A Golden Calf Lawsuit? Controversy Erupts Over Doctored Photo of Republicans Praying At Trump Statue
Added 03-03-21 08:55:02am EST - “A picture has been circulating on the Internet among Democratic and liberal posters that purportedly showed Republicans praying at a gold-colored statue of former President Donald Trump at the 2021?” - Jonathanturley.org
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A picture has been circulating on the Internet among Democratic and liberal posters that purportedly showed Republicans praying at a gold-colored statue of former President Donald Trump at the 2021 Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC). The statue was mocked by critics as “the Golden Calf.” Figures like Joel Stein, who wrote for the Los Angeles Times, proclaimed that “the fall of Rome was this embarrassing.” Former Democratic congressional candidate Adam Christensen circulated the photo as did others with similar mocking notations. Another poster Mo Bella wrote Caption “this photo taken today of CPAC’s evangelical leaders. Yes, they are praying to a golden statue of their holy insurrectionist.” The problem is that the photo was fake. The question is whether those depicted could sue for false light in such a depiction.
The original photo was taken withthe “Evangelicals for Trump” group dated Jan. 3, 2021 and included evangelical figures like Pastor Paula White-Cain. The posts were later flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed.
Stein acknowledged his re-posting of a fake picture and promised to take it down but stressed the the statue itself was real — evading the obvious point that he was ridiculing these (also real) people as worshipping Trump in the literal sense. Instead, he simply noted “The statue is real. It is difficult but important to stick to facts amid the insanity of American politics.”
Even that degree of recognition seemed beyond the ability of figures like Christensen who admitted later that the photo was fake but insisted that the “intent” in the photo was “clear.” He then attacked Trump supporters again: “White Evangelical support is near an all time high going into CPAC and after the event rolling this idol into the conference it’s clear that their ‘support’ is close to going to the next level.”
Many of those re-posting this image are the same people pushing to ban others from social media for spreading “fake news” or “disinformation.” Christensen showed how easy such hypocrisy can be addressed. He insisted that the photo was a “visual representation of what I see in Conservative media circles as well as those that I grew up with.”
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