Fake news refers to bias in the media that is so misleading that it is actually false. It can also include assertions of a non-political nature that seem believable but are untrue. It often incorporates the use of questionable or unnamed (and most often, non-existent) "anonymous sources" that present one or more of the following characteristics: extreme bias, consistent promotion of propaganda/conspiracies, poor or no sourcing to credible information, or a complete lack of transparency.
The motive of fake news is to manipulate public opinion using false reporting and bias for the purpose of profit or influence. It can be sourced by anonymous government leakers or political operatives, or entirely fictional. The motive can be as simple as confirmation bias – pandering to an ideological viewership to distribute talking points or maintain ratings.
Hollywood fake news is in the form of "docudramas" that mix factual content with falsehoods such that viewers are misled into thinking that the falsehoods are true, as in the upcoming Mrs. America miniseries. Mainstream fake news has liberal bias that goes beyond reporting of facts and commentary; it can take the form of headlining a manufactured crisis to obscure real news in the daily news cycle. Clickbait, a sensational headline with a body of reporting based on half-truths designed to lure a reader into a commercial website, is another form of fake news.
Examples of major mainstream fake news stories in the recent past are:
- That there was no election fraud in Arizona.
- That use of ivermectin as early treatment against COVID-19, which is often successful, was causing an overflow of emergency rooms at hospitals by patients harmed by the formulations for horses - not true at all.
- That a Trump supporter supposedly bludgeoned a Capitol police officer to death with a fire extinguisher, on Jan. 6, 2021, which the New York Times did not retract until weeks after its publication.
- That the Hunter Biden scandel is Russian misinformation.
- The Chinese Communist Party claim that the bat coronavirus originated in a Wuhan wet market and people eating bats.
- That there are no documented cases of fraud in the 2020 presidential election.
- That the 1/6 Capitol protests was a white supremacist insurrection.
- That the 1/6 Capitol melee was initiated by Trump supporters.
- Two days after the Biden junta seized power, the Washington Post ended its alleged fact checker program.
- Drivers caught in traffic during Black Lives Matter protests are "white supremacists" (even if the drivers are other than white) using vehicles to attack "peaceful protesters".
- Rioters are not "protesters", and riots are not "peaceful protests."
- That it is Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough of MSNBC's job to "control exactly what people think."
- That if a black person does not vote for Joe Biden, they are not black.
- Fake news media adopted the talking points of the totalitarian Chinese Communist Party against the Hong Kong democracy movement.
Political fake news is designed to push an agenda, typically the liberal one. Non-political clickbait is designed to attract internet traffic, attention, or sales. Clickbait websites often lack known publishers hindering lawsuits against them for libel or slander. In many cases, clickbait websites resolve to IP addresses located outside the United States.
Biden regime propaganda apparatus
- See also: Biden/Harris propaganda apparatus
Biden junta chief propagandist Jen Psaki outlined the regime's disinformation strategy. Psaki said Twitter is not a platform to disseminate news, rather it is a vehicle for talking to reporters. According to Politico, there are 90 staffers who have new administration-branded Twitter accounts, most with “46” included in the handle. The reporters who are followed by staffers draw heavily from CNN, Bloomberg and the Associated Press. Bloomberg News’ Jennifer Epstein is followed by more Biden administration staffers (39) than any other reporter. Next after Epstein are CNN’s Kaitlan Collins (37), PBS’ Yamiche Alcindor (36), AP’s Zeke Miller (34), and Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs (33). The news outlets with the most White House staffers following them are: @nytimes, @cnn, @washingtonpost, @cnnpolitics and @cnnbrk.
White House staffers don’t follow many conservative outlets or reporters who work for them. Not even the Wall Street Journal makes the list of the top 15 news outlets they follow. Only 10 staffers follow Fox News’ Peter Doocy and 2 follow Fox News colleague Kristen Fisher.
Symone Sanders, who was demoted by Biden to be Kamala Harris’ chief spokesperson because she is Black, is the most popular. Outside of Biden, Harris, and their spouses, Symone Sanders has more internal followers than anyone except Psaki and Ron Klain. With 62 of the 94 accounts following her, she ranks higher than communications director Kate Bedingfield, deputy chief of staff Jen O’Malley Dillon, every Cabinet member, and even @WHCOVIDResponse.
Nancy Pelosi (29 followers) is the most followed lawmaker among staffers, followed by Cuck Schumer (23 followers). The next three all hail from the party’s progressive wing: Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (DSA-Vt.).
Thirty-three staffers follow Barack Obama. And other Obama administration alumni who haven’t returned to government are popular, too: former communications director and Clinton propagandist Jen Palmieri (17), Michelle Obama (15 followers), former deputy press secretary Eric Schultz (14 followers), David Axelrod (10 followers) and all four “Pod Save America” bros.
Naomi Biden, the most prominent of the first grandchildren (at least on Twitter), is followed by 10 White House brown nosers, narrowly edging out Kamala Harris' niece Meena Harris with eight. Meena, however, got the crucial @WHCOS follow from chief-of-staff Ron Klain while Naomi did not.
A website that tracks that tracks the YouTube page of the Biden White House confirmed that YouTube suppressed the dislikes on every single one of Joe Biden White House video. YouTube suppressed dislikes of Biden by as much as 600% on some videos.
