You gotta love our liberal media. Their entire modus operandi for at least the past two decades has been to shamelessly disseminate false left-wing narratives to the masses in their ongoing effort to discredit conservatism and further a progressive agenda. It’s what they do.
But since the election of Donald Trump, they have been obsessed with a new pet narrative: that a so-called “fake news” epidemic is occurring on the right.
This is partly because, I’m convinced, they resent the fact that some people on the alt-right are making inroads on their turf. But the “fake news” excuse also functions as a soothing balm for their wounded egos after their devastating 2016 election losses. It helps them deal with the uncomfortable fact that the electorate just rejected the hell out of the candidates for whom they blatantly shilled.
This happens every time the mainstream media’s favored party suffes a massive defeat at the polls, by the way. In 1994, they blamed their losses on the “angry white male.” After the 2010 “shellacking,” they attributed it to a menacing “climate of hate,” as personified by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.
And now we are asked to believe that fringe conspiracy theories like “PizzaGate” swung the 2016 election for Donald Trump. That may make the left feel better about losing, but their pathetic “fake news” narrative is a conspiracy theory in and of itself.
PizzaGate refers to a spectacular conspiracy theory surrounding Comet Ping Pong, a Baltimore pizza parlor that some internet sleuths claim is at the center of an international child sex ring run by Hillary Clinton and the Podesta brothers. This month, a man with an assault rifle walked into Comet Ping Pong to “self-investigate,” and reportedly fired the rifle at least once inside the restaurant. Luckily, no one was injured.
If only one could say the same about the countless left-wing fake news narratives that have been pushed by the MSM over the years.
For example, the PizzaGate conspiracy theory festered online only in places like 4Chan, Infowars, and Reddit.
But the “hands up, don’t shoot” conspiracy theory — which suggested a racist white cop shot an unarmed black teenager for no reason at all in Ferguson, Missouri — was propagated all over the mainstream news: CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, and others. It even was heavily spread by elected members of the Democratic Party.
That fake news led to riots, and it’s no stretch of the imagination to assume that the ensuing murdered policemen were the result of some bad actors feeling justified in retaliating.
Here is a list of ten memorable fake news stories from the mainstream media.
In an effort to influence the 2004 presidential election, Dan Rather used fake documents to claim that George W. Bush served dishonorably during his time in the Air National Guard:
CBS did its own investigation in the matter, and determined there were several serious breaches of handling this story, among them failure to identify the sources of the documents properly; failure to document the chain of custody of the documents; failure to establish the credibility of the documents.
Those that tendered their resignations on request were: Senior Vice President Betsy West, the supervisor of primetime programs for CBS News; Josh Howard, the executive producer of Wednesday’s version of 60 Minutes; Mary Murphy, senior broadcast producer and Howard’s deputy. Mary Mapes, the actual producer of the Killian documents story, was terminated, in part for calling a senior official in John Kerry’s presidential campaign (Joe Lockhart) and offering to put him in touch with Burkett. The CBS panel called Mapes’ action a “clear conflict of interest that created the appearance of political bias.”
Unbowed and still convinced of the document’s authenticity, Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit against CBS and its former corporate parent, Viacom on September 19, 2007, claiming he was made a “scapegoat”. A day later, Mapes wrote a column in the Huffington Post, claiming that far-right blogs have “pronounced themselves experts on document analysis, and began attacking the form and font in the memos. They screamed objections that ultimately proved to have no basis in fact … They dominated the discussion by churning out gigabytes of mind-numbing internet dissertations about the typeface in the memos, focusing on the curl at the end of the “a,” the dip on the top of the “t,” the spacing, the superscript, which typewriters were used in the military in 1972. It was a deceptive approach, and it worked”.
In a clear contradiction of her rant, Mapes did in fact have prior knowledge of Bush’s guard service in her hands but chose to ignore it. In a press release on January 10, 2005, Accuracy in Media reported that the internal investigation conducted by CBS into the “Rathergate” matter revealed that Mapes had documented information on hand which detailed Bush’s attempt to volunteer for duty as a fighter pilot in Vietnam but was denied by his superiors at the time due to his inexperience. Accuracy in Media Editor Cliff Kincaid explained:
“Mapes, who was very close to Rather and enjoyed his confidence, had the evidence exonerating Bush of this malicious charge. The report shows that there were multiple credible sources to prove that Bush did not try to avoid Vietnam by going into the National Guard and that he was in fact willing to go to Vietnam as a pilot. However, CBS News deliberately kept this information from its viewers and conveyed an opposite impression because Rather, Mapes & Company were trying to depict Bush as a coward who, as Commander-in-Chief, was sending American soldiers to their deaths in Iraq.”
