The Dishonest Handshake

by justinrossleutner on February 14, 2018 - 12:09pm

The Dishonesty of a Handshake



Fake news is constantly bombarding and encircling us in an incessant manner. We encounter this particular phenomenon every single day and are repeatedly forced to subconsciously decide whether we should agree or disagree with the facts presented to us. The articles regarding the Polish first lady Agata Kornhauser-Duda refusing to shake the president of the United States, Donald Trump’s, hand can be regarded as a perfect example of fake news. In a slew of articles posted by Vanity Fair and Newsweek published on July 6th, 2017, the two news agencies discussed the interaction between the two world leaders and their respective first ladies in Warsaw, Poland. The articles claimed that the first lady of Poland shook the hand of the first lady of the United States, but when Trump tried to shake her hand, she quickly refused and continued walking on briskly. This story was quickly picked up by other news associations such as Times Magazine and The Huffington Post, even going as far as to include a short clip of the alleged incident. In a matter of days, yet another occurrence of fake news had gone viral, and consequently, people all across the United States began speculating a multitude of different theories as to what the significance behind this declined handshake actually was. Did this mean that Trump and Poland harboured a relationship based upon hostility and mutual dislike? Or was this the start of a veritable international feud between the two countries? 

In reality, none of these theories were actually correct. It turns out that Vanity Fair only published a short segment of the full video. In the real video, it becomes very clear that no such “handshake rejection” actually occurred. What really happened was that the first lady of Poland shook the first lady of the United States’ hand prior to shaking Trump’s hand, which she did shortly afterwards. At first glance, this news story would appear to have originated from a somewhat reliable source, as it was published by several publicly respected and esteemed news agencies such as Vanity Fair. Moreover, the author of the article, Hilary Weaver, is known for being a well-decorated author who has published over a thousand articles in her career, who has worked at over three national news agencies, and who has a degree of Magazine journalism from the University of Missouri-Colombia. It was only with the help of, a website that is known for discerning and publicizing incidences of fake news, that I was able to find the true full length video of this handshake. It’s no secret that Donald Trump receives a lot of backlash every day because of his decisions, because of his views, and because of his overall personality, but at the end of the day, no one should be discredited or presumed as incompetent because of fake news, Trump included.

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The subject you chose is very interesting, as we all know Donald and Melania Trump are frequently concerned by fake news whether it is true or not. When reliable sources such as Vanity Fair publish articles, we are tempted to believe them. However, today we have to pay attention to what we read because a lot of people want their moment of glory and posting intriguing stuff online can sometimes be great to get more clicks (clickbait). What is funny about Vanity Fair posting a fake news is that they often post articles about other magazines posting fake news. It is somewhat ironic. We all have been caught at least once by these articles. But we often forget that people writing the articles for magazines can also believe those fake news. Your text is well written even though it contains a few mistakes. You have summarized very well the original article by keeping the main ideas and we can easily find the source.