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Free Minds & Free Markets

The Fake Epidemic of Fake News

The outrage over fake news is based on fake news about fake news.

Fake news on social media has gotten so bad that it threatens democracy itself, according to President Obama and a host of other deep thinkers. Why, a recent study by Buzzfeed concludes that fake news beat out real news during the past three months of the election. And we all know how that turned out.

There are at least two problems with this. First, the epidemic of fake news is overstated. Second, fake news is far from new.

The Washington Examiner's Tim Carney took the trouble to look beyond the headline about the Buzzfeed analysis. Turns out the "analysis" was not at all rigorous. It compared only the Facebook engagement metrics—the number of shares, reactions, and comments—for a small handful of stories.

The top fake story—about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump—got 960,000 engagements. The top real story, comparing Trump's level of corruption to Clinton's, got 849,000 engagements. If Facebook were the only source for news, that could be alarming—although it's worth noting that engagement does not equal acceptance. How many of the comments on the Pope Francis story amounted to "Yeah, right!"?

But Facebook isn't the only source of news. Consider: The pope story comes from EndtheFed.org. According to Alexa, which monitors internet traffic, EndtheFed.org is the 2,488,992nd most popular website in the world. In the U.S. alone, more than 363,000 websites are more popular. Compare that to the Washington Post, which is the source for Facebook's second-most-engaged story. It ranks 195th in the world and 40th in the United States. In one month, the Post can rack up 770 million page views. Last October it had seven stories that topped more than 1 million page views each.

So: "Fake News Beats Real News" turns out to be... fake news.

In any event, the concern-trolling about fake news likely has more to do with the fact that Trump won—and the top five fake-news stories cited by Buzzfeed all were slanted heavily against Hillary Clinton. This has led to some hand-wringing in the media, which is a bit rich. Most of the media despise Trump, for a simple reason: Much about him is despicable. Yet the hands being wrung in this case are far from clean.

If the fake-news epidemic were real, then Patient Zero wouldn't be Facebook, it would be The New York Times. The Times' record for disseminating agitprop dates back at least to the early 1930s, when Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer for his reporting that denied the existence of famines in Soviet Russia—during a period when millions were dying of starvation.

More recently, The Times has given the nation the Jayson Blair fabrications—which it followed up with the infamous 2004 story, "Memos on Bush Are Fake But Accurate, Typist Says." It followed that up four years later with a story implying that GOP presidential candidate John McCain had had an affair with a lobbyist. (The lobbyist sued, and reached a settlement with the paper.)

Over the years other pillars of the media also have fallen on their faces. NBC News had to confess that it rigged GM trucks with incendiary devices for an explosive Dateline segment. The Washington Post gave up a Pulitzer after learning that Janet Cooke's reporting about an 8-year-old heroin addict was false. In 1998 the Cincinnati Enquirer renounced its own series alleging dark doings by the Chiquita banana company. That same year, CNN retracted its story alleging "that the U.S. military used nerve gas in a mission to kill American defectors in Laos during the Vietnam War." The San Jose Mercury News had to denounce its own series alleging that the CIA was to blame for the crack cocaine epidemic. Rolling Stone just got hit with a big libel judgment for its now-retracted story about a rape at U.Va. And so on.

Then there are the broader deceptions, such as the wide reporting on a church-burning epidemic—a rash of racially motivated arsons targeting black churches in the 1990s. There was just one problem: It was mostly false. Many of the fires were accidental, and those that were not were often started by African-Americans. Made a heck of a story, though.

More recently, many news organizations attacked Mitt Romney's claims that the Obama administration had "gutted" welfare reform. The claim was backed by lots (and lots) of evidence, but media types were not content to call it debatable; they insisted it had been "debunked"—because that's what the Obama White House insisted.

Oh—and many news outlets also reported Buzzfeed's misleading story about fake news. Kind of ironic, that.