The truth is that Bush, the alleged slacker, had volunteered to go to Vietnam while in the Texas Air National Guard, but was he was turned down because he didn’t have enough flight hours to qualify.
On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a Safeway parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head, and eighteen others. Six people died, including a federal judge, one of Rep. Giffords’ staffers, and a nine-year-old girl.
Numerous news outlets, starting with Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress and soon followed by Paul Krugman of the New York Times and others in the MSM, assigned blame to Sarah Palin and a right-wing “climate of hate” for the slaughter.
It was soon discovered that Jared Loughner was a lunatic who was described by a former classmate as a “left-wing pothead” who had only a tangential relationship with reality. Sarah Palin and her 2010 congressional district “targeting” map had nothing to do with Loughner’s calculus that day. He was just a sick individual who had spiraled into psychosis, and sadly no one had intervened.
The original story stuck in some liberal minds, however. As recently as this week, a Washington Post reporter (in a column about the dangers of “fake news,”) cited the Tucson massacre as an example of “a careless use of words” that helped incite a “terrible burst of violence:”
Supporters of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin put out a map with crosshairs targeting the districts of 20 House Democrats and urging folks: “Don’t Retreat, Instead — RELOAD!”
Then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was on that map and criticized it as soon as it was posted online and her office was vandalized.
“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” Giffords told MSNBC at the time. “When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.”
On Jan. 8, 2011, the consequences were chilling: Jared Loughner showed up with a gun outside a Tucson supermarket where Giffords was greeting constituents and killed six people and injured 20 more, including Giffords.
Still, as the funerals were being held and Giffords was in intensive care, Palin’s supporters insisted that crosshairs were never a reference to guns.
Well, the truth matters, too. But it often takes a back seat to convenient left-wing narratives.
3. “If You Like Your Plan, You Can Keep Your Plan!”
How many times did President Obama make that false promise? At least 36 times. It was a lie.
In fact, about 5.9 million people lost their coverage from September of 2013 to February of 2015.
There were other lies, too. Obama also said premiums would fall by 3,000 percent, the individual mandate was not a tax, ObamaCare wouldn’t add to the deficit, it wouldn’t fund abortions, and — on at least 19 occasions — he promised that if you already have insurance, his plan would reduce your premiums to $2500 per year.
It’s funny. I remember the Republicans took issue with those fake claims — but not the mainstream media. They covered Obama as he traveled around the country repeating the dubious claims in speech after speech, without any pushback.
The media is supposed to act as a watchdog holding government accountable, but they gave Obama a pass on all of those lies.
For eight long years, it was the opposition party’s job to fact-check Obama on his ObamaCare claims, because instead of public watchdogs, the media had become White House lapdogs.
Their agenda-driven ObamaCare reporting circa 2009/2010 was history-changing #FakeNews.
The millions of Americans who saw their insurance rates skyrocket will never forgive or forget.
On March 20, 2010, tens of thousands of tea partiers rallied against ObamaCare, which was in the process of being rammed through Congress against the will of the majority of Americans.
As the protesters were peacefully assembling, the Congressional Black Caucus decided it would be a good idea to take a “historic” walk through the crowd — aware, of course, that the people they would be brushing up against were adamantly against what they were about to do in Congress.
What ensued was largely uneventful, based on all of the evidence.
The congressmen worked their way through the crowd (with one of their own members videotaping the scene with his cellphone), and they endured what should have been expected under the circumstances: protesters lustily booing, and hollering: “Kill the bill!”
Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, walking directly in front of a man yelling “Kill the bill” through cupped hands, seemed to receive some spittle spray on his cheek, which to any fair-minded person watching the video was obviously unintentional.
But that’s not what he reported to news outlets immediately after their walk. Cleaver, for reasons known only to himself, decided to invent a major racial incident. Cleaver was soon interviewed by the Washington Post’s Courtland Milloy, who was eager to fan the flames of racial discord.
Members of the CBC also accused rally participants of using racial epithets as they walked through the crowd.
William Douglas in McClatchy reported:
Demonstrators outside the U.S. Capitol, angry over the proposed health care bill, shouted “n*gger” Saturday at U.S. Rep. John Lewis, a Georgia congressman and civil rights icon who was nearly beaten to death during an Alabama march in the 1960s.
