuffPost reviewed, approved and decided to publish on the story page that the headline leads to, in response to its incitement. Note that most of these comments are directed against the Republican party, conservatives or America (just a coincidence, we're sure):
Now that is a wonderful shot of Republican utopia. A deregulation paradise.

It is also bad for the US economy with regards to exports. The whole of the EU is (slowly) working to tackle it, and the issue is now taken seriously. Things like recycling are mandatory, hybrid and electric cars are starting to become more common...Eventually it will get to a stage where high carbon countries are taxed on all their exports.

"The continental U.S. has just experienced the hottest 12 month period in recorded history." Obviously, we could do better....elect Romney, so we can deregulate air and energy industry standards....and let's go make it the hottest 60 month period (or 108 months if Allah grants us two Romney terms) in recorded history. I bet one of the Koch brothers or the CEO of Exxon would be "patriotic" enough to help formulate the proper regulations necessary to push our environment to new temperature records. Burn, baby, burn. We can do it, America......

You can thank all the republican deniers for the radical decline in our quality of life: from clean air to potable water, from the global financial meltdown to the decline of the middle class.....[...]

This is the greatest, most existential crisis in human history, and there's no telling at this point whether we can survive it. I know Republicans think tax cuts for the wealthy is much more important, but I disagree.
Ubu Roi

Tricky mitty and the tpublicans say there is no global warming. Vote for them at your children's childrens peril.
I Think

we as a species are without a doubt the greatest failure nature has committed to date.

The Republican groundwork for the 21st century™® See the environment as a major obstacle for big oil and coal so block and denigrate the rise of alternative energy at the risk of irredeemable damage to the planet and the life expectancy of all but the few who can afford sanctuaries.

Do you think HuffPost's deception and incitement doesn't affect you? Then think about this: Many of the commenters above are voters --- and on Nov. 6, they will cancel out your vote, or the vote of some other honest, informed citizen.

Some previous examples of HuffPost's publication of false or misleading headlines and headline-imagery:

The following is but a sampling of the scores of examples we've documented of HuffPost making the conscious decision to publish headlines that it knew, or should have known were false or misleading, or could only result in the incitement of hatred against conservative individuals & organizations, the U.S. military and Israel and Jews.

Also here are several articles from other sources that reveal how HuffPost propagates falsehoods regarding medical science:

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