Liberal media outlets know how to manipulate social media users as well as anybody, and they keep proving it.
Last week, AP News reported that Education Secretary Betsy DeVos refuses to let taxpayers pay for her travel. DeVos instead uses her private jet, paying out of pocket for work travel, which is not a common habit among politicians. The AP headline, “On work trips, DeVos flies on her plane at own expense,” makes that perfectly clear. DeVos may not be popular among democrats, but her willingness to absorb these expenses herself, as the left continues to clamor for more money for education, you might expect the liberal media to give her a break. Even just ignoring the report would have been understandable, but the Hill was not ready to let its readers think that she was anything less than awful, so the outlet obfuscated the fact that she funds the travel herself when promoting the article on Twitter, as well as in the article URL itself, just for good measure.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 21, 2017
It’s not exactly news that most sharing on social media is based on nothing but the headline, since 60 percent of shares are done without ever having read the article. The Hill, in this case, is exploiting this fact to damage public opinion of politicians like Betsy DeVos, by simply omitting key details on social media. In this case, the tweet only says she “uses private jet for work-related travel,” with absolutely no indication that it’s her personal jet, nor that she’s footing the bill. Even if you do click through, the URL of the article also omits those details, and the in-article headline is still ambiguous about who is absorbing the costs.
Confirmation bias will more or less ensure that any leftist that reads any of these headline permutations will assume she’s flying on taxpayer money, since none of them state otherwise. As democrats are actively petitioning the FEC to combat “fake news”, the Hill is pushing half-truths on Twitter, knowing full well most followers will only ever see the fallacious headline.
It is worth pointing out, in the interest of avoiding half truths here, that DeVos did expense one round-trip Amtrak ticket for $184. In the interest of bettering farcical headlines, I propose a new angle for the Hill on this one; “Is DeVos Collaborating With Amtrak to Scam Taxpayers?” More at 11.