According to Politico, White House and Health and Human Services officials were frustrated after being left with the task of cleaning up remarks about the Mexican border by Symone Sanders, senior spokesperson for Harris. Sanders told reporters that Biden and Harris “have instructed [HHS Secretary Xavier] Becerra to do a thorough investigation” of the El Paso army base where migrant children locked in cages. But Psaki and others had to tell The Guardian that no such investigation exists. “At no time did The White House recommend a probe of the facility,” a White House spokesman told The Guardian. CBS News also reported that a White House official said that Biden did not order a formal investigation.
A Rasmusen Poll conducted in July 2021 showed 58% of registered voters agree that the media is the "enemy of the people."
2020 Presidential election
- See also: 2020 Leftwing insurrection
During the Marxist insurrections of 2020 NPR made the false claim that alleged "white supremacists" were using vehicles to run down alleged "peaceful" rioters based on an edited video from Louisville, Kentucky. The allusion was intended to bring to mind a 2017 Charlottesville incident in which a protester was run over. In Alamosa, Colorado a 27 year old white Black Lives Matter protestor shot an innocent driver in the head who was trying to avoid protesters blocking the street at an intersection. Another was shot in Provo, Utah. After riling leftists with false reporting, NPR later had to walk back its claim about the Louisville incident when it was discovered that the driver, who was black, was in fact the victim of a violent leftist assault.
CNN's promotion of fake news
In first half of 2017, CNN's market share relative to its competitors saw a marked decline. In addition, it faced repeated losses of its credibility through its lapses of journalistic judgment and ethical lapses. President Donald Trump publicly says CNN produces "fake news" and he also told a CNN reporter that CNN produces "very fake news". Subsequently, CNN has been derided as being "FNN: Fake News Network".
On March 28, 2018, CNN anchor Chris Cuomo falsely claimed that "no one [is] calling for Second Amendment repeal", even though, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, among other left-wingers, had very recently and notably called for just that.
Russiagate in a nutshell
The scam that Donald Trump was using a secret server to communicate with a Russian bank was promoted by Hillary Clinton herself, and touted by media outlets led by Slate magazine. Like so much that comprised Russiagate, it was a total fraud concocted by the Democrat National Committee and its media allies.
Michael Sussmann, a DNC-linked lawyer and partners with Clinton lawyer Marc Elias, fabricated a Trump/Russia narrative, fed it to DNC operatives masquerading as journalists, had Hillary trumpet it, then lied to FBI about who he worked for.
An FBI lawyer, Kevin Clinesmith, pled guilty to lying to the FISA court in order to obtain warrants to spy on former Trump campaign official Carter Page. The real criminals weren't people colluding with Russia but those who perpetrated the Russiagate fraud.
Sussmann helped New York Times national security reporter Charlie Savage promote his book. Savage not only was the one who spread the CIA lie about "Russian bounties" in Afghanistan, but also the fake news that the Biden regime killed a suicide bomber on his way to the Kabul airport with a drone strike when, in fact, it was a family of 10, including 7 children and a US aid worker.
One of the journalists who most aggressively promoted the fake Trump/Alfa-Bank server story was Natasha Bertrand, who was at the center of so many Russiagate frauds including the Steele Dossier and got promoted over and over for it, as of 2021 working at CNN.
The corporate media was so heavily invested in the Trump/Russia conspiracy fraud, and hatred for Trump remained sufficiently high in 2021 that the gigantic fraud the media perpetrated on the country for 5 years remained unacknowledged. The journalists who committed the most fraud in Russiagate were the ones most rewarded. Glenn Greenwald summed it up: "It really is this simple: in the corporate media, the more you lie, the more you get promoted, as long as you lie for the right cause and the right people (the security state)."
Deep state and fake news
- See also: Media intelligence complex
In the synergy between the U.S. intelligence apparatus and their media agents, the CIA, DOJ and State Department have specific outlets assigned to public relations.
A long-tracked pattern reflects the DOJ and FBI leak their PR needs to the New York Times. The preferred outlet for the U.S. State Department is CNN; and the Washington Post generally comes out first with leaks in defense of the CIA agenda. This pattern has been remarkably consistent for years.
The mainstream media worked with the deep state intelligence agencies to promote fake news regarding the supposed Trump-Russia scandal, and the alleged Russian hacking of John Podesta and DNC emails.
Sometime before January 6, 2017, DNI James Clapper briefed opposition research talking points, manufactured by the Clinton campaign in the Steele dossier, to Jake Tapper of CNN. The salacious innuendo lacked verification and a " news hook" for CNN to report. Clapper instructed FBI Director James Comey to brief President-elect Trump on the allegations. Clapper immediately leaked the fact Trump had been briefed, creating the "news hook" CNN was looking for to publicize the existence of the Steele dossier. FBI counter-intelligence investigator Peter Strzok then used the fake news report to justify interviewing National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and lay a perjury trap, thwarting the new president's foreign policy agenda. Clapper was rewarded with a job at CNN afterward.
Identifying fake news
The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA) has a checklist to assist people to recognize fake news:
- Consider the source (to understand its mission and purpose)
- Read beyond the headline (to understand the whole story)
- Check the authors (to see if they are real and credible)
- Assess the supporting sources (to ensure they support the claims)
- Check the date of publication (to see if the story is relevant and up to date)
- Ask if it is a joke (to determine if it is meant to be satire)
- Review your own biases (to see if they are affecting your judgment)
- Ask experts (to get confirmation from independent people with knowledge).
Ultimately, a judgment about fake news rests on the reputation of its author, and the reputation and editorial stance of a news organization or book publisher. Longevity is not in and of itself proof a publication or publishing house is an established reputable service. Newsweek magazine, for instance, was once established as a "moderate" or right-leaning weekly news source to counter the perceived leftwing bias of Time magazine. It has since ceased publication as a print journal, and the name - Newsweek - was sold as an established, existing tradename, only to reappear online as a mainstream news source for some of the most outrageous left-wing lunacy.
