"Fake news" refers to liberal 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:
- Two days after the Biden junta seized power, the Washington Post ended its fact checker program.
- CBS used a picture from President Trump’s “Latino’s for Trump” event as a manipulative picture to showcase Joe Biden’s Latino outreach effort in Miami. In reality, as with virtually all of his events (including his installation on January 20), the Biden outreach event was sparsely attended.
- 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."
- Russians hacked the DNC and gave Podesta emails to WikiLeaks.
- Fake news media spread the rumor, which Nancy Pelosi also picked up on and claimed, that President Trump suggested injecting people with Lysol to kill the coronavirus, irresponsibly twisting what Trump actually said out of context to suit their anti-Trump narrative. When Hillary Clinton also picked up on that fake news story and made a fool of herself by parroting it on Twitter, she was roasted for it on her Twitter account.
- The leftwing Chinese Communist Party claim that the Chinese coronavirus originated in the United States and reporting the Wuhan coronavirus is "racist".
- The "hoax" hoax: Both Politico and MSNBC claimed that President Trump called the coronavirus a hoax.
- That President Trump's national security and public health travel bans are "racist".
- In ten debate appearances, Elizabeth Warren was never asked once about her false claims of Native American heritage.
- 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.
- There is 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."
- 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.
- The hostile opinionated misrepresentation and speculation of President Trump's intentions for celebrating the July 4th, 2019 holiday with a military parade and fireworks display in Washington DC as an occasion for self-aggrandizement, before the events occurred. Mr. Trump planned and delivered festivities as a "Salute to America" to honor the U.S. military, prominent Americans and American accomplishments of the past 243 years.
- the liberal media widely reported that actor Jussie Smollett was a victim of a hate crime when it subsequently appeared to have been a hoax;
- that a high school student wearing a pro-Trump Make America Great Again hat at the March for Life somehow "acted improperly" when he stood smiling while a professional protestor persistently beat a drum in his face;
- calling the "Washington's Birthday" holiday the made-up name "Presidents' Day," which it never was under federal law;
- the deliberate manipulation of President Trump's live Oval Office broadcast by a local Fox affiliate editor/technician;
- the uncorroborated, obscene sexual allegation published by The New Yorker as part of the Kavanaugh smear;
- the panic reporting for several days prior to the 2018 Midterm elections that a dozen fake bombs mailed to prominent Democrats were real;
- the New York Times story that the investigation of President Trump began after James Comey was fired and not in the Spring of 2016.
- On the day documents were released verifying that the late Sen. John McCain was a major player in the coup plot against President Trump, the MSM reported Trump's reaction as if it were some petty vendetta related to McCain's POW status or McCain's vote to save Obamacare.
- 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.
- 1 2016 Presidential election
- 2 Trump transition and presidency
- 3 2020 Presidential election
- 4 Other examples of fake news
- 5 Identifying fake news
- 5.1 Reputation of the author
- 5.2 Holding the author accountable
- 5.3 Circular reporting or wrap up smear
- 5.4 Mainstream false reporting of the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment inquiry
- 5.5 Participants in the Kavanaugh smear
- 5.6 Participants in the Covington Catholic kids smear
- 5.7 Reputable and verifiable sources
- 6 Responses
- 7 Hypocrisy
- 8 History
- 9 See also
- 10 Notes
- 11 External links
2016 Presidential election
- For more detailed treatments, see Mainstream media and Donald Trump and Fake news in the 2016 presidential election.
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.
Trump-Russia collusion hoax
It has been confirmed that many fake news sites were actually created and managed by liberal Democrats ("false flag" operations) who support Hillary Clinton and oppose Donald Trump who engage in their deception in an attempt to discredit conservatives and Trump. One of them, Jestin Coler, a Democrat and Clinton supporter who owns the company Disinfomedia, runs several fake news sites that create "conservative" fake news stories.
A topic of fake news stories after the 2016 election was whether there was violence between Trump supporters and opponents. After the 2016 election, several violent and disturbing anti-Trump attacks occurred throughout the nation against Trump supporters or supposed Trump supporters. Despite these attacks, liberals and leftists only focused on alleged "attacks" by Trump supporters against minorities and others (the leftist narrative, although being blatantly false and one-sided, fits their manufactured narrative that Trump supporters are "racist" and "evil" and that leftists are "tolerant" and "forgiving"). Fox News found that despite the number of real anti-Trump attacks which went largely unreported, several of the "pro-Trump" attacks were hoaxes.