The protesters also shouted obscenities at other members of the Congressional Black Caucus, lawmakers said.
“They were shouting, sort of harassing,” Lewis said. “But, it’s okay, I’ve faced this before. It reminded me of the 60s. It was a lot of downright hate and anger and people being downright mean.”
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., said he was a few yards behind Lewis and distinctly heard “n*gger.”
“It was a chorus,” Cleaver said. “In a way, I feel sorry for those people who are doing this nasty stuff — they’re being whipped up. I decided I wouldn’t be angry with any of them.”
Protestors also used a slur as they confronted Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., an openly gay member of Congress. A writer for Huffington Post said the crowd called Frank a “faggot.”
Frank told the Boston Globe that the incident happened as he was walking from the Longworth office building to the Rayburn office building, both a short distance from the Capitol. Frank said the crowd consisted of a couple of hundred of people and that they referred to him as “homo.”
It is provably false, preposterously reckless, quite possibly malicious, and has caused real damage to publicly identified Tea Party leaders.…
Here is what happened. Rather than use the tunnel from the Cannon Office Building to the Capitol, a contingent from the Black Caucus chose to walk through a crowd of protesters. In none of the videos shot that day, including those by the members of the Caucus themselves, has anyone identified a single audible racial slur.
What the videos show are protesters booing the black congressmen as lustily as they did their white counterparts. The one thing they do scream is the racially neutral “Kill the bill.” The caucus members pass without incident until they reach the Capitol steps. There, an inattentive Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), flanked by a police officer, walks right in front of a man who has been screaming “kill the bill” through cupped hands for at least the last ten seconds.
Cleaver appears to get caught in the vocal spray. Once the videos emerged, Cleaver would tell the Washington Post that the man “allowed saliva to hit my face.”
In the immediate aftermath of the incident, however, a visibly angry Cleaver — he poked his finger in the man’s face after being sprayed — spread a much darker story.
As Douglas reported in his 4:21 posting, Cleaver’s office claimed in a statement “that [Cleaver] had also been spat upon and that Capitol Police had arrested his assailant.” The Cleaver statement continued, “The man who spat on the congressman was arrested, but the congressman has chosen not to press charges.”
Yael T. Abouhalkah, the editorial page columnist in Cleaver’s hometown Kansas City Star, a McClatchy paper, captured the party line nicely with the claim that “some Tea Party supporter spat on Cleaver Saturday on Capitol Hill because the U.S. congressman is black.”
The video evidence belies all this nonsense.
About a minute after the incident, Cleaver returns to the scene of the crime with a Capitol Police officer. The “assailant” is still standing there shouting, unaware that he has committed anything like a crime. Heck, until a year or so ago, he had been led to believe that dissent was patriotic, not racist. More embarrassingly, Cleaver fails to recognize the man even though he is standing right in front of him, and the man is making no effort to hide. There is no arrest, no detention as Cleaver’s office would later claim, no noble decision to not press charges.
“There were no elements of a crime, and the individual wasn’t able to be positively identified,” a spokeswoman for the Capitol Police would tell FoxNews.com. “[Cleaver] was unable to positively identify.” More troubling, in Douglas’s report, it was only Cleaver who was said to hear the word “n*gger.” Even in the later posting, “Tea party protesters call Georgia’s John Lewis ‘n*gger,’” Lewis himself does not make this claim.
The late, great Andrew Breitbart famously offered attendees $100,000 for video proof that the n-word was yelled at the rally.
Keep in mind that CBC member Jesse Jackson, Jr. was videotaping as the group was making its way through the crowd. No video evidence ever emerged. Breitbart would later admit that he didn’t have $100,000 to give at the time. That’s how sure he was that the story was bogus.
Yet even today, leftists in the media cite the provable #FakeNews incident as proof that the tea party was racist.
5. Global Warming
Climate science is a young, complicated field of study, and most of us must rely on experts to help us sort it out. A decades-long scientific inquiry, not a debate, is occurring.
The problem is, the left (which includes the current government and its #FakeNews water-carriers in the mainstream media) wants us to believe “the debate is over,” that there is a “consensus” that man-made global warming is a major threat to the planet that requires nothing less than a complete overhaul of civilization.
There are thousands of scientists who disagree with this conclusion. Yet the mainstream media reports the warmists’ side as “settled science,” and smears skeptics as “deniers” in a reference to those who claim the Holocaust never occurred.