In the United States the New Republic, established before World War I, is considered the granddaddy of modern liberal thought, whereas the National Review established in the 1950s is considered its modern conservative counterpart. The Nation has long been deemed the voice of more marginalized progressive thinking. While staff management and editorial views have evolved over many decades, any author moving from one of these publications to another generally have professional reputations as traditional ethical journalists, unlike modern broadcast journalists, or what passes as "ethics" taught in some of the nation's most prestigious journalism and broadcast schools today.
Among book publishers, St. Martin's Press is considered a mainstream book publisher for Democrats which no other mainstream publisher would stake its reputation on, and Regnery is considered its Republican counterpart.
The challenge for young readers is to discern good, solid, factual reporting in the internet era, at a time when an explosion of anonymous blog sites are threatening the existence of a dying print and cable news broadcast industry. Again the reputation of the author is all pervasive. This requires follow-up and holding the author (whether anonymous or a pseudonym) accountable, and not seeking confirmation bias in how a reader informs themselves.
As can be seen, the reputation of a news organization or individual journalist can change over time, to either improve or lose credibility.
The New Yorker for example, once had a reputation for vigorous fact-checking. However, after such stories on the credibility of Wikipedia, its fictionalized account of the death of bin Laden, its hit piece on the person and character of American Sniper hero Chris Kyle, and it's partisan, sloppy, and outrageous attacks on Brett Kavanaugh, have called The New Yorker's viability as a reputable source into question.
Ronan Farrow, who writes for the New Yorker appeared as a bright and shining rising star in the field of investigative journalism, at a moment when public perception of journalists was at its lowest. Farrow fearlessly wrote about the deviant sexual predations of Democrat kingpins and mega-donors such as Harvey Weinstein and others, for which he won a Pulitzer Prize. Farrow even described the intimidation tactics wealthy predators use against female victims and himself by hired thugs and ex-intelligence agents to silence people. Farrow was a hero of the MeToo movement. Then Farrow tossed his reputation to the wind by signing his name to unsubstantiated smears, which his own reporting debunked, in a vicious partisan smear of Judge Brett Kavanaugh. Farrow sold out, and his actions now have the opposite effect of adding credibility to the defense and rehabilitation of Harvey Weinstein.
Circular reporting or wrap up smear
A wrap up smear, also known as a circular reporting, circular journalism or an echo chamber, occurs when partisan sources leak false information to journalists then use those same published accounts to validate their claims.
Several instances in recent memory illustrate the technique during the Trump-Russia collusion hoax and the Kavanaugh smear. In Trump-Russia, a false allegation that Trump colluded with Russia was leaked by Democratic operatives to get news organizations to publicize the claim, then biased Obama administration employees used those news stories as supposed evidence to obtain FBI surveillance warrants on the Trump campaign.
CNN, the Washington Post, the New York Times and numerous other organizations reported fabricated information by anonymous sources throughout 2016, 2017, and 2018. The published reports became the basis of the Trump-Russia conspiracy hoax and FISA abuse scandal. When mainstream media published the false information, the Obama FBI, Justice Department, CIA and DNI used the fake news (originating with themselves) as supposed corroboration from "independent journalists" to begin investigations, interviews, perjury traps, seek warrants, perform Gang of Eight briefings, and appoint a Special Prosecutor to pursue political objectives.
- Michael Sussmann who worked with the general counsel of the Clinton campaign and the DNC gave fake evidence to the FBI and New York Times that a webserver in Trump Tower was communicating with a Russian bank. The smears were found to be without foundation.
- Christopher Steele who worked for Hillary Clinton gave false evidence to the FBI and numerous mainstream media outlets that Carter Page was a Russian spy, when in fact Page was a former FBI informant who helped jail Russian spies.
- Steele gave bogus sexual innuendo about Trump to the FBI; DNI James Clapper leaked to CNN than that Trump had been briefed on the information, thus creating a "Breaking News" story.
In the Kavanaugh smear, false sexual abuse allegations were leaked by Senate Democrat committee staffers to produce sensationalized headlines and martial public pressure in an emotional cause.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein or a staffer leaked a letter from Dr. Christine Blasey Ford to the Washington Post alleging notes from a therapist and a polygraph exam were material evidence of a sexual assault, sparking a hue and cry on the Left for extended nomination hearings and FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh. The alleged "material evidence" was never provided to the FBI or Senate Judiciary Committee for examination and consideration, and the accuser caught in a series of conflicting sworn public statements.
The most common example of fake news is the "click bait" ads that appear on social media sites saying "Hollywood prepares to say good-bye to [name of celebrity]" implying that the celebrity has just died. People then click on the ad to visit a website to learn about the celebrity's death, which boosts the number of page views on that site. However, the fake news will trend if more people start re-tweeting or sharing the item without visiting the underlying website in the belief that the celebrity has just died.
A Washington Post article claimed that 4.2 percent of American children had witnessed a shooting (this is one in 24). This was based on a survey question which they (deliberately? negligently?) misinterpreted:
- The actual question the researchers asked was, "At any time in (your child’s/your) life, (was your child/were you) in any place in real life where (he/she/you) could see or hear people being shot, bombs going off, or street riots?"
So they mixed in "witnessed a shooting" with "heard a street riot", etc.
