This is a story that anyone who cares about #REALNEWS must read. That The Washington Post would engage in this sort of political smear is really pushing into a new frontier of media “bias.” So now The Post is just openly an ally of the (Clintonite) establishment and has decided to end any sort of credibility it once had? That seems kind of a desperate move. I didn’t know it had come to that.
The Clintons lost, in so doing The Washington Post knows that its days might be numbered too. (That’s the trend.) But what the hell, why not set fire to the joint on the way out? And by “joint” we mean more than just Washpo.
(From The Intercept)
Indeed, what happened here is the essence of fake news. The Post story served the agendas of many factions: those who want to believe Putin stole the election from Hillary Clinton; those who want to believe that the internet and social media are a grave menace that needs to be controlled, in contrast to the objective truth which reliable old media outlets once issued; those who want a resurrection of the Cold War. So those who saw tweets and Facebook posts promoting this Post story instantly clicked and shared and promoted the story without an iota of critical thought or examination of whether the claims were true, because they wanted the claims to be true. That behavior included countless journalists.
So the story spread in a flash, like wildfire. Tens of thousands of people, perhaps hundreds of thousands or even millions, consumed it, believing that it was true because of how many journalists and experts told them it was. Virtually none of the people who told them this spent a minute of time or ounce of energy determining if it was true. It pleased them to believe it was, knowing it advanced their interests, and so they endorsed it. That is the essence of how fake news functions, and it is the ultimate irony that this Post story ended up illustrating and spreading far more fake news than it exposed.