As a “non-expert” in the field, Dilbert creator Scott Adams says that he believes in the “scientific consensus” on climate change, mainly because it’s the socially acceptable position. But he points out that there are good reasons to believe that the consensus is wrong:
1. A theory has been “adjusted” in the past to maintain the conclusion even though the data has changed. For example, “Global warming” evolved to “climate change” because the models didn’t show universal warming.
2. Prediction models are complicated. When things are complicated you have more room for error. Climate science models are complicated.
3. The models require human judgement to decide how variables should be treated. This allows humans to “tune” the output to a desired end. This is the case with climate science models.
4. There is a severe social or economic penalty for having the “wrong” opinion in the field. As I already said, I agree with the consensus of climate scientists because saying otherwise in public would be social and career suicide for me even as a cartoonist. Imagine how much worse the pressure would be if science was my career.
5. There are so many variables that can be measured — and so many that can be ignored — that you can produce any result you want by choosing what to measure and what to ignore. Our measurement sensors do not cover all locations on earth, from the upper atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, so we have the option to use the measurements that fit our predictions while discounting the rest.
6. The argument from the other side looks disturbingly credible.
The media doesn’t want you to hear the arguments on the other side. They refuse to be fair and impartial in their agenda-driven reports on climate change, which is why their biased reporting qualifies as “#FakeNews.”
To hear the media tell it, innocent, unarmed black men are under siege by racist white cops all across the land. Every time there is a police shooting involving a black suspect and a white officer, we hear about it. Oh boy — do we ever hear about it.
These cases becomes sensationalized cause celebres that seem to climax with the burning and looting of a major city.
And then the evidence comes out, and it turns out the shooting did not occur as the original #FakeNews narrative claimed it did.
Why does the media insist on cherry-picking some tragic cases and ignoring others?
Cops killed nearly twice as many whites as blacks in 2015. According to data compiled by the Washington Post, 50 percent of the victims of fatal police shootings were white, while 26 percent were black. The majority of these victims had a gun or “were armed or otherwise threatening the officer with potentially lethal force,” according to Heather MacDonald, author of the War on Cops.
Some may argue that these statistics are evidence of racist treatment toward blacks, since whites consist of 62 percent of the population and blacks make up 13 percent of the population. But as Mac Donald writes in The Wall Street Journal, 2009 statistics from the Bureau of Justice Statistics reveal that blacks were charged with 62 percent of robberies, 57 percent of murders and 45 percent of assaults in the 75 biggest counties in the country, despite only comprising roughly 15 percent of the population in these counties.
“Such a concentration of criminal violence in minority communities means that officers will be disproportionately confronting armed and often resisting suspects in those communities, raising officers’ own risk of using lethal force,” writes MacDonald.
MacDonald also pointed out in her Hillsdale speech that blacks “commit 75 percent of all shootings, 70 percent of all robberies, and 66 percent of all violent crime” in New York City, even though they consist of 23 percent of the city’s population.
“The black violent crime rate would actually predict that more than 26 percent of police victims would be black,” MacDonald said. “Officer use of force will occur where the police interact most often with violent criminals, armed suspects, and those resisting arrest, and that is in black neighborhoods.”
Statistics show that black males commit a disproportionate amount of violent crimes, yet the media habitually only provides a very vague description of the perp(s) in their unsolved crime stories.
The very same media that habitually amplifies the racial makeup of white-on-black police shootings neglects to mention the race of black suspects even when they know it.
The media’s politically correct, anti-cop, agenda-driven journalism on crime is presenting a very distorted view of what is really going on out there.
And this #FakeNews has had deadly consequences.
7. “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”
This is perhaps the most egregious example of one-sided reporting on a police shooting that the #FakeNews mainstream media has ever produced.
On August 12, a few days after the shooting of “unarmed black teenager” Michael Brown (which had just sparked a wave of violent riots in Ferguson, Missouri), Time published a sympathetic article promoting the version of events provided by Dorian Johnson, Brown’s friend, on that fateful day:
Officials in St. Louis County and the tense town of Ferguson, Mo., remain mum nearly three days after an unidentified police officer shot an unarmed black teenager to death. But a young man who says he was with the victim at the time of the shooting has described a virtually unprovoked attack in which the officer fired repeatedly — even after the victim raised his hands and begged him to stop shooting.
In an interview with MSNBC, Dorian Johnson, 22, said his friend Michael Brown, 18, was walking in the street when the officer ordered him to the sidewalk. When Brown did not immediately comply, the officer put him in a chokehold. The young man struggled to free himself, and the officer pulled his gun and fired.
