The Washington Post’s Fake News Problem

The Washington Post has a fake news problem. Fake news is not only competition for the Washington Post, but its own affliction. The Washington Post seem to have difficulty refraining from publishing fake news while criticizing others for publishing it.

The Washington Post’s labeling of competing alternative media outlets as “fake news” since the 2016 Presidential election are becoming increasingly ironic.

Debunking Pizzagate

The Washington Post entered the “fake news” fray by attempting to debunk Pizzagate. While the Washington Post examined some of the unproven allegations, it did not conclusively determine with factual analysis that Pizzagate was “fake news”. Rather, the Washington Post simply declared it was fake news, rather than thoroughly debunking the story.

Prop or Not Hoax

Things got worse for the Washington Post’s reputation as a “real news” outlet, when it published accusations that a hundred or so alternative media sites were Russian propaganda outlets that disseminated fake news that helped tip the election to Donald Trump. The Washington Post cited a newly created anonymous group as its source, Prop or Not, which itself did not provide any concrete evidence of any Russian connection. The article was roundly criticized not only by some of the web sites wrongly accused as acting on behalf of the Russians, but also by Rolling Stone and the Intercept.

The Washington Post later added an editor’s note to their “Prop or Not” story indicating that they did not vouch for the accuracy of Prop or Not’s findings.

In other words, the Washington Post published fake news knowingly.

In December, the Washington Post was appointed by Facebook to help it identify fake news coming from fake news outlets, perhaps on the assumption of “takes one to know one”?

Russia’s Hacking of a Vermont Power Grid

The Washington Post’s next brush with fake news occurred in late December and involved their reporting on Russian hacking of a Vermont power grid. The Post published an unverified story that the Russians hacked the Vermont Power Grid. The story turned out to be totally false.

In other words, the Washington Post published fake news negligently.

Rather than add a note to their false power grid hacking story, the Washington Post devoted an entirely new story in early January that confessed “Russian government hackers do not appear to have targeted Vermont utility, say people close to investigation

Trump Forces out DC National Guard General

In January, the Washington Post left out key information on the resignation of head of the D.C. National Guard. The Post’s story indicated that “D.C. National Guard, Maj. Gen. Errol R. Schwartz, said Friday that he has been ordered removed from his command” effective immediately upon Donald’s Trump’s inauguration at 12:01pm Friday January 20, 2017. Such a move would make the President Elect appear reckless as the National Guard would be without a general for the period of time after Donald Trump was sworn in.

The Washington Post story left out key information regarding the procedural protocol for the General of the D.C. National Guard who traditionally submits his letter of resignation to the incoming President. The Trump administration had offered General Schwartz the opportunity to keep his post through inauguration, but he declined the offer.

In other words, through purposeful omission of key facts or simply shoddy journalism, the Washington Post published fake news, AGAIN.

The main stream media’s assault on alternative media outlets as “fake news” so far has not been a success. The term “fake news” seems to have been co-opted by alternative media who now in turn label main stream media publishers like the Washington Post as “fake news”. Donald Trump’s characterization of CNN as “fake news” at his press conference last week, may have main stream media outlets ruing the day they decided to fight the competition with the term “fake news”.

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AP Joins Left Wing Battle To Fight Fake news

AP has become the latest news organization to join the cadre of left-leaning news outlets in the fight against “fake news”. Yesterday we reported that Facebook would be joining forces with left-wing groups to fact check and censor fake news. AP announced that it would work with Facebook to “help identify and debunk trending “news” stories being shared online that are false.”

The fake news furor seems to only be shared by main stream media outlets that are losing market share and influence. These same news organizations seem also to be inordinately upset about “PizzaGate”.

AP posted a photo at the bottom of their announcement that they were joining the fight against fake news. The photo showed flowers and notes left at Comet Ping Pong Restaurant, the center of the PizzaGate conspiracy theory, one of which that read “Fake News is Not Ok”.

AP captioned the photo: “A fake news story prompted a man to fire a rifle inside the popular pizza place…”

READ AP’S FIGHT AGAINST FAKE NEWS ANNOUNCEMENT

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Hillary Clinton Warns on Fake News – A Threat To Democracy

Former Secretary of State Labels Fake News and ‘Epidemic’

Hillary Clinton weighed in on the fake news controversy yesterday. In a speech on Capitol Hill where Democrats were meeting to honor retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Ms. Clinton said regarding fake news, “This isn’t about politics or partisanship — lives are at risk. Lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.”

Ms. Clinton added “we must stand up for our democraccy [against] the epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year”

Labeling news “fake” or “Russian propaganda” as a tactic has proven ineffective so far in stopping the proliferation of ‘fake news’. Real world consequences need to be attached to the proliferation of fake news to assist in curbing its spread. An attack on a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C. last weekend provided an incident with such consequences. Blaming Ms. Clinton’s failed Presidential bid, which ‘experts’ have argued she may have lost irrespective of negative ‘fake news’ coverage of her campaign (which was offset by main stream media ‘real news’ supporting her campaign) has not engendered much public support or outrage.

An attack on a pizza restaurant in Washington D.C. last weekend provided an incident with real world consequences. A gunman allegedly brandished and shot a firearm at the pizza restaurant that is the center of “PizzaGate”, a theory driven by alternative media that the D.C. pizza restaurant is the center of a child trafficking ring, involving top Democratic officials, staffers and related parties. NPR, BBC, the Washington Post and The New York Times and other main stream media outlets have deemed PizzaGate to be fake news and indeed the most blatant example of it.

Ms. Clinton’s public reappearance seemed to attack ‘fake news’ generally and to provided an impassioned defense of the working families earning a living at the D.C. pizza restaurant disrupted by the fake news epidemic.

WATCH HILLARY’S WARNING

READ MORE AT NPR

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CBS News Declares PizzaGate “Fake News”

CBS News has joined the chorus of main stream media outlets, including the BBC, the Washington Post and the New York Times branding Pizzagate “fake news”. An attack on the Comet Ping Pong restaurant in Washington DC was not covered as news itself but rather as the product of a “fake news” conspiracy theory known as “PizzaGate”.

Fake news, according to the main stream media, comes from Russia or alt-right racists and therefore has no validity. Russian directed fake news, the MSM contends was responsible for the ‘installing Donald Trump as President‘ in place of the ‘over qualified’ Hillary Clinton in the recent election.

To combat the scourge of fake news, CBS News has also put together a handy guide on which “fake news” web sites to avoid. As we and others have pointed out, CBS News was the purveyor of one of the most infamous fake news stories of the 21st century, a story so false and scandalous on its face that it became to be known as “Rathergate”.

The CBS News fake news list, contains some glaring omissions, corrected here.

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