One widely shared fake story, spread by the mainstream media, that Trump's election had led to a rise in anti-Semitism by white supremcists—it turned out that bomb threats at a synagogue were actually carried out by "an African-American left-wing journalist" and a "Jewish teenager in Israel, with dual citizenship in the U.S."
Following the 2016 election in which Trump won, liberals, the mainstream media, and social media had misapplied the term "fake news" to make the false accusation that alternative news and Russian sources are "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. However, the mainstream media itself publishes and promotes fake news stories, from appearing in its nightly network newscasts, on its cable news channels, in its newspapers and on its websites (including Facebook). The MSM has allegedly been adopting safeguards to prevent itself from reporting fake news stories, but it has been unsuccessful based on more recent examples.
- See also: Crowdstrike
The Mueller probe provided no evidence that Russia hacked the DNC. In fact, Special Counsel Robert Mueller was threatened with contempt of court by federal Dc district court Dabney Friedrich for making public statements that the government of Russia was involved in so-called "Russian meddling" in the 2016 elections.
No evidence has ever been presented the Russians, Russian entities, or the Russian government ever hacked, or attempted to hack, the servers of the Democratic National Committee. Russians did, however, make failed efforts to hack into the voter rolls of state election boards, notably those maintained by Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp. The Obama White House, however, at the direction of Susan Rice and others, conflated the issue of Russian attempted hacking of state election boards with the release of DNC emails by WikiLeaks.
Disgraced FBI director James Comey testified to Congress that the FBI never examined DNC servers to determine if they had indeed been hacked, and by who. Evidence suggests the public disclosure of John Podesta, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and other Democratic operatives' emails came from an inside whistleblower source. Some speculate the inside leaker was Seth Rich, whose murder, like the DNC breach itself, was never fully investigated. The fake news narrative of "Russia hacked the DNC," was coined by a private security firm hired by the DNC after the security breach was discovered.
The only known evidence that exists points to an inside leaker, who downloaded the DNC emails on a flash drive and likely forwarded them to WikiLeaks.
Trump transition and presidency
- See also: Trump Transition
At his first press conference as president-elect, Donald Trump described CNN as "fake news." Since becoming president, Trump has accused major news organizations with "fake news" and "very fake news." On February 17, 2017, Trump tweeted:
|“||The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!||”|
|“||We should have a contest as to which of the Networks, plus CNN and not including Fox, is the most dishonest, corrupt and/or distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me). They are all bad. Winner to receive the FAKE NEWS TROPHY!||”|
Also in June 2017, The New York Times falsely stated that 17 U.S. intelligence agencies agreed with an assessment that Russia made hacks into the 2016 presidential election – the actual number was four, with one dissenting from the report's conclusions. The Associated Press reported, and retracted, the same falsehood. Obama Administration Director of National Intelligence confirmed that "the report itself makes it clear that it was the three agencies plus the Office of the Director of National Intelligence that put this intelligence community assessment together."
In May 2018, left-wing activists and some members of the mainstream media, such as New York Times Magazine editor-in-chief Jake Silverstein and NPR, shared pictures of detained illegal immigrant children sleeping in cages and blamed the Trump Administration for it despite those pictures having been taken during the Obama Administration. An Associated Press report discussing alleged abuse at an illegal immigrant detention center left out the fact that Obama was president when the abuse happened. Other media sources have published fake news about President Trump's immigration policies.
When President Trump criticized liberal environmental idiocy and forest management for failure to clean up fallen dead wood which provided the fuel for deadly California wildfires, mainstream fake news organizations reported it as if the President was criticizing firefighters. CNN reported the bald face lies that the President had "attacked firefighters" and was "threatening to withhold aid to the victims."
In June 2019, while attending the G-20 summit in OSAKA, Japan, President Trump and Vladimir Putin briefly discussed Fake News. President Trump offered disdain for the assembled media, during a meeting between the two nation leaders. This occurred shortly after Putin had celebrated the rise of the populist right in Europe and the United States and that, in his opinion, traditional "Western-style" liberalism had "become obsolete.” Trump stated, “Fake news is a great term, isn’t it? You don’t have this problem in Russia, but we do.” However Putin insisted in English, "We also have, It’s the same." When Mr. Trump was then asked by a news reporter if he would tell Russia not to meddle in American elections, Trump responded, “Yes, of course I will.” Mr. Trump then turned to Mr. Putin and said, "Don’t meddle in the election, President." Mr. Trump then pointed at another Russian official and repeated, “Don’t meddle in the election.”  The follow up media coverage of the light-hearted warning Mr. Trump made to Mr. Putin resulted in claiming Trump is a national security risk and that he had "triggered a fresh furor over his accommodating approach to Russia."
