The Tony Ortega Fake News

Back at the start of the year, which feels like a decade ago by this point, an interesting controversy was brewing regarding crowd size. Remember that one? How the Trump administration asserted it had the largest inauguration crowd size ever recorded for an American president?

The press lost no time pushing back against the White House’s attempt to frame the event as a political victory by publishing photographs of the crowd. In response, the Administration defiantly stood by its claim that photographs had been doctored. This proved a miscalculation that brought wide spread criticism and undercut the new administration’s credibility.

Something oddly similar occurred back in May of 2013 when blogger Tony Ortega falsely claimed Scientology had also doctored photographs to add people to the crowds attending a Scientology event in Portland, OR.

Ortega sold his lie to several media outlets like the Mail Online, Washington Times and Portland Business Journal. Tony Ortega’s ploy, however, was exposed by Scientology after unequivocally proving Ortegas information bogus, all three of those outlets were forced to retract their stories and issue apologies. The resulting embarrassment and loss of credibility suffered by these media companies came thanks to Tony Ortega’s willingness to fabricate the truth in order to push his agenda.

In an age of fake news it’s worth taking note of those who’ve made their names peddling it, and Tony Ortega is a name that could earn a top spot on anyone’s list of most egregious offenders.

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