Wounded, Brown tried to flee but was shot a second time in the back. That’s when he turned with his hands raised, Johnson said. “I don’t have a gun. Stop shooting!” he said, but additional shots were fired.
That dubious version of events was broadcast throughout the mainstream media, which was eager to have a “national conversation on race” that fit neatly into the Obama administration’s narrative about white supremacy and the need for criminal justice reform.
But here is what really happened, based on grand jury testimony.
After Michael Brown committed a strong-arm robbery of a Ferguson convenience store for some cigarillos, the clerk reported the crime to the Ferguson Police Department. Minutes later, Officer Wilson encountered Brown and his accomplice Dorian Johnson as they walked down the middle of a Ferguson street.
Officer Wilson asked Mr. Brown to move to the pavement, prompting a vulgar response from Brown, who continued walking down the middle of the street. “It was a very unusual and not expected response from a simple request,” Wilson told the grand jury:
As they passed him, Officer Wilson noticed Mr. Brown had cigarillos in his hand — cigarillos had been stolen from a local convenience store — and at 12.02pm, he radioed in that he needed assistance with two individuals on Canfield Drive.
Officer Wilson backed his vehicle up at an angle to block the men’s path and block the flow of traffic in both directions.
There was an altercation between Officer Wilson sitting in his patrol car and Mr Brown standing at the window. Witnesses said Officer Wilson opened his door into Mr Brown and choked him, while the officer said he was scratched and punched in the face as Mr Brown grabbed at his gun. Newly-released photos show bruising to Darren Wilson’s face after the incident.
According to witnesses and blood and evidence found inside the vehicle, Officer Wilson fired two shots as he struggled with Mr Brown, grazing the teenager’s hand.
Wilson testified that during the struggle for the gun, Brown “had the most intense aggressive face. The only way I can describe it, it looks like a demon, that’s how angry he looked”:
Mr Brown fled east on Canfield Drive, pursued by Officer Wilson. Mr Brown then stopped and turned back towards Officer Wilson.
Officer Wilson also stopped. Witnesses gave conflicting accounts of whether the 18-year-old walked, stumbled or charged, but according to the prosecutor’s summary, the officer fired five shots as Mr Brown charged him, then another five shots as he made what one witness described as “a full charge”.
Before all these facts were in, however, Johnson’s bogus story had been disseminated far and wide by the unscrupulous mainstream media.
Left-wing activists were invited on panels to discuss the bogus “hands up, don’t shoot” narrative as if it were the confirmed truth. Meanwhile, sympathetic reporters flowed into Ferguson to fan the flames, keeping the story in the news for months.
All told, the riots and property destruction in Ferguson cost Missouri residents, area police departments, and taxpayers more than $22 million.
And the Black Lives Matter movement was born based upon a lie spread by the #FakeNews mainstream media.
They only reported the truth when it became too obvious to ignore.
On September 11, 2012, during the heat of President Obama’s reelection campaign, al-Qaeda-linked terror group Ansar al-Sharia stormed the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing Ambassador Chris Stevens and staffer Sean Smith.
In the early morning hours of September 12, the militants launched a mortar attack against the CIA annex approximately one mile away, killing CIA contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty and wounding ten others.
U.S. officials, including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and then-UN Ambassador Susan Rice, initially described the attacks as the result of a spontaneous protest triggered by an obscure anti-Muslim video — even though they knew right from the beginning that it was a premeditated terrorist attack.
The attacks came as the Obama administration was promoting United Nations Human Rights Council Resolution 16/18, an anti-free speech measure titled “Combating Intolerance, Discrimination, and Violence Based on Religion or Belief.”
The president had also been campaigning on the idea that al-Qaeda was “on the run,” and that the global war on terrorism was over.
So the mainstream media heard the YouTube tale, and became livid … at Mitt Romney.
You see, Romney had criticized the Obama administration after the U.S. Embassy in Cairo had released a statement condemning “the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims.”
Romney had said:
It’s disgraceful that the Obama administration’s first response was not to condemn attacks on our diplomatic missions, but to sympathize with those who waged the attacks.
The Cairo statement was posted at 6:00 a.m. on September 11, before the protests in Cairo and terrorist attacks in Benghazi had started, but Romney initially believed that the Cairo statement had come out after the protests and violence. So the MSM pounced on Romney with a vengeance for “trying to score political points” during a time of tragedy.