In July 2019, Speaker Nancy Pelosi violated House Rules in a failed attempt to pass a House Resolution condemning President Trump for alleged "racist" tweets. Mainstream fake news sources used the events to categorically refer to President Trump's "racist attacks."
Russia and James Comey
- See also: FBI scandal
After several inaccuracies and flaws were found in a CNN article that attacked Trump and his allies over a Russia fund, CNN retracted the article. Three CNN employees resigned due to the resulting scandal.
The Washington Post falsely reported in August 2018 that the Trump Administration was denying passports to Hispanic Americans along the border with Mexico, and The New York Times falsely reported in September 2018 that UN Ambassador Nikki Haley spent $53,000 on curtains when they actually were approved during the Obama Administration.
- See also: Kavanaugh smear
Shawn Henry was presented to MSNBC's audience as a “national security analyst.” Henry told viewers, “This is not...an investigation about the sexual allegations, I think it really has moved toward credibility. At this point now, there are very clear allegations, and subsequent to the judge’s testimony, people have come out who appear to be credible who...appear to be contradicting his testimony sworn before the United States Senate.”
Viewers were not told Henry was promoted by Robert Mueller to assistant director of the of the FBI's cyber crimes unit, who then left the FBI to become a top executive for CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the Democratic National Committee to investigate the hack of its email system in early 2016. CrowdStrike’s June 2016 assessment of a Russian hack remains the sole source of evidence of the claim. The FBI, nor any other U.S. law enforcement of intelligence agency, ever verified the claim. Later, it was used to bolster the Trump-Russia collusion hoax.The mainstream media brought up a second allegation because "Senate Democrats began looking." It was first reported in the New Yorker during the period in which the Senate Judiciary Committee delayed their vote – Judge Kavanaugh also completely denied it. The allegation was brought by a classmate of Kavanaugh at Yale who majored in sociology and psychology and who then worked in the often-liberal field of domestic violence. "After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney," she claims that at a party in which she herself was drinking, Kavanaugh exposed himself to her. The allegation had several problems, though that did not matter to Democrats, bent on destroying Kavanaugh and originalism in general. The New Yorker wrote:
"The magazine contacted several dozen classmates of Ramirez and Kavanaugh regarding the incident...The New Yorker has not confirmed with other eyewitnesses that Kavanaugh was present at the party."The accuser did give the New Yorker six names to support her claim. Six witnesses Deborah Ramirez stated could substantiate her accusation. And when the New Yorker interviewed them, all six said it never happened, 100% of the evidence discovered by the New Yorker refuted the claim, yet the New Yorker still published the article. Not only were the allegations unsubstantiated, but Ramirez's classmates denied the story. The New York Times did its own investigation and could not corroborate the story. Critics criticized the New Yorker for its poor, low-quality reporting on this allegation, and they noted that the article actually refuted the allegations. A later New Yorker story again showed no corroboration.
Ramirez reportedly refused to cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Later, NBC News again made false and uncorroborated claims, reporting that Kavanaugh had potentially known about the allegation before it was revealed because he had possibly contacted others to ask them to refute the claim, but it later – and silently – corrected the original article to show that he had actually found out about the allegation early because Ramirez had contacted others.
Staff members for Sen. Kamala Harris submitted an undated handwritten letter to committee investigators that her California office had received signed under the alias “Jane Doe from Oceanside, California.” Three days before Kavanaugh's confirmation vote, Judy Munro-Leighton wrote an email to the committee claiming, “I am Jane Doe from Oceanside CA — Kavanaugh raped me.”
Under questioning, Munro-Leighton admitted she was a left-wing activist who never met Kavanaugh. After Kavanaugh's confirmation, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred her to the DOJ and FBI for criminal prosecution because she lied to Congress.
