In this day and age, news hits us fast. Really fast, and lots of it. At times, it’s hard to juggle legitimate stories with the growing spread of fake news. Foreign operatives have taken advantage of our information overload, and have utilized social media to spread fake news intended to widen the divide between Americans. One of the more contentious fake news story planted by Russians was the Seth Rich conspiracy theory.
In an investigation posted by Yahoo News, it’s reported that:
In the summer of 2016, Russian intelligence agents secretly planted a fake report claiming that Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich was gunned down by a squad of assassins working for Hillary Clinton, giving rise to a notorious conspiracy theory that captivated conservative activists and was later promoted from inside President Trump’s White House.
Unfortunately, many on the right swallowed the Russians’ lie hook, line, and sinker. Doubling down, even as the authorities insisted that it wasn’t true, many conservative commentators stubbornly promoted the fake news that the DNC was covering up information in order to protect Hillary Clinton. The story’s continued spread served to create further pain and trauma for Seth Rich’s grieving family. It also served to create further rancor between the left and the right in this country.
According to Yahoo News, Russia’s intelligence agency, referred to as SVR, didn’t waste any time after Rich was killed in what was most likely a robbery gone tragically wrong. Three days after the DNC staffer’s death, SVR, “circulated a phony ‘bulletin” — disguised to read as a real intelligence report —about the alleged murder of the former DNC staffer on July 13, 2016, according to the U.S. federal prosecutor who was in charge of the Rich case.
The piece of fake information that piqued the interest of many conservatives anxious to find anything to derail Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign was the fake news that Rich was in the process of handing incriminating information about Hillary over to the FBI. The conspiracy theory had a longer shelf life than usual because, as Yahoo News reveals:
The Russian effort to exploit Rich’s tragic death didn’t stop with the fake SVR bulletin. Over the course of the next two and a half years, the Russian government-owned media organizations RT and Sputnik repeatedly played up stories that baselessly alleged that Rich, a relatively junior-level staffer, was the source of Democratic Party emails that had been leaked to WikiLeaks. It was an idea first floated by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, who on Aug. 9, 2016, announced a $20,000 reward for information about Rich’s murder, saying — somewhat cryptically — that “our sources take risks.”
Shamefully, a few people still insist that Seth Rich was murdered to prevent the FBI from receiving incriminating information about Hillary Clinton. No doubt, they will read the details of Yahoo News’ investigation and dismiss it as fake news produced by a leftist media intent on protecting Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Insisting on clinging to a discredited conspiracy theory, though, not only makes conservatives look foolish but continues to add pain to the murdered Seth Rich’s family.