Reputable and verifiable sources
The following are considered reputable and verifiable source noted for good reporting:
- Epoch Times Media Group which include assets like:
- The Epoch Times Newspaper
- New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV)
- China Uncensored/America Uncovered
- Edge of Wonder
- Shen Yun
- The Larry Elder Show
- American Thought Leaders
- Ben Hedges
- Assets owned by Rupert Murdoch
- Human Events
- Washington Free Beacon
- New American
- Daily Signal
- Daily Caller
- Washington Examiner
- The Federalist
- Rebel News
- New York Post
- New York Sun
- The Blaze
- Wall Street Journal
- Washington Times
- FrontPage Magazine
- Hot Air
- PJ Media
- Creative Destruction Media
- American Mercury
- Canada Free Press
- Conservative Review
- Counter Jihad Report
- Geller Report
- Steven Crowder
- Ben Shapiro
- Larry Elder
- Mark Dice
- Stefan Molyneux
- Candace Owens
- Dennis Prager
- Steve Turley
- Millie Weaver
- Kaitlin Bennett
- Tim Pool
- Andy Ngo
While liberals frequently accuse conservative or alternate media sites of being dishonest, they typically gloss over the massive failings of the mainstream media to accurately and fairly cover the news, as well as its own propensity to post and report fake news itself (such as the polls they released which falsely claimed that Hillary Clinton was "well ahead" of Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election campaign in order to discourage conservative voters, despite the attendance figures of the Trump campaign rallies vs. the Clinton campaign rallies, which the mainstream media chose to ignore, proving otherwise). Although the polls may have correctly predicted Clinton's 3 million vote margin in the national popular vote, commenters ignored the fact that the election is determined state-by-state in the Electoral College. In fact, within days after Trump's victory in the election, Wikipedia's liberal editors propagated a far from neutral and heavily liberal-biased "Fake news website" article.
When the term first came into common usages immediately after the 2016 elections, liberals, the mainstream media, and social media misapplied the term to make the false accusation that alternative news sources were "deliberately lying" to their readers, listeners, and viewers, and that these "lies" helped elect Donald Trump President of the United States. The liberal-pushed "fake news" accusations are a form of conspiracy theory.
The mainstream media itself publishes and promotes fake news stories appearing in nightly network newscasts, on its cable news channels, in its newspapers and on its websites (including Facebook). When fake news sites misuse the "ABC News" logo or are designed to appear to be sponsored by a TV news channel, the mainstream media may also appear to publish and promote fake news stories.
The mainstream media itself can be rife with government leaked fake news stories, such as a fictional Washington Post story that Russia hacked the U.S. power grid in 2016. While leftists accuse conservatives of being behind fake news stories, the evidence shows the exact opposite, although fake news is designed to appeal to audiences all across the political spectrum.
Attempts at censorship
Melissa Zimdars, a far-Left professor had compiled a list of supposedly "fake and misleading" news websites that was heavily promoted in the Mainstream Media, including Breitbart, Infowars, Twitchy, The Blaze, and Bizpac Review. Even liberals, such as Will Oremus on Slate.com, criticized the list and the term itself for being far too broad, unfairly targeting numerous sites, and being an overreaction. Zimdars later removed her "Fake News" list, claiming she had been "harassed" and "doxed". In 2019, the George Soros-funded Poynter Institute created a list of 515 news sources – anything that was part of the left-wing media – that it claimed were "fake news" for not completely abiding by left-wing narratives.
A 2017 Yale University study found that flagging news stories as "fake news" is ineffective due to the general mistrust of the media by Americans that already exists.
One attempt at broadening the meaning of the term as well as professing the likelihood of the use of what the term describes appeared on November 23, 2016 in the Washington Post:
|“||In the wake of Donald Trump’s shock Nov. 2016 electoral victory, attention fell on the extent to which voter opinions could have been shaped by an epidemic of "fake news" websites that masqueraded as legitimate media outlets...Many fake stories proved more viral on social media than important articles from real sources.||”|
Ishaan Tharoor, the author who wrote the piece, lets the reader know that he assumes Trump's election win is so surprising (although it wasn't) that any explanation deserves to be looked at if the event has not been fully explained already. This would allow the subject which follows—his allegations of "fake news" being epidemic as well as his suggestions that they were isolated to media outlets that weren't "real sources" (by some unstated body's estimation)—to be plausible or even to be considered an especially good candidate as an explanation (to the uninformed), despite being unfounded or at least founded on exaggeration.
|“||Something has changed — as globalization has marched on, debate is taking place in a completely new media environment. Opinions aren’t formed the way they were 25 years ago ... Today we have fake sites, bots, trolls — things that regenerate themselves, reinforcing opinions with certain algorithms, and we have to learn to deal with them. I believe we should not underestimate what is happening in the context of the Internet and with digitalization; this is part of our reality ... We have regulations that allow for our press freedom, including the requirement for due diligence from journalists. Today we have many that experience a media that is based on very different foundations and is much less regulated.||”|
Facebook has also responded to the alleged problem by developing a system wherein readers can flag a post they find suspicious. Once flagged the post will be reviewed by a mainstream media representative, who decides whether the news is "real" or "fake."
On January 14, 2016, the Snopes website, itself considered a fake news site by some experts, published its "Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors" Its founder, for what brags to be the moral compass of what is "honest" reporting on the Internet, allegedly embezzled nearly $100,000 for prostitutes.
A recently created Canadian website called SpotFakeNews.ca claims to "help Canadians of all ages critically access online news and information, and differentiate fake news from real news", but the resources it links to link in turn to the Associated Press and other liberal-biased news "sources" and resources, thereby making that site itself a non-credible, liberal-biased resource.