- Main article: Impeachment sham
Speaker Nancy Pelosi explained the origin, tactics, and methodology behind the 2019 impeachment sham of President Trump:
|You smear somebody with falsehoods and all the rest, and then you merchandise it. And then you [the media] write it, and they'll say, 'See it's reported in the press that this, this, this and this'. So they have that validation that the press reported the smear. It's called the wrap-up smear. Now I'm gonna merchandise the press' report on the smear that we made. It's a tactic... and it's self-evident.|
This same collusion between the Democrat Establishment and the mainstream media was used to (a) obtain the Carter Page FISA warrant; (b) remove Gen. Michael Flynn from the Trump administration; (c) secure the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller after the firing of James Comey; (d) attack Judge Brett Kavanaugh during his nomination hearings.
Crisis on the border
In January 2019 President Trump made a nationally televised address from the Oval Office to request funding from the Democratically controlled House for the growing humanitarian crisis on the Southern border. Democrats and the mainstream media called it a "manufactured crisis," denying such a crisis existed. After a photo of the bodies of a father and his 23 month old daughter who drowned in the Rio Grande river trying to enter the United States illegally was widely published, some Democrats, most notably Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, falsely charged the U.S. with maintaining "concentration camps" on the Southern border since the Obama era, forcing migrants to drink toilet water, and then voted against bills to provide funding for humanitarian relief.
2020 Presidential election
- After the failure of the Mueller Report, The New York Times founded The 1619 Project in August 2019 to serve the Democratic party's objective of painting Donald Trump as a racist as a key issue for the 2020 presidential election. The 1619 Project claims that the United States was founded in the year 1619 A.D. on the basis of racism.
- ABC News had to walk back claims it made about President Trump in the Biden-Ukraine collusion scandal.
- NBC News falsely reported that the Trump campaign attacked The Squad saying "This is our country, not theirs".
- 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.
- See also: Hydroxychloroquine denial
NBC, CNN, CBS and Axios all reported that a man died after drinking fish tank water which President Trump had recommended as a cure for Covid-19. In response to reporters' questions at a press briefing President Trump answered that the Food and Drug Administration was looking into the possibility of using an approved drug for human consumption, hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for the Chinese coronavirus infection. Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was approved decades ago as an anti-malaria medication. A couple in Arizona, not under a medical doctor's supervision, drank fish tank water containing chloroquine phosphate, a chemical used to kill algae and fish parasites. The husband died. NBC, CNN, CBS, Axios and other leftist outfits reported that President Trump had recommended chloroquine phosphate as a miracle cure.
ABC News chief Washington DC narrative engineer Jonathan Karl was the rotating head of the White House Correspondents Association (WHCA) during the CCP global pandemic. The WHCA has a customary and traditional role of selecting the journalists who will participate in the White House daily briefing. Karl invited Youyou Wang, a known propagandist for the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) claiming to be a "reporter", into the briefing room to question President Trump. The Hong Kong/Cayman Islands based Phoenix TV, for which Karl's fellow traveller works and who falsely claimed her employer was "privately owned", is actually owned in large part by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and by a former CCP propaganda officer. The very next day, the WHCA brought in a propagandist from the state-controlled Dragon Television in Shanghai, China, Ching-Yi Chang, who did not disclose who he was working for when asked by President Trump who he worked for but, assuming that he was asking which country he was from, stated he was from Taiwan.
In July 2020 MSNBC producer Ariana Pekary quit, calling the network fake news and a cancer that risks human lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. Pekary said President Trump became the primary focus of the coronavirus coverage instead of “science itself.” “As new details have become available about antibodies, a vaccine, or how COVID actually spreads, producers still want to focus on the politics. Important facts or studies get buried,” she wrote in her resignation letter.
- See also: CCP propaganda war
The first case of COVID-19 was medically verified in China on December 8, 2019 and first death occurred on December 9. The doctor who reported on the first verified cases posted on social media was forced to plead guilty to "rumormongering" and disrupting social order in late December 2019. The Beijing central government attempted to hide the outbreak from the people of Wuhan and the world. The Chinese Communist Party finally admitted publicly that a full blown pandemic was occurring in Wuhan on January 23, 2020, and the doctor who first warned the public and was convicted of a crime for doing so died on February 4, 2020. Eight hundred million people expressed their condolences on Chinese social media in 24 hours after his death was announced.
To save face for the Communist regime's deliberately incompetent handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in their country, the Chinese foreign ministry falsely accused the United States of being responsible for the corona virus outbreak. On March 12, 2020 the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman initiated a conspiracy theory that the US military started the coronavirus in China, Leftist media in the United States aided Chinese propaganda efforts by calling those who link the virus' origin to China were it originated as "racists".
