The so-called “mainstream” media is on the lookout everywhere for fake news.
There is just one problem.
They were the biggest proponents of fake news, and worked with Hillary Clinton’s campaign to use fake news stories to try and swing the election.
Starting in the summer and stretching through the remainder of the campaign, WikiLeaks released thousands of emails obtained from the Democrat National Committee and Clinton Campaign Chairman John Podesta’s personal email account.
These emails revealed how the national party rigged the primary against Bernie Sanders, how debate questions were leaked to Hillary Clinton in advance, and the incestuous relationship between the Clinton campaign and the media.
While some reporters were combing through the contents of these emails, the Clinton campaign was working to minimize their political impact.
The false claim they settled on was that some of the emails were forgeries and, therefore, no one could trust their contents.
This fake news story was picked up by sympathetic members of the press and pushed on the American people.
The Intercept reports:
“Now we have an even more compelling example. Back in October, when WikiLeaks was releasing emails from the John Podesta archive, Clinton campaign officials and their media spokespeople adopted a strategy of outright lying to the public, claiming – with no basis whatsoever – that the emails were doctored or fabricated and thus should be ignored. That lie – and that is what it was: a claim made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth – was most aggressively amplified by MSNBC personalities such as Joy Ann Reid and Malcolm Nance, The Atlantic’s David Frum, and Newsweek’s Kurt Eichenwald.
That the emails in the WikiLeaks archive were doctored or faked – and thus should be disregarded – was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news outlets such as MSNBC, the Atlantic and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the Internet, hungrily clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true. As a result of this deliberate disinformation campaign, anyone reporting on the contents of the emails was instantly met with claims that the documents in the archive had been proven fake.
The most damaging such claim came from MSNBC’s intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance. As I documented on October 11, he tweeted what he – for some bizarre reason – labeled an “Official Warning.” It decreed: “#PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done.” That tweet was re-tweeted by more than 4,000 people. It was vested with added credibility by Clinton-supporting journalists like Reid and Frum (“expert to take seriously”).
Clinton campaign pollster Joel Beneson also pushed this fake news in an interview with ABC’s This Week.
Clinton camp chief strategist @benensonj: “I’ve seen things” in Wikileaks emails “that aren’t authentic” #ThisWeek https://t.co/LPQJBfACqz
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 23, 2016
Even the evidence the mainstream media used to push this story was fake news.
MSNBC’s intelligence analyst, Malcolm Nance, tweeted a link to an obviously fake transcript of a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs.
The only problem was, this forgery was created by a Clinton supporter in order to sow doubt about the validity of the rest of the WikiLeaks emails.
Yet this fake news was spread by MSNBC.
The Intercept also reports:
“…it was obvious that it was this accusation from Clinton supporters – not the WikiLeaks documents – that was a complete fraud, perpetrated on the public as deliberate disinformation. With regard to the claim about the Podesta emails, now we know exactly who created it in the first instance: a hard-core Clinton fanatic.
When Nance – MSNBC’s “intelligence analyst” – issued his “Official Warning,” he linked to a tweet that warned: “Please be skeptical of alleged #PodestaEmails. Trumpists are dirtying docs.” That tweet, in turn, linked to a tweet from an anonymous account calling itself “The Omnivore,” which had posted an obviously fake transcript purporting to be a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs. Even though that fake document was never published by WikiLeaks, that was the entire basis for the MSNBC-inspired claim that some of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored.
But the person who created that forged Goldman Sachs transcript was not a “Trumpist” at all; he was a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton. In the Daily Beast, the person behind the anonymous “The Omnivore” account unmasks himself as “Marco Chacon,” a self-professed creator of “viral fake news” whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited). When he wasn’t posting fabricated news accounts designed to make Clintons’ opponents look bad, his account looked like any other standard pro-Clinton account: numerous negative items about Sanders and then Trump, with links to many Clinton-defending articles.”
One definition of fake news is fabricated news stories that are intended to deceive.
The story that some WikiLeaks emails were forgeries was a fake news story that was intended to deceive the American people from the truth about the contents of the emails that WikiLeaks released.
It was a prime example of fake news, and media figures gladly spread it in an effort to swing the election to Hillary Clinton.