Another Canadian website which claims "to provide Canadians an understanding of the role of journalism in a healthy democracy and the tools to find and filter information online"; however, in its verification section, the site uses the "fact checking" sites Snopes, FactCheck.org, the Associated Press website's "fact checking" section, Full Fact and PolitiFact as its resources, all of which are liberal-biased sites whose claims have been disproven and discredited as fake news when compared with similar stories from independent, non-liberal media journalists, news organizations (e.g. Rebel News and One America News Network) and news sites (e.g. Breitbart News, NewsBusters, The Daily Caller, Gateway Pundit, Canada Free Press, etc.), thus also making DoubtIt.ca itself liberal-biased, unreliable and non-credible regarding what it decides is "fake news". Another giveaway that DoubtIt.ca is not credible as a resource is that at the bottom of its website, it mentions that it is funded by liberal-biased search engine Google.
DFRLab definitionThe Atlantic Council's Digital Forensic Research Lab which is partnering with Facebook to promote internet censorship defines fake news as
“deliberately presenting false information as news.” We differentiate this from disinformation, which we consider to be "deliberately spreading false information;" fake news is thus a subset of disinformation. We further distinguish it from misinformation, which we take to mean the unintentional spreading of false information.
In 2018, the European Commission proposed the creation of an "independent fact-checking network" that would fight what it views as "fake news." However, this network, if created, would be funded by left-wing organizations connected to George Soros.
"Undoubtedly the new main psyop against independent media is flooding the web with fake news, and mainstream media putting out fake news, and setting themselves up like a super-Snopes, to be the arbiter of what's real and what’s not," countered Alex Jones from Infowars in the wake of criticism of the Alternative Media on the part of Democrat presidential candidate Hillary Clinton supporters following Trump's win.
Answers in Genesis President Ken Ham, noted that one of the most prominent and blatant examples of fake news is the media's treatment of evolution and an old Earth as undisputed scientific fact, even though numerous counterexamples exist to evolution and an old Earth.
According to a 2017 Poynter Media Trust Survey, 44% of Americans believe the media creates "fake news" stories against Trump to make him look bad. A Monmouth University poll released in April 2018 found that 77% of Americans believe the mainstream media reports fake news.
"News articles" that are completely fictional have a long history. The motivation is often for the amusement of the author, or the desire to make money by selling the newspaper or handbill based on its entertainment value. Such "news articles" are sometimes purely satirical (something that has a long history), or intentionally malicious, often for political reasons. For example, malicious claims about Presidential candidates (illegitimate children, etc.) have a long history in the United States. The falsehoods have sufficient emotional impact to assure that they will be magnified in various mediums. It is debated whether or not this includes satiric news.
Walter Lippmann, a prominent socialist, indicated that the press is supposed to utilize fake news to spin a narrative and thus manufacture public consent, claiming that news and truth are not the same thing, that it requires no real training to deal with the small pool, and that everything else is in the journalist's own discretion, which includes even promoting stereotypes.
The explosive growth of the internet in the early years of the 21st century and the political divisiveness of the 2016 Presidential election saw explosive growth in fake news, far beyond supermarket tabloids, and the use of the term "fake news" to describe this.
Tabloids, hoaxes, etc
In the more recent past, but before the advent of the widespread propagation of false information through the internet, the most visible instances of "fake news" were the "supermarket tabloids" ("rag mags") that could be found at checkout counters of supermarkets. These were often full of blatant nonsense, and (nearly) everyone knew that, and bought them only for their entertainment value. Perhaps the most blatant of these was Weekly World News, which seemed obsessed with some half-human half-bat creature named "bat boy," and with extraterrestrials. They sometimes devoted entire issues to extraterrestrials, and, in one instance, had three articles relating that each of the Presidential candidates in the 1992 Presidential election (George H. W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Ross Perot) had been taken for a personal ride in a flying saucer to see Washington, D.C. from the air.
These fake articles continue, often with an extreme political slant. Recent issues of the National Enquirer (perhaps the most blatant fake newspaper since the demise of Weekly World News) had completely false articles about Special Forces raids, carpet bombing, drone strikes, and naval assaults by American forces in the Middle East. The Globe has run headlines alleging that Hillary Clinton is a Russian spy and has a "new treason indictment", which is not supported by the corresponding article. Another headline, unsupported by any evidence in the article, stated that Hillary Clinton and Huma Abedin were stopped trying to escape from the country. And there were numerous headlines during the 2016 Presidential campaign stating that they were in possession of evidence that would put Ms. Clinton in prison.
Early examples of fake news
Here are some early examples of fake news:
- The false claim, based on manipulation of the data, by Sir Arthur Eddington that the 1919 total eclipse of the sun proved the General Theory of Relativity.
- The false reporting by the bigot H.L. Mencken on the Scopes Trial.
- The War of the Worlds broadcast on Halloween night, 1938, in which Orson Wells dramatically described an invasion by hostile Martians in New Jersey.
- The New York Daily News reporting that President Gerald Ford told the city to 'drop dead' after progressive liberal socialists spent the city's finances into oblivion.
- The fake claim that President George H. W. Bush did not know what a grocery scanner was, implying that he was out of touch.
Cybersecurity experts began using the term "fake news" to describe social media postings that attempted to spread false information regardless of the political ramifications of its content.