The 'hoax' hoax
President Trump referred to Democrats' efforts to politicize the coronavirus outbreak as their new hoax; liberal media and Democrats immediately and deliberately twisted President Trump's words out of context to fit their narrative by claiming that he called the coronavirus a "hoax".
Politico and MSNBC willingly peddled the Trump "hoax" story, as did Joe Biden, Michael Bloomberg, Pete Buttigieg, Rep Ted Lieu, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer and former Democrat Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe.
As the outbreak progressed in the United States, the anti-Trump mainstream media were more concerned with instilling panic and blaming President Trump than informing the public on critical precautionary measures to avoid unnecessary strains on the healthcare and economic system.
- See also: 2020 Democrat primaries
Bloomberg News, owned by then-Democrat presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg, tried blaming Trump supporters for the Iowa caucus fiasco after Democrat insiders stole election results from Bernie Sanders and attempted to hand a victory to Pete Buttigieg. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee blamed Russia. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), working in coordination with state elections officers, have an existing relationship to ensure computer systems and data collection systems are safe and secure. The DHS reported their offer to review the data system was rebuked by the Iowa Democrat Party.
- CBS News reporter Caitlan Hurley-Burns and other "independent" mainstream media journalists accompanied Sen. Kamala Harris to a boutique and helped her pick out a rainbow jacket. CNN was again caught flipping poll results for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders in the early primary state of New Hampshire.
- The LA Times reported that Pete Buttigieg blamed Barack Obama for the election of Donald Trump.
|“|| My message is not about going back to where we were,” he said.
For a lot of people, “‘normal’ has been a real problem for a very long time, and I think the failures of the Obama era help explain how we got Trump.
- The news set Twitter afire. Within hours the LA Times censored the itself and altered the quote.
- MSNBC aided Mayor Pete Buttigieg based on his white privilege when the racist reporting at MSNBC consistently snubbed Andrew Yang, an Asian American, to help Buttigieg surge in early 2020 presidential primary polling of Iowa. During the pre-primary debates, MSNBC cut off Yang's microphone.
- In ten debate appearances, Elizabeth Warren was never asked once about her false claims of Native American heritage.
- In order to pander and mislead the vital Black female demographic for the Democratic party, CNN's April Ryan reported that Stacey Abrams was being interviewed and vetted by the Biden team for the vice president spot when in fact Abrams herself no shall call, interview, or vetting process had taken place.
The Hill claimed in late October 2020 that Trump's re-election campaign "appeared to use a Marine Corps helicopter to hover over a large crowd of cheering supporters, raising questions about the ethics of using the military aircraft for such purposes." This suggestion was later debunked by the Marine Corps, who clarified that the impression was due to the camera angle when recording the video.
Other examples of fake news
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.
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.
Fake news is frequently used by radical Islamic terrorists to recruit new adherents. The terrorists will either create or embellish fake news accounts of anti-Islamic acts to radicalize members in target populations. For example, terrorists would spread news accounts of people urinating on the Koran at U.S. military prisons. Another fake news item was that a U.S. company was hiring mercenaries to kill ISIS militants. Again, the emotional impact of the fake news assured that it would spread quickly through social media.
According to FBI cyber experts, during the 2016 presidential election, Russians used armies of Twitter bots to spread fake news using accounts that seem to be Midwestern swing-voter Republicans. Leading up to the March 15, 2017 election in the Netherlands, Russia was found to use social media to spread "fake news" to influence public opinion.
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".
One fake news item from Freedom Daily in February 2017 was: "BREAKING: Federal Judge Just Officially Ruled CNN Is FAKE NEWS And Forces SHOCKING Punishment On Them!" However, this was a misreporting of a Georgia federal district court judge denying CNN's motion for summary judgment in a defamation action filed by a hospital executive against CNN. No "shocking punishment" was involved and the case will go to trial on the merits.
A poorly-sourced February 4, 2017 Washington Post article claimed a feud existed between DHS Secretary John F. Kelly and Steve Bannon, when in fact, none existed. The article's author was forced to admit his error. In June 2017, the Associated Press reported, and later corrected, a story that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt met with Dow Chemical CEO Andrew Liveris – something which did not actually happen.
