Some liberal activists and journalists scrambled Sunday and Monday to delete tweets and social media posts incorrectly linking the Trump administration to an old photo of detained illegal-immigrant minors being held in a cage.
The 2014 shot was actually taken during the Obama administration.
The photo went viral as liberals — perhaps spurred by unrelated reports that Homeland Security “lost track of” almost 1,500 illegal-immigrant minors after they were released — mistakenly assumed the shot was taken much more recently, and rushed to criticize Trump administration “cruelty.”
“This is happening right now, and the only debate that matters is how we force our government to get these kids back to their families as fast as humanly possible,” former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau said on Twitter.
Mr. Favreau deleted the tweet, though not before it had been screen-captured.
Other liberal activists and journalists, such as Shaun King of Black Lives Matter, Linda Sarsour of the Women’s March, and Muslim activist Qasim Rashid still had the fake news up Monday afternoon.
“I saw this photo floating around and didn’t know if it was real. It is,” Mr. King wrote, then lapsing into the present tense. “Children of immigrants are being held in cages, like dogs, at ICE detention centers, sleeping on the floor. It’s an abomination.”
Mr. Rashid specifically blamed Mr. Trump, the 45th president, alluding his recent remark that MS-13 gang members are animals.
“The US Govt is holding migrant children in small cages like they are animals—just as 45 describes them,” he wrote.
Twitter user Michael Pierce wrote to Mr. Rashid: “Welcome to 2014. I think I have a solid guess on how your selective outrage missed this then.”
New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and Lauren Wolfe, director of the Women’s Media Center Women Under Siege, were among the blue-checkmarked journalists who also spread the misinformation before apologizing.
“I’m honestly lost as to why the Trump troll world has woken up tonight to lambaste me for posting a story that’s a few years old, by accident, & clarifying that once I discovered it. They’re vicious. It’s incredibly demoralizing that this is our public discourse,” Ms. Wolfe lamented.