Bill Donohue was checking out Internet stories on a Saturday morning when he noticed a prominently posted news story found on Yahoo on August 27:
He found a news story on the homepage of Yahoo that was puzzling. Titled, “Trump Goes to War with the Pope,” it featured a picture of Donald Trump at a podium. The first sentence read, “The pontiff suggests that Trump is not a Christian.” That sounded very familiar.
Didn’t the pope make the same comment last winter? Donohue recalled doing a lot of media on this issue, even to the point of finding it necessary to correct the record: both the pope and Trump were misrepresented. Donohue now wondered whether the two titans really clashed this time? Apparently so.
In fact, they never did. The Politico piece that was posted on August 27 on the front page of Yahoo was marked August 25, but when Donohue clicked on the entire story, he found it was the Politico article from February 18.
Why did Yahoo mislead its readers? How could a mistake of this gravity be made? After all, many people only read the headlines, and in this case they were given the wrong message. If it wasn’t a mistake, then there is something seriously wrong going on.
Yahoo owed its readers an explanation, but none was forthcoming. This is one more example of journalistic malpractice. It is particularly outrageous when it affects coverage of the presidential election.