In November 2017, The Washington Post claimed that the conservative Breitbart News created the nickname "Mr. Perfect" when referring to Jared Kushner, while in reality, Kushner's own companies created the nickname to promote themselves in China. Also in November 2017, MSNBC's Morning Joe show was caught broadcasting a pre-taped post-Thanksgiving show while pretending on air to be broadcasting live.
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.
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".
In May 2017, a CNN program claimed that Islam "has always been part of the American fabric" even as far back as the American Revolution, despite the apparent contradiction with the historical record.
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.
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.
In 2020, CNN tweeted that "Google will not be publishing a national-scale website for coronavirus testing anytime soon, contrary to claims made by President Trump during a news conference", before claiming just a day later on their website that "Google will partner with US government to develop a nationwide coronavirus website".
After Special Counsel Robert Mueller thoroughly debunked the Russiagate conspiracy theory, CNN's Jim Sciutto attempted to resuscitate the discredited hoax alleging that the CIA had to extract a deep cover asset from Russia because of fear that President Trump would out the asset's identity to Vladimir Putin. The New York Times, Washington Post, and CIA were quick to refute the story. The extraction occurred because of John Brennan and Obama administration leaks in the early days of the Trump-Russia hoax that put in danger of exposure and the lives of CIA assets in Russia.
In the Immanuel Christian School/Karen Pence hate crime hoax, a 12-year-old girl claimed that three boys at Immanuel Christian School held her down and cut her dreadlocks while using the racially charged term "nappy." The wife of Vice President Mike Pence, Karen Pence works at the school. CNN's Bakari Sellers, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post all reported the incident nationwide and used the incident to attack Karen Pence. The girl's family finally released a statement acknowledging the initial allegation was false. They apologized to all involved: "To those young boys and their parents, we sincerely apologize for the pain and anxiety these allegations have caused," they wrote. "To the administrators and families of Immanuel Christian School, we are sorry for the damage this incident has done to trust within the school family and the undue scorn it has brought to the school. To the broader community, who rallied in such passionate support for our daughter, we apologize for betraying your trust."
Even before the Trump Presidency, CNN had also engaged in fake news as well. In particular, its coverage of humanitarian crises in Kosovo as well as locations such as Somalia, Rwanda, Haiti, Macedonia, Bosnia, Ecuador, East Timor, Kuwait, Liberia, Albania, Congo, Gabon, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Sudan, and Iraq was strongly implied by Lt. Col. Robert "Buzz" Patterson of the Air Force to be the main reason why Bill Clinton had dispatched troops to those locations despite none of the mission parameters actually requiring direct American military aid, including the Kosovo War in the case of Kosovo.
Deep state and fake news
- See also: Media intelligence complex
The mainstream media has 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.
2018 bomb hoax
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 this stopped CNN and other mainstream sources from failing to clarify the facts, or whipping up anti-Trump hysteria. 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.
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.
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.
Mainstream false reporting of the Russia collusion hoax and impeachment inquiry
These mainstream journalists and news organizations in one capacity or other were willing participants in the Trump-Russia collusion hoax. The plan to exonerate Hillary Clinton of criminal charges, sabotage Donald Trump's election chances, and later his presidency, originated with corrupt elements of the Obama administration, in collusion with the Democratic party. Allies opposed to Trump's demand that NATO members give more to fund the alliance, and Russian sources feeding Democrats false information also contributed.
These journalists reported fake news from the Hillary Clinton funded Steele dossier, which Hillary Clinton paid foreign agents, including Russian agents, to interfere in the 2016 presidential election. The false information was knowingly presented by the Obama Justice Department and FBI to the FISA court to obtain retro-active approval for an illegal domestic spying operation against Obama and Clinton's political opponents. These journalists actively colluded with the Democrats seditious activity to overturn the results of the 2016 presidential election:
Ken Bensinger, BuzzFeed reporter who received Steele dossier from David Kramer, Sen. John McCain's Chief of Staff. Ken Dilanian, and Ned Price, NBC News. David Corn, Mother Jones. Michael Isikoff, Yahoo News. Ali Watkins, BuzzFeed and The New York Times. Brian Ross and Matt Mosk, ABC News. Carl Bernstein and Jake Tapper, CNN. Julian Borger, The Guardian. Peter Stone and Greg Gordon, McClatchy. Bob Little and Rachel Martin, NPR. David Ignatius, Evan Perez, Jim Sciutto, Tom Hamburger, Rosalind Helderman, and Fred Hiatt, The Washington Post. Allan Cullison, The Wall Street Journal. Rachel Maddow, Joy Reid, and Katy Tur, MSNBC. Scott Pelly, 60 Minutes. Devlin Barrett, Robert Costa Ellen Nakashima, and Matt Zapotosky.