The widespread public use of the phrase by non-experts probably originated on November 14, 2016, in an announcement by Google. They said their advertising service was being pulled from sites whose purpose was to present as news what was solely designed to attract attention rather than conducted in a factual manner by a responsible party. Fake news is also a form of "click bait". A photo would appear in an ad implying that there was a news story about the death of a celebrity, and computer users would click on the link to be taken to a website that carried heavy advertising, but no news story about the death of the living celebrity.
- See also: Clinton scandals
Hillary Clinton email scandal
- See also: Clinton email scandal
2016 Presidential election
- For more detailed treatments, see Mainstream media and Donald Trump and Fake news in the 2016 presidential election.
Trump transition and presidency
- See also: Trump transition
Trump-Russia collusion hoax
- See also: Trump-Russia collusion hoax
Fake news reports in the Trump-Russia colluision hoax were:
- See also: Kavanaugh smear
Fake news reports in the Kavanaugh smear were:
- the uncorroborated, obscene sexual allegation published by The New Yorker as part of the Kavanaugh smear;
2018 bomb hoax
- See also: 2018 Midterm elections
Just when things looked desperate for Democrats with unhinged mobs responding to the party's leadership, CNN reported it had received a mail bomb addressed to John Brennan, who actually works for NBC. Nonetheless, CNN opened John Brennan's mail anyway, paused to take pictures of the alleged bomb resembling a Hollywood prop, before evacuating the building in a panic. Others received mailings as well.
Republicans were quick to condemn political violence, unlike Democrat leaders, who were encouraging it. President Trump vowed to use all the resources of the federal government to find who was responsible.
As soon as CNN feed into the news cycle that the bombs were active, giving breaking news reports a life of their own, within hours the Associated Press reported,
|"tests have determined that a powder found inside an envelope delivered to CNN along with a pipe bomb was harmless."|
None of the bombs were active, and the alleged bomber didn't know how to build a bomb anyway. The alleged bombs lacked a detonator device, were made with PVC tubing instead of lead, and packed with a harmless powder.
Covington Catholic kids
- Main article: Covington Catholic kids
Organizations and individuals involved in the Convington Catholic kids smear were: The Washington Post, The New York Times, Cable News Network (CNN), The Guardian, National Public Radio, TMZ, Atlantic Media, Capitol Hill Publishing, Ann Cabrera (CNN), Sara Sidner (CNN), Erin Burnett (CNN), S. E. Cupp (CNN), Elliot C. McLaughlin (CNN), Amanda Watts (CNN), Emmanuella Grinberg (CNN), Michelle Boorstein (Washington Post), Cleve R. Wootson Jr. (Washington Post), Antonio Olivo (Washington Post), Joe Heim (Washington Post), Michael E. Miller (Washington Post), Eli Rosenberg (Washington Post), Isaac Stanley-Becker (Washington Post), Kristine Philips (Washington Post), Sarah Mervosh (Washington Post), Emily S. Roeb (New York Times), Maggie Haberman (New York Times), David Brooks (New York Times), Shannon Doyne, Kurt Eichenwald, Andrea Mitchell (NBC/MSNBC), Savannah Guthrie (NBC), Joy Reid (MSNBC), Chuck Todd (NBC), Noah Berlatsky, Elisha Fieldstadt (NBC), Eun Kyung Kim, HBO, Bill Maher, Warner Media, Condé Nast, GQ, Heavy.com, The Hill, The Atlantic, Bustle.com, Kathy Griffin, Alyssa Milano and Jim Carrey.
- See also: Impeachment sham
As the impeachment inquiry was ginned up, both the Washington Post and Lawfareblog's Ukrainian collusion timelines claim that Hunter Biden joined Burisma in May 2014, whereas Burisima's own website and Deutsche Welle reported that Hunter Biden's hiring was just four days prior to Vice President Biden's pledging $50 million in U.S. taxpayer provided funds to Ukraine. Democrats issued phoney subpoenas to build an impeachment case.
By precedent, Congress must have a floor vote to authorize an impeachment inquiry. Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced an "impeachment inquiry" with no floor vote; and media reported it as a duly authorized inquiry. The unprecedented change in House Rules results in excluding Republicans from cross examining witnesses in drafting Articles of Impeachment.
There was no "second whistleblower" for the same reason there was no first: (a) The President is not a member of the intelligence community, (b) is not subject to oversight by the intelligence community inspector general, (c) his actions do not concern “the funding, administration, or operation of an intelligence activity", (d) and do not arise in connection with any such intelligence activity at all."
2020 Presidential election
Fake news reports in the 2020 presidential election were:
- Pete Buttigieg won the 2020 Iowa Caucus.
- Bernie Sanders said "a woman can never be president." CNN manufactured that hit on Sanders then used it as a debate question a few days later.
- In ten debate appearances, Elizabeth Warren was never asked once about her false claims of Native American heritage.
2021 Capitol protests
- See also: 2021 Capitol protests
Other historic exampless
While many examples of fake news appeared during Donald Trump's presidency, the problem existed long before his election.
One of the more infamous examples of fake news was when former CBS News anchor Dan Rather used forgeries of the Killian Documents on George W. Bush's service record in order to sway the 2004 election, which resulted in his firing after being exposed. See Rathergate for more details.
Obama National Security Advisor Susan Rice appeared on the five major network Sunday talk shows to put out an official fake news narrative that a terrorist attack against Americans two months before a presidential election was only a peaceful demonstration that turned into a riot. Despite evidence the contrary, many mainstream news organizations adopted the fake news narrative as fact for its viewers and readers and branded skeptics as conspiracy theorists and racists who opposed a black president.
