As a primer on Fake News, here’s what you need to know:
Fake News is a powerful rhetorical shiv when applied correctly. It’s a term that’s so broad and all-encompassing you’ll often see it invoked by anyone of any political leaning. But, it’s most effective when wielded with a marked truth about the dishonesty of the news-faker. This is why the use of Fake News now belongs exclusively to the right. So much so, that the Washington Post has called for an end to the term’s use, because it was so quickly, and viciously, and accurately applied to the mainstream media (MSM).
Per this Google trend chart below, you’ll see the explosion of the term “fake news” at the climax of the 2016 US presidential election. Many would have you believe that purposely false news stories made their rounds on social media during that time and may have swung the election results. But I’m here to help you set the record straight.
The real intent of the political left’s (and their foot soldiers in the MSM) use of the term “fake news” (before it was turned around on them) was to discredit real and legitimate stories and scandals. Nothing exemplifies this better than a November 6th tweet by Hillary Clinton communications person, Jennifer Palmieri.
You get that? Without knowing if a new allegation would surface, or the nature of any future allegation, or
the evidence or support for such a future allegation, Jennifer Palmieri was already saying, whatever it was going to be, it was going to be fake. Up until that time, Wikileaks had produced mountains of email evidence of malfeasance at the DNC, the Clinton Campaign, collusion with the media like CNN, NBC, and others, and a trove of weird stuff in John Podesta’s email. Mind you, Wikileaks has never, not once, produced a single fraudulent or forged document.
Since trotting out this ill-timed meme, the left and media has been reeling ever since. The real bite of the meme fake news comes when everyday people spot our mainstream, reliable media twisting reporting to fit their narrative, or just outright printing or reporting false information. You know that old saying about stones and glass houses?
The Washington Post had to admit to running fake stories with fake sources as well as admit the reported Russian hack of a Northeastern power grid was completely false. CNN is being sued for libel for falsely reporting about infant deaths at a Florida hospital. In a ruling allowing the libel suit to go to trial, the judge has said CNN “was acting recklessly with regard to the accuracy of its reporting.”
Among my favorite CNN fake news segments are: The “man on the street” is actually a CNN cameraman pretending to be just a regular citizen. HAHAHA enjoy:
Or maybe this one. A December 19, 2016 terror attack in Berlin, perpetrated by a Tunisian man is reported as “crash”.
Or maybe when Hillary Clinton “tripped” outside of the 9-11 memorial service.
As it relates to literally-false stories that circulate online (especially Facebook), you should also keep the following in mind. It is true that those fake news stories are purposefully created with a right-wing bend. It is true that people on the right are more likely to like and share those stories, many times without reading the content at the link. NPR found a leftist author of fake news stories and asked him about what he does.
“The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction,” Coler says.
It’s both astounding and not all surprising to see this quote. I find it even more shocking that most people miss this general observation, even though it’s practically smacking them in the face: the left creates false, lying stories with the intent to shape their false narrative and to discredit those on the right.
Call to mind this rhetorical reply when facing accusations of right-wing fake news – Social Justice Warriors Always Lie!