One phrase we in the media business have become very familiar with since Donald J. Trump dared to defeat the political establishment’s chosen candidate in November 2016, Hillary Clinton: Fake News.
We’ve become familiar with it in the year that Trump has been president not because the “establishment” media never intentionally misreported the news, but because the term was created out of whole cloth by the same political and media establishment stung by Trump’s election to “explain” to low-information voters how he ‘managed’ to win.
Fake news was a big part of that, we’re now told, and if you recall shortly after the election, the spread of fake news was a big Russian operation (until that lie morphed into “Trump-Russia collusion” to “steal the election” from Hillary).
Shortly after Trump’s victory we began hearing Democrat-leaning groups and politicians (and Hillary’s failed campaign) blaming the big tech-media conglomerates like Facebook and Google for spreading “fake news” about Hillary’s various scandals — even though most of the reporting wasn’t fake, it was just harmful to her campaign (because reports were true).
Then, the Washington Post became the first legacy media outlet to “officially” proclaim that ‘Russia-supplied fake news’ was very likely responsible for Clinton’s loss. Citing a bogus report from some obscure, never-before-heard-of “group,” the Post claimed that Russian-based anti-Clinton propaganda had been spread via hundreds of independent websites (including many within the Natural News Network).
Within a day of that Nov. 24 report the Post the paper’s editors were forced to issue a partial retraction (it should have been a full retraction), admitting that its reliance on a single document along with a couple of unsubstantiated allegations does not a Russian scandal make.
And poof! Just like that, the same legacy media complaining about so-called “fake news” became the first to create it in the Trump era. (Related: FAKE NEWS Media Censors Trump Ad That Accurately Describes Media As Fake News.)
“The realization that this is how the Washington Post pursues ‘journalism’ is a disgrace to the entire profession of journalism and an admission that the Washington Post has abandoned any semblance of journalistic integrity,” wrote Natural News founder/editor Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, at the time, decrying the fact that our news organization was on the list of 200 sites.
Since then the Post — along with CNN, ABC News, The New York Times and other legacy media outlets — have published multiple fake news stories regarding the Trump transition team and administration, generally in an attempt to continue trying to “prove” that the president colluded with Russia.
There’s no evidence of that — because it didn’t happen. But that hasn’t stopped networks and newspapers from continuing to look for the “smoking gun” evidence.
For example, just last week there was a pair of fake news stories published by CNN and ABC News, both of which attempted to prove the collusion angle:
— ABC’s Brian Ross reported that during his campaign then-GOP nominee Donald J. Trump implored advisor Michael Flynn to make contact with Russian officials. Never happened that way. The president did indeed ask Flynn to make contact with Russian officials and Flynn did so, but only after Trump became president-elect. And incoming administrations always reach out to foreign governments during a transition, so they can hit the ground running.
For this latest blunder, Ross was suspended for a month.
— CNN reported that a Wikileaks representative reached out to Donald Trump Jr. Sept. 4, 2016, to offer a trove of emails and data belonging to the DNC and Clinton campaign that was ‘hacked by Russia.’ In reality, the rep reached out to Don Jr. on Sept. 14, a day after Wikileaks published the entire trove online for all to see.
But rather than own up to the fact that its own reporter and several “sources” aren’t even competent enough to read a date on an email (or reach out to Don Jr. for a comment — standard journalistic practice), CNN’s White House correspondent Jim Acosta tried defending the fake news in a back-and-forth with Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Monday.
She shut him down because he was wrong and because he’s a buffoon.
Fake news exists now because the legacy media created it — as a way to ensnare Trump.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.