All The News That’s Fit To Copy

Having just noticed how a friend’s joke story about the Dutch soccer coach got copied onto a European Championship news site, I ran across this picture on the front page of respectable Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant. The caption reads: In Hanoi today a monument was revealed on the spot where Republican Presidential candidate John McCain was taken prisoner during the Vietnam War.

That’s odd – this Wikimedia page says that their picture of it was taken in 2007. And a much older blog tells of John McCain himself visiting the scene in 2000:

As McCain stands by the memorial of his capture at Truc Bach Lake with Jack and Cindy, he is laughing and smiling…

And what’s more:

The statue, which includes a figure of “Ma Can” being dragged out of the water, wasn’t as well tended to the first time he saw it, during his 1985 return with CBS’ Walter Cronkite. “There was grass running up all over it and bird crap everywhere,”…

It’s a fair bet that this monument was erected during or just after the war, thirtysomething years ago, so where does this story suddenly come from? I can’t find it in Google, I can’t find it on the AFP website which supplied the picture – it’s nowhere.

Come on, Volkskrant, you must have copied it from somewhere? Or did you write it yourself? In any case, finding out about this monument took me all of five minutes. I would expect a major newspaper to take at the very least that amount of time when it comes to fact-checking their digital front page.


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