New York Times says image calling Modi ‘last, best hope of earth’ is fake

In the backdrop of PM Modi's US visit to attend the 76th UN General Assembly, a fake image of a New York Times article calling him 'the last, best hope of earth' had gone viral.
Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi
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The New York Times, in its print edition on Sunday, September 26, did not feature Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on its cover page or call him the “last, best hope of earth”, as a fake image being circulated on social media seemed to suggest. New York Times Communications, the newspaper’s public relations confirmed on Twitter that the image is fabricated, and that the NYT did not carry it on its front page.

The headline of the fabricated newspaper page read: “Last, Best Hope of Earth”, along with the words: “World’s most loved and most powerful leader is here to bless us” written underneath. Beneath the headline is an image of Prime Minister Modi signing a book. Clarifying that the image was fake, New York Times Communications wrote, “This is a completely fabricated image. One of many in circulation featuring Prime Minister Modi. Rehearing or circulating photoshopped images online only adds to misinformation and uncertainty, at a time when truthful, trusted journalism is needed the most”. It also shared a link to all of the newspaper’s real reportage on Modi.

The photoshopped image of the paper was circulating on social media and was even retweeted by the BJP IT cell. It was shared in the backdrop of Prime Minister Modi’s three-day visit to the US, where he spoke before the 76th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) session, attended the quad summit and held multiple bilateral meetings.

The Quint did a fact check on the photoshopped image and found various discrepancies, which indicated that the image was not original. The photoshopped image had misspelt September as Setpember, and the caption of Modi’s image read: “His highness, Modiji is signing a blank A4 paper to bless our country... har har Modi.” Further, the font and style of the text on the photoshopped image did not match those usually used by the New York Times. Most importantly, a quick Google search of the front page of the September 26 edition of the NYT shows that the story as well as image has nothing to do with the Indian Prime Minister.

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