Fox uses old photo from Japan to illustrate U.S. ’empty shelves’

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Fox’s right leaning cable commentary network aired a 11-year-old photo from Japan to illustrate the low inventory troubles many U.S. stores are experiencing in the wake of the pandemic.

If this sounds familiar, both Fox and fellow conservative media outlet Newsmax have done similar things in the past.

This time around, Fox aired the photo in question during “Fox News Primetime,” which is currently being hosted by a series of guest personalities until “Jesse Watters Primetimedebuts later in the month.

Rachel Campos-Duffy was hosting a Jan. 12, 2022 segment on inflation and its effects on store inventory. Under the headline “Empty shelves Joe,” an OTS graphic feature a cutout of an unflattering shot of President Joe Biden against an image of empty shelves. “Bare shelves Biden” was another headline used in the lower third.

Close observers, however, noted the photo in the background was actually from a 2011 NPR story following the Fukushima power plant disaster in Japan.

The photo, which features a Japanese store, shows empty store shelves as residents stocked up on supplies ahead of evacuating the region.

Use of an 11-year-old photo from another country to illustrate present day issues isn’t exactly good journalistic practice — and if the problem is as bad as Fox seems to suggest, the network should have had trouble finding a more recent photo (or someone could just go out and snap a photo of empty store shelves).

It is true that stores are running low on certain products, but it’s becoming less and less common to see entire aisles without any products on them — and it’s often the toilet paper and paper towel aisle that’s most picked over, though stores across the country are reporting inventory levels on all products is starting to recover.