In the short span of a few days we have been witness to two cases of flagrant fabrication of a news item by Spanish media where totally unrelated photographs were used to illustrate a story that sought to encourage a tougher crackdown on Catalonia by endorsing a narrative of violence that simply does not hold water.
Madrid daily La Razón printed an editorial decrying the alleged violence of the CDRs, Catalonia’s Committees for the Defence of the Republic. On their website, the piece came with a photo showing a violent assault by a group of fascist militants in Valencia city. The paper probably figured that they could get away with it because one of people in the picture wore a sports shirt with red and yellow stripes, even though it meant portraying the victim as the culprit.
Meanwhile OK Diario reported that a gas canister had exploded outside a car dealer in Barcelona city as the work of Catalan separatists, even though the business that was targeted denied any political motivation behind the attack. Their story was accompanied by a photograph of Deportivo Alavés football hooligans taken in Vitoria, in the Basque Country.
This is not just sloppy reporting. There are two explanations for this shambolic photographic mess: firstly, there is an obsessive need to believe their own narrative; secondly, they know they will get away with that kind of crass manipulation.
No football Cup final on Catalan TV
TV3, the Catalan public tv network, won’t be showing the Spanish football Cup final [which Barcelona FC fans are looking forward to]. The Catalan public broadcaster claims that it cannot afford the broadcasting rights. How does Madrid’s ABC report the story? It starts like this: “Amid a secessionist crisis in Catalonia, TV3 gets entangled in a fresh controversy”.
Well, didn’t you just hear that they are cash-strapped? None of the words by the general manager of “the region’s public TV network” —as they refer to TV3— suggest a political motivation. Nevertheless, ABC can’t help themselves and wrap up their item with this statement: “Even though football and politics are like chalk and cheese, many insist on mixing one with the other and this has become a commonplace occurrence in recent years”. Hey, ABC, guess who’s just tried to do precisely that, even though the actual facts do not add up?