One possible example of fake news was the announcement by the mainstream media that Fidel Castro died at age 90 on November 25, 2016. In fact, the Obama Administration and major news outlets were likely aware that Castro had died of a terminal illness many years earlier. Indeed, Obama did not even mention, let alone visit, Castro during Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, and neither the president, vice-president, or other high-ranking elected official of the United States attended Castro's "funeral".
In April 2018, the Associated Press and The Washington Post falsely claimed that the NRA decided to ban concealed carry at an upcoming speech by Vice President Mike Pence at its convention, when it was actually the Secret Service that forced the organization to do so.
In June 2019, MSNBC news anchor Kasie Hunt spread the Fake News narrative that 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden mentioned being able to work with segregationists who were misidentified as "Republicans". Joe Biden did specifically name two segregationist Senators: James Eastland of Mississippi and Herman Talmadge of Georgia. However, both men were "proud, card-carrying members of the Democrat Party".
While a relatively unimportant example, many media outlets reported December 31, 2019, as the last day of the decade when 2020 was also part of the same decade.
The Hill claimed in a since-deleted tweet on Independence Day in 2020 that Gov. Kristi Noem's opposition to removing Confederate statues was an "effort to "discredit" founding fathers". This falsehood is contrary to Noem's actual remarks, which did not include any such specifications The Hill insinuated.
The Hill claimed in mid-December 2020 that Sen. Kelly Loeffler had supposedly defended a photo she took with a former KKK leader, which is false, as she condemned the white supremacist whose racist background she had not known at the time the photo was taken.
After Congresswoman Mary Miller made a blunt gaffe in saying that mass murderer Adolf Hitler was "right" that indoctrinating the youth means controlling the future, several media outlets outright falsely suggested that she held a positive stance on the ruthless dictator. The sources misconstrued and misinterpreted her words to imply that quoting the rhetoric of an evil person meant praising them, which is a fallacy.
- Questionable Sources, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/fake-news/
- Callan, Paul. Sue over fake news? Not so fast. Retrieved on April 6, 2017.
- Death Spiral: Along With Its Credibility, CNN Ratings Collapse, Daily Wire, 2017.
- Trump to CNN: "Very Fake News"
- 'Fake News Network': Trump Blasts CNN for Retracted Russia Story, Fox News Network
- Multiple references:
- Nolte, John (March 28, 2018). Fake News: CNN’s Cuomo Says ‘No One Calling for 2nd Amendment Repeal’ (They Are). Breitbart News. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Kugle, Andrew (March 28, 2018). CNN’s Cuomo: No One Is Calling for Repeal of Second Amendment. The Washington Free Beacon. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Adams, Becket (March 28, 2018). CNN host apparently unaware that people have indeed called for the repeal of the Second Amendment. Washington Examiner. Retrieved March 28, 2018.
- Gualtieri, Allison Elyse (February 2, 2019). CNN misidentifies Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam as a Republican during his apology for racist yearbook photo. Washington Examiner. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- Rodriguez, Katherine (February 1, 2019). WATCH: CNN Chyron Labels Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam a Republican. Breitbart News. Retrieved February 2, 2019.
- Jasper, William F. (April 25, 2017). Deep State and Fake News. The New American. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Russian Active Measures in the 2016 Election, House Permanent Sub Committee on Intelligence, March 22, 2017, pp. 107-108.
- Clapper Leaks Twice to CNN. Brennan Stands in the Shadows. A Russian Narrative is Born, Jeff Carlson, April 27, 2018.
- Anatomy of a Political Smear Confirmed – James Comey January Briefing Was Scripted by Clapper and Brennan To Create Media Narrative, by Sundance, April 20, 2018. theconservativetreehouse.com
- How to Spot Fake News (January 27, 2017).
- A prime example of Joseph Schumpeter's creative destruction.
- 19 kids are shot every day in the United States
- How news organizations, including this one, unintentionally misinformed the public on guns
- "Fake news website" article at Wikipedia, December 2, 2016.
- Facebook is still figuring out how to tackle fake news. Tech Crunch (Feb 14, 2017).
- Barron, Rachel. "Even News Sites Fall for Fake News", American Journalism Review, April 3, 2017.
- "Breitbart Duped by Fake News (Again)", Snopes, September 1, 2016.
- Leetaru, Kalev, "'Fake News' And How The Washington Post Rewrote Its Story On Russian Hacking Of The Power Grid," Forbes, Jan 1, 2017.
- BREAKING: Liberals Create List of "Fake" News Websites Including: Breitbart, Infowars, Zerohedge, Twitchy, The Blaze
- Oremus, Will (December 6, 2016). Stop Calling Everything “Fake News”. Slate.com. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- Dr Melissa Zimdars removes fake news list and claims she was ‘harassed’
- Multiple references:
- Freiburger, Calvin (May 3, 2019). Soros-backed journalism institute pulls list labeling 29 conservative outlets ‘UnNews’. LifeSiteNews. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Soros-backed journalism institute targets 29 conservative outlets in its ‘UnNews’ report. LifeSiteNews (from NewsBusters). May 2, 2019. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Nolte, John (May 3, 2019). Nolte: Poynter Temporarily Pulls Blacklist with a Big Lie and Promise to Return. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Nolte, John (May 1, 2019). Nolte: Poynter Institute Wants 515 Outlets Blacklisted, Including Breitbart News. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 4, 2019.
- Church, Nate (September 12, 2017). Study: Flagging Stories as ‘Fake News’ Ineffective; People No Longer Trust Media. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 13, 2017.
- Fake news threatens German election: Merkel
- Snopes’ Field Guide to Fake News Sites and Hoax Purveyors (January 14, 2016).
