The technique is a familiar one.
It's most often deployed against military or law enforcement officers by lefty protesters. But it was also used against Tea Party activists and even came up in the recent Kavanaugh protests. It's also made frequent appearances during the various black nationalist media attacks on random white people accused of racism and tagged with a sneering alliterative nickname.
The M.O. is simple.
Stage a confrontation. Scream abuse, hurl insults, take a swing or even throw anything from bags of urine to bricks at your target.
Then use photos or even videos that leave out the provocation and make the target look like a bully.
The stunt saw plenty of action during the Vietnam War. Pro-Israel activists are familiar with how it's done to IDF soldiers.
But what really makes it work is media bias. Without the media eagerly rebroadcasting the lies, these stunts wouldn't work.
That's equally true of what happened in D.C. Under pressure from conservative social media activists and the boy's family, from the release of additional footage, the media is slowly backing away from the story while sticking to its overall theme.
Fake but true.