On Monday, the Drudge Report’s lead story was headlined “BORDER BATTLE: USA TAKING IN 250 KIDS PER DAY.” The accompanying image was of a group of young boys holding what looked like guns — the implication being that some of the kids the Trump administration is separating from their parents and detaining in detention centers are dangerous gangsters.
There was just one problem, however — the image was actually of Syrian kids holding toy guys during the 2012 Battle of Azaz.
The ACLU’s Brian Tashman caught a screengrab, and linked to the original photo:
Matt Drudge is using a photo of children from *Azaz, Syria holding toy guns* to depict kids fleeing Latin America as violent gangsters.
— Brian Tashman (@briantashman) June 18, 2018
Drudge spread fake news just three days after President Trump went out of his way to praise him during an impromptu Fox & Friends interview.
“Drudge is great by the way,” Trump said of Drudge, who is reportedly a frequent visitor to the White House. “Matt Drudge is a great gentleman, he really has ability to capture stories that people want to see.”
Trump has repeatedly invoked MS-13 to smear undocumented immigrants as violent, dangerous criminals. But data indicates that both documented and undocumented immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
Drudge later changed the photo on his homepage.