- Tomlinson, Chris (April 28, 2018). European Union Advocates For Soros-Funded ‘Independent Fact Checkers’ to Combat ‘Fake News’. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
- Finally, Someone Is Standing Up to Fake News: Infowars
- Ham, Ken (March 21, 2017). The Real Fake News. Answers in Genesis. Retrieved March 21, 2017.
- Richardson, Bradford (December 28, 2017). ‘Fake News’: Half of all Americans believe the media make up anti-Trump stories. The Washington Times. Retrieved December 29, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Manchester, Julia (April 2, 2018). More than 3 in 4 believe traditional media reports ‘fake news’: poll. The Hill. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Persons, Sally (April 2, 2018). Over 70 percent of Americans see media as ‘fake news,’ a Monmouth University poll shows. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Church, Nate (April 2, 2018). Poll: 77 Percent Believe Traditional Media Guilty of Fake News. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Lima, Cristiano (April 2, 2018). Poll: 77 percent say major news outlets report 'fake news'. Politico. Retrieved April 2, 2018.
- Byas, Steve (April 4, 2018). Poll: Public Convinced That Media Reports Fake News to Advance Their Own Agenda. The New American. Retrieved April 4, 2018.
- "Tall Tale or Satire? Authors of So-Called "Fake News" Feel Misjudged". NBC News. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/tall-tale-or-satire-authors-so-called-fake-news-feel-n689421
- Fake News Watch. http://fakenewswatch.com/
- The Great George Bush Sr. "Grocery Scanner" Urban Legend Lives On. Media Research Center. Retrieved December 5, 2018.
- Nicas, Jack (November 14, 2016). "Google to bar fake-news websites from using its ad-selling software". Wall Street Journal.
- Officials had determined within two hours, and the Associated Press reported that the alleged bombs were fake, however days later most prominent mainstream sources continued to allege the packages contained real bombs.
- 7:50 p.m.
A law enforcement official says tests have determined that a powder found inside an envelope delivered to CNN along with a pipe bomb was harmless.
The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the investigation publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
New York City’s police commissioner said earlier Wednesday that the package sent to CNN’s offices in Manhattan contained a live explosive and an envelope containing white powder.
The FBI said the package was similar to explosives sent to former President Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, former Attorney General Eric Holder and billionaire George Soros.
The package sent to CNN was addressed to former CIA Director John Brennan, a frequent guest on the channel. The official says that parcel contained no note or claim of responsibility.
cd5023f89feca Tom Hays, Associated Press, October 24, 2018.
- Miller, S.A. (December 30, 2018). 'Fake news' a real problem long before Trump era, media watchdogs say. The Washington Times. Retrieved December 31, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Hawkins, Awr (April 30, 2018). Fake News: AP, WaPo Claim NRA Bans Guns at Mike Pence Speech. Breitbart News. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Adelmann, Bob (May 1, 2018). More Fake News: NRA Bans Guns at Its Own Convention! The New American. Retrieved May 1, 2018.
- Richardson, Bradford (April 30, 2018). AP issues correction on report that NRA banned guns for Mike Pence speech. The Washington Times. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Concha, Joe (April 30, 2018). AP corrects earlier report that NRA banned guns at Pence speech. The Hill. Retrieved April 30, 2018.
- Kasie Hunt Spreads Fake News Biden’s Segregationist Pals Were ‘Republicans’, https://www.teaparty.org/kasie-hunt-spreads-fake-news-bidens-segregationist-pals-were-republicans-368762/, June 19, 2019
- U.S. Breaking News, Kasie Hunt Spreads Fake News Biden’s Segregationist Pals Were ‘Republicans’, https://usbreakingnews.net/2019/06/20/kasie-hunt-spreads-fake-news-bidens-segregationist-pals-were-republicans/, June 20, 2019
- Byas, Steve (January 1, 2020). “End of Decade” Stories Illustrate How Media Perpetuates False Narratives. The New American. Retrieved January 1, 2020.
- The Hill on Twitter: "South Dakota governor...". Twitter via archive.is. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- Braving the Dangers of the Arena. South Dakota State News. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- The Hill via Twitter: "Loeffler's campaign...". Twitter via archive.is. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- Loeffler disavows photo taken with longtime white supremacist. AJC. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- New Congresswoman Mary Miller Praises Hitler In Trump Rally Speech. Crooks and Liars. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- GOP Lawmaker Who Praised Hitler Apologizes—Then Accuses Critics of Trying to ‘Twist’ Words. The Daily Beast. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- Freshman GOP congresswoman apologizes for pro-Hitler reference at rally. Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- After Illinois Rep. Mary Miller praises Hitler, Rep. Jan Schakowsky calls on her to resign. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- LETTER: U.S. Rep. Mary Miller did nothing wrong referencing Hitler. JG-TC. Retrieved January 22, 2021.
- What is Fake News video by Prager University
- Forbes: Fake News Is So Un-civil
- Fake News, by Bill Whittle
- FAKE NEWS: CNN Ties MILO to White Nationalists Despite Explicit Rejection of Racism at Breitbart News Network
- Fakehatecrimes.org. A database of reported instances of fake hate crimes.
- 6 Quick Ways to Spot Fake News
- Hoaxed: Everything They Told You is a Lie, by Mike Cernovich, Jon du Toit, and Scooter Downey, 2018.
- Blue State Blues: A Decade of Fake News, by Joel B. Pollak
- Media Mistakes in the Biden Era: the Definitive List, Sharyl Attkisson