CNN’s Candy Crowley famously ran interference for Obama during the second presidential debate in October of 2012, injecting herself into the discussion by siding with Obama on remarks regarding the “act of terror” he claimed to have made in the Rose Garden following the attacks.
Obama had said “no acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this nation,” but he conspicuously never called the incident in Benghazi an act of terror.
Instead of unambiguously characterizing the incident as a terrorist attack, his administration pushed the YouTube narrative for the next couple weeks.
The media gave scant coverage, or none at all, to documented evidence that the Obama administration knew within two hours of the attack that it was a premeditated terror act, not a protest gone awry.
But the Obama administration’s epic array of mismanagement, miscues, blunders, and deceptions before, during, and after the attacks were nothing compared to Romney’s minor faux pas — as far as the #FakeNews media was concerned.
Richard Benedetto, who taught politics and journalism at American University, even had the gumption to blame Romney for the media’s failure:
Had Romney kept quiet for a couple of days and let the president hold the spotlight to outline and defend his administration’s actions, the public might have seen the tragedy for what it was: Obama’s responsibility and his responsibility alone … the crisis became as much candidate Romney’s as it was Commander-in-Chief Obama’s.
The only reason the crisis “became” Romney’s as much as Obama’s is because the agenda-driven #FakeNews media made sure it did.
9. Rolling Stone’s UVA Rape Hoax
Rolling Stone published one of the most monumentally #FakeNews stories in recent memory, but that didn’t stop President Barack Obama paying the disgraced rag a high compliment just days after he himself decried the online proliferation of so-called fake news:
In an interview with Rolling Stone, which was found liable by a federal jury earlier this month for malicious defamation for its role in pushing a rape hoax, Obama nonetheless praised the magazine’s “great work.”
Jann S. Wenner, the co-founder and publisher of Rolling Stone, wondered aloud during the interview “whether the federal government should provide media with subsidies to help them combat the rising tide of fake news stories on social media.”
Of course, Rolling Stone itself was the rising tide:
“A Rape on Campus” is a now-retracted Rolling Stone magazine article, written by Sabrina Erdely and originally published on November 19, 2014, that claimed to describe a group sexual assault at the University of Virginia (UVA). Rolling Stone retracted the story in its entirety on April 5, 2015.
The article included a claim that a UVA student, identified only as “Jackie” by the magazine, had been taken to a party hosted by the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity at UVA by a fellow student. At the party, Jackie alleged in the article, her date led her to a bedroom where she was raped by several fraternity members as part of an initiation rite. Jackie’s account generated much media attention, and UVA suspended the fraternity. After other journalists investigated the article’s claims and found significant discrepancies, Rolling Stone issued multiple apologies for the story. Further investigation concluded that Jackie had fabricated the incident.
According to the Washington Post, ABC News and others, Jackie may have invented the gang rape story in an unsuccessful attempt to win the affections of a fellow student that she had a crush on. As stated by Robby Soave of Reason Magazine: “It’s already well established that the lies of Jackie — the false accuser at the center of Rolling Stone’s gang rape hoax — grew out of her efforts to catfish Ryan Duffin, a boy she had a crush on.”
The Columbia Journalism Review called the story “this year’s media-fail sweepstakes”and the Poynter Institute named it as the “Error of the Year” in journalism.
#FakeNews hawk Wenner defended the story and its author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, right up to the bitter end — and now he wants the government to step in with federal subsidies to combat all that other fake news out there.
10. Donald Trump Has No Chance Whatsoever of Winning the 2016 Election
Virtually everyone in the mainstream media got this wrong, over and over again, for months:
Ahead of Election Day, the once-venerable Newsweek had sent copies of its latest issue to stores with a cover photo Clinton under the headline “Madame President.”
Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell, anticipating a loss by Trump, said Monday, “Farewell, dear Donald Trump. At least, I hope this is farewell.”
Paul Krugman, columnist for the New York Times, said the same day, “It’s almost over. Will we heave a sigh of relief, or shriek in horror? Nobody knows for sure, although early indications clearly lean Clinton.”
That was true. Most national polls said Trump lose the election by a large margin to Clinton. Some even showed Trump losing to Clinton by a margin of more than 100 electoral college votes.
Over several decades, the mainstream media’s #FakeNews has left a massive trail of destruction difficult to contemplate. Going forward, no good argument can be made that anyone should ever again trust them — especially not their latest outrageous narrative: that everyone else is spreading dangerous fake news.