Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was photographed by paparazzi as she played basketball. There's really nothing newsworthy about it. So RadarOnline decided to use the photos to manufacture fake news.
"Shooting Hoops! Shiloh Jolie-Pitt Avoids Parents' Nasty Split With Basketball," reads the webloid's headline on Thursday. But what does Shiloh playing basketball have to do with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt's breakup? How is their kid bouncing a ball around evidence that she's avoiding their nasty split?
To be fair, the actual story starts off pretty straight-forward, with the site writing, "Shiloh Jolie-Pitt was spotted enjoying a short sports session in Malibu this week while shooting a few hoops with the family nanny and sister Vivienne." Of course, the outlet's real goal, though, is for readers to click through its photo gallery of paparazzi photos, which is why it makes the pointed observation, "Shiloh is still all about boys' clothing!"
"The tykes seemed to be in high spirits despite family drama," the online publication goes on to assert. But then the webloid starts rehashing rumors about Jolie and Pitt's divorce. Nothing is said, however, about Shiloh's outing having anything to do with her parents' breakup, despite the assertion in the headline. Instead, the piece ends bizarrely, with the site asking its readers, "Do you think Shiloh still wants to see Brad?"
Huh? Nothing in the article remotely addressed whether Shiloh is or isn't seeing her famous father, or her feelings on the subject. To recap: RadarOnline has a headline declaring the tween is playing basketball to "avoid" her parents' "nasty split." The story itself comments on her wardrobe style and regurgitates rumors about Pitt and Jolie. And it ends by asking readers, who are obviously not reporters and have no connection to the family, whether Shiloh wants to see Pitt.
There's fake news when an outlet outright fabricates allegations. And then there's fake news when an outlet takes photos and cobbles together a disjointed story that makes little to no sense. Again, there was nothing really noteworthy about Shiloh playing basketball. But for the sake of clickbait, the publication saw fit to pair the pictures with a sensational and unproven headline.
It's not out of the ordinary for RadarOnline to craft a story from paparazzi pictures, with the webloid just making guesses and assumptions, or spinning nonsense. But what makes this instance especially galling is that the site is exploiting a child. Shiloh is turning 11 on Saturday. She is not a celebrity who has chosen the spotlight.
That's she's followed by paparazzi is bad enough. That those photos are then used for fake news to score traffic makes it all the more shameful. Gossip Cop still supports the #NoKidsPolicy, which is why the picture of Shiloh used above is from a sanctioned event.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.