Alt-right “news” website Breitbart has openly favored the Republican candidate Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign for most of the race, but now they’ve taken it a verifiable step too far by trying to support the chaotic campaign’s delusion that 15,000 people attended his rally in Jacksonville, Florida, yesterday. This time, they got busted for deceitfully selecting a shot of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ championship rally, which took place nearby to the Republican National Convention and drew a multi-cultural crowd of 1.3 million visitors.
In reality, Trump’s rally only drew somewhere between 8,000-12,000, as you’ll see in the video below. But it didn’t take long for someone to identify on social media that Trump’s rally was INSIDE the Jacksonville War Memoral Auditorium, which seats a capacity crowd of 15,000 people – and wasn’t even being held OUTSIDE.
Breitbart has since corrected the story by blaming “social media” instead of their own staff for running the image, saying “A photograph that was incorrectly attributed on social media to the rally in Jacksonville has been removed.” One of the tweets cited in the story included a video by independent journalist Marcus DiPaola which clearly shows that the entire floor of the Trump rally was not full, and more importantly that the upper deck seats were closed off by a curtain too, limiting the attendance figures.
Donald trump has arrived in Jacksonville FL – here's the crowd size pic.twitter.com/fwHc56FL2Z
— Marcus J. DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) August 3, 2016
But as we all know, video recordings and facts have never gotten in the way of Trump’s obnoxious and narcissistic hyperbole and now his favorite right-wing news outlet has predictably followed suit in a way they’ll quite possibly never live down on social media. It just goes to show how our perception of Trump’s popularity is distorted and inflated by a ratings-hungry media – and that you can’t believe everything you see on the internet.
Grant Stern is the Executive Editor of Occupy Democrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report, and an unpaid senior advisor to the Democratic Coalition.