Other willing participants were: The New Yorker, Huffington Post, Newsweek, MSNBC, Politico, Vanity Fair and Slate. All these continued to report the fake Russia collusion narrative even after it was thoroughly debunked, and none have issued retractions to their reporting. The uncorroborated allegations violated every tenet of traditional, respectable journalism. None of it would have been possible without the help of several global media organizations willingly publicizing the false narrative of Trump collusion with the Russian government.
On March 25, 2019 Tim Murtaugh, the director of communications for President Trump, sent out a memo to all television producers regarding the “credibility of certain guests.” In particular, the memo cited a list of “guests who made outlandish, false claims, without evidence, on your airwaves.” Included were Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.), DNC Chairman Tom Perez and former CIA Director John Brennan. The memo asked the producers to “employ basic journalistic standards when booking such guests.”
Participants in the Kavanaugh smear
Participants in the Covington Catholic kids smear
- Main article: Covington Catholic kids
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.
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
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.
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.
"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.
- Questionable Sources, https://mediabiasfactcheck.com/fake-news/
- Pelosi Spreads Dangerous Misinformation Amid Coronavirus Pandemic: "The President is Asking People to Inject Lysol Into Their Lungs" at the Gateway Pundit
- Hillary Clinton Tries to Dunk on President Trump’s Comments About Injecting Disinfectants… And it Backfires Bigly at the Gateway Pundit
- Jonathan Bernstein | Bloomberg, How Is Trump’s Parade Offensive? Let Me Count the Ways, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2019-07-03/trump-military-parade-betrays-american-values-on-fourth-of-july, July 3, 2019
- Ryan W Miller | USA Today, Tanks, military vehicles take over DC's streets before Trump's 4th of July celebration, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/07/03/4th-july-donald-trump-military-parade-tanks-seen-washington-dc/1637384001/, July 3, 2019
- 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.
- Callan, Paul. Sue over fake news? Not so fast. Retrieved on April 6, 2017.
- Why the Mifsud Story Matters, DECLASSIFIED with Gina Shakespeare,- The Epoch Times, Aug 5, 2019.
- Sydell, Laura (November 23, 2016). "We Tracked Down A Fake-News Creator In The Suburbs. Here's What We Learned." NPR. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- Dewey, Caitlin (November 17, 2016). Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’. The Washington Post. Retrieved December 8, 2016.
- Facebook Live attack the latest in string of anti-Trump assaults. Fox News. January 5, 2017. Retrieved January 8, 2017.
- Pollak, Joel (March 29, 2017). Donald Trump Vindicated: Antisemitism Surge ‘Fake News’. Breitbart News. Retrieved March 29, 2017.
- Heinlein, Peter (May 30, 2017). Trump Frustrated by 'Fake News' That Overlooks His Accomplishments. Voice of America. Retrieved June 26, 2017.
- 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.
- Greenwood, Mark (February 17, 2017). Trump tweets: The media is the 'enemy of the American people'. The Hill. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
- Spiering, Charlie (November 27, 2017). Donald Trump Proposes ‘Fake News Trophy’ for TV Networks and CNN. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Fabian, Jordan (November 27, 2017). Trump: Media should compete for 'FAKE NEWS TROPHY'. The Hill. Retrieved November 28, 2017.
- Moran, Sean (June 23, 2017). Fake News: Washington Post Invents Meeting Between FCC Chair Ajit Pai and President Trump. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
- Mason, Ian (June 30, 2017). New York Times: Turns Out ‘17 Intelligence Agencies’ Was Fake News. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Klein, Aaron (July 1, 2017). Fake News: Associated Press Clarifies 17 U.S. Intel Agencies Did Not Assess Russia ‘Interference’. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 1, 2017.
- Poor, Jeff (July 7, 2017). Fmr Obama DNI Clapper: Only 3 or 4 Intelligence Agencies Agreed on Russian Interference — ‘It Wasn’t 17’. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Flood, Brian (May 29, 2018). Embarrassment for New York Times as top editor falls for old photo amid weekend of misleading anti-Trump tweets. Fox News. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Starr, Penny (May 30, 2018). ACLU, NPR Use 2014 Immigration Claims to Trash Trump Policy. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 30, 2018.
