A local news outlet on Friday tried to discredit a rival website for running “fake news” by publishing misinformation itself. 

General Workers Union-owned newspaper It-Torċa claimed on Facebook that an article published by Nationalist Party-owned Net News was “fake news”. 

The article, titled “Muscat isolated in Europe”, featured just two paragraphs of text and nothing to back its headline assertion, save for a blurry photo of Prime Minister Joseph Muscat seated alone at a conference room table. 

It-Torċa sought to debunk that claim by sharing photos of a smiling Dr Muscat chatting amiably with other EU leaders. But there was a catch: one of the photos, featuring Dr Muscat with German chancellor Angela Merkel and former EU Council president Donald Tusk, dates back to a different EU summit, held in December last year. 

Mr Tusk has since been replaced by Charles Michel.

Former PN MEP candidate Peter Agius was quick to call out the news outlet. 

“Did you think you could fool everyone?” he asked. 

The website subsequently removed the 2018 photo of Dr Muscat with Mr Tusk from their Facebook post.  

Dr Muscat’s two-day EU summit appearance went off without any major hitches, with EU Council president Charles Michel saying fallout from the Daphne Caruana Galizia investigation was not discussed during the summit. 

Nevertheless, Dr Muscat cut a somewhat forlorn-looking figure during a group photo event on Thursday evening and had to weather some stern words from Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who said he would be keeping an eye on Malta. 

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