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Drudge Report warns of looming Jar Jar Binks threat

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Drudge Report has made some memorable mistakes. You might remember the time it reported “The Revenant included a rape scene with a bear,” or when owner Matt Drudge made a dangerous situation worse by using Hurricane Matthew to push his anti-climate change agenda. But today, Drudge Report has really outdone itself with the help of — who else? — Jar Jar Binks.

The error started with a link to a Reuters article about tension between the US and Iran following a ballistic missile test by the latter. In response to this sensitive topic, Drudge Report labeled the link “Iran Rattles,” and accompanied the text with an image of dozens of missiles launching across the horizon. But as one Twitter user points out, there’s a small problem with the picture used.

Yes, Jar Jar Binks, the widely despised Gungan from the Star Wars prequels, is tucked between the trails of the dozens of Photoshopped rockets.

The photo has been involved in a similar blunder before. In 2012, The Atlantic caught Iran’s Mehr News Agency (MNA) using the fabricated picture on its front page. The publication tracked the image to a blog appropriately titled What The Crap? and an ongoing meme of an Iranian missile launch.

There’s a teachable lesson here: if you’re hunting for an image to pair with a story about Iranian missiles, it’s understandable that you might lazily google “Iran missiles.” But if you don’t bother to look at the image and vet it for accuracy, you might put the worst Star Wars character on your website.

I mean, this thing probably hasn’t happened before, right? It’s not like major news outlets would use video footage from a Fallout game, or mistake a screenshot from Assassin’s Creed for Syria. That would be stupid and irresponsible, right?