- Mikelionis, Lukas (May 28, 2018). Former Obama official, liberal activists share 2014 photos from detention facility as swipe at Trump. Fox News. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Spiering, Charlie (May 29, 2018). Donald Trump Rips Democrats for Tweeting Border Pictures from 2014. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 29, 2018.
- Scarry, Eddie (June 21, 2018). AP report on alleged illegal immigrant abuse at detention centers omits Obama was president at time. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 21, 2018.
- Binder, John (June 1, 2018). Establishment Media Issues Four Corrections After Falsely Claiming Trump Separating Families at Border. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 2, 2018.
- Nolte, John (July 9, 2018). Associated Press Becomes Fake News Factory with Immigration Lies. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 9, 2018.
- Peter Baker and Michael Crowley | New York Times, Trump and Putin Share Joke About Election Meddling, Sparking New Furor, https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/28/us/politics/trump-putin-election.html, June 28, 2019
- Scarborough, Rowan (June 8, 2017). James Comey debunks New York Times story that fueled unproven Trump-Russia collusion. The Washington Times. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- Pollak, Joel B. (June 7, 2017). James Comey Testimony Proves Trump Right, CNN Wrong. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 9, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (June 23, 2017). Very Fake News: After Breitbart Investigation, CNN Retracts Conspiracy Theory Hit Piece Attacking Trump, Associates Over Russian Fund. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (June 24, 2017). CNN Under Fire: ‘Very Fake News’ Network Hit from All Sides as Breitbart Investigation Forces Rare Retraction. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
- Boyle, Matthew (June 26, 2017). Three Employees Resign from CNN Amid Very Fake News Scandal. Breitbart News. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
- Adams, Becket (June 26, 2017). Three CNN staffers quit over retracted story. Washington Examiner. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
- Multiple references:
- Munro, Neil (August 30, 2018). State Dept. Slams WaPo Claim Texas Latinos Are Being Denied Passports. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Munro, Neil (September 17, 2018). Washington Post Busted for Fake News of Trump Admin ‘Denying Passports’ to Latinos. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Adams, Becket (September 17, 2018). The Washington Post's 'scoop' on Trump revoking visas at the border — it was a pile of garbage. Washington Examiner. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Stoltzfoos, Rachel (September 18, 2018). Legacy Outlets Add Two More Botched Hit Pieces To A Pile Of Stinky Reporting On Trump. The Federalist. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
- Multiple references:
- Flood, Brian (September 14, 2018). New York Times admits creating 'unfair impression' about Nikki Haley's $53G curtains that were OK'd by Obama administration. Fox News. Retrieved September 18, 2018.
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- Levine, Jon (September 24, 2018). Ronan Farrow Says Second Kavanaugh Accuser Came Forward Because ‘Senate Democrats Began Looking’. The Wrap. Retrieved September 24, 2018.
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- Nolte, John (October 4, 2018). Nolte: Latest Ronan Farrow Report Further Discredits Deborah Ramirez’s Brett Kavanaugh Allegation. Breitbart News. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
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- Pollak, Joel B. (November 2, 2018). Brett Kavanaugh Rape Accuser Admits She Made Up Her Story. Breitbart News. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
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- Walter Shaub was the Obama era director of the United States Office of Government Ethics, now Senior Director of the election law organization Campaign Legal Center. https://archive.fo/tMEu5
- Chinese Communist Media Infiltrates White House Presser at One America News Network YouTube channel
- FACT CHECK: Trump Asked a Reporter If She Was Working For China... She Is
- ANOTHER Chinese Govt ‘Reporter’ Lies to Trump in White House Press Room
- Gutfeld on the media "hoax" hoax at Fox News YouTube channel
- Here Are The Politicians And Media Outlets Pushing The Claim That Trump Called The Coronavirus A ‘Hoax’ at the Daily Caller
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- 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.
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- 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.
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- Death Spiral: Along With Its Credibility, CNN Ratings Collapse, Daily Wire, 2017.
- Trump to CNN: "Very Fake News"
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- 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.
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- 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
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- 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.
- 19 kids are shot every day in the United States
- How news organizations, including this one, unintentionally misinformed the public on guns
- How to Spot Fake News (January 27, 2017).
- A prime example of Joseph Schumpeter's creative destruction.
- "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
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- 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
- 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
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- 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.
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- "Fake news website" article at Wikipedia, December 2, 2016.
- "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.
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- 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