To be fair, professional news organizations that discover flaws in their own reporting admit the mistakes in public and do whatever they can to correct the record. That sometimes entails exhaustive forensic investigations into suspect articles, with full disclosure of the results. Purveyors of fake news, obviously, do nothing of the sort.

Yes, it's troubling to see the circulation of false right-wing narratives on the internet. But that doesn't mean the purveyors of false left-wing narratives should get veto power over what the rest of us read.

This column originally appeared at the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Photo Credit: Foter.com

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  • Sevo||

    Damn it! *Something* must have made all those mouth-breathers vote for Trump!
    It can't possibly be the Ds contempt for them and that the hag the Ds trotted out was even worse than him. No way!

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    I saw more fake news on the left than the right in October. But naturally, it's only a problem because Trump won.

  • ||

    That's because you were looking at my feed. Communist folk singers, leftist conspiracy wackos, artists, and academics seem to be dominant there, a sign that I need to re-evaluate my life.

  • Quixote||

    There is surely nothing wrong with a bit of "fake" news here and there if it helps make America great again. What really needs to be reevaluated is the deeply misguided, lib-tard notion that certain forms of "speech" can be tolerated in the stronger, limper, bolder nation that we have been building over the past decade, and that our strong incoming leader will help us build better. Surely no one here would dare to defend the outrageous "First Amendment dissent" of a single, isolated judge in America's leading criminal "satire" case? See the documentation at:

    https://raphaelgolbtrial.wordpress.com/

  • Austrian Anarchy||

    Every single instance of someone pointing me to the "Trump will put badged on Muslims" came from some leftoid Clintonista. Same with every other Paul Horner story I was subject to.

  • tarran||

    To be fair, professional news organizations that discover flaws in their own reporting admit the mistakes in public and do whatever they can to correct the record.

    Are you implying that Rolling Stone isn't a professional news organization?!?!?

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    You need to read between the lines ;)

  • Gorbag||

    I think that goes without saying.

  • TheZeitgeist||

    Fake news on Facebook? They're fixing it in China:

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016.....china.html

    Thomas Friedman was right, the Chinese are ahead of us in everything at this point.

  • Rhywun||

    No news is good news! Carry on, comrades.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    In any event, the concern-trolling about fake news likely has more to do with the fact that Trump won...

    And in light of that, and the fact that no one wants to be introspective when they fucked something up when they can just as easily find the fault elsewhere, means we're going to see a whole lot of things that "need to be changed" in the next few months at least. Never again can the voting public be duped into discarding a pure and highly qualified presidential candidate for a hateful demagogue.

  • Gorbag||

    "Never again can the voting public be duped into discarding a pure and highly qualified presidential candidate for a hateful demagogue." You mean like the Democrats did when they discarded Bernie?

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    This article is fake.

  • Microaggressor||

    Your comment is fake.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Speaking of this, I keep hearing on NPR about the "recent" spike in hate crimes across the nation. Has NPR decided to embrace fake news now?

  • Sevo||

    The local rag front-paged a story on a 'spike in demand for encryption software', and for a sources, they interviewed the heads of various identity-activist groups.
    Since they are worried that Trump is going to spy on them, there must be a huge demand for encryption, right?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Why wouldn't Trump just look through the communications the Obama administration collected on them?

  • Rhywun||

    The other day I heard on the local news there was an epidemic of Trumpstikas in Brooklyn, reported as if self-evidently obvious and without any hint of skepticism.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    Now? As if they haven't been purveyors of it in the past?

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    They'll report whatever it takes to keep their government funding.

  • WuzYoungOnceToo||

    Has NPR decided to embrace fake news now?

    "Now"?

  • Cy||

    No, they just fail to mention that they're prog enacted hate crimes.

  • The Fusionist||

    The people who believe the stories from the offbrand Web sites - like the story a Hillary supporter gave me about offensive remarks Eric Trump never actually made - are people who are predisposed to believe this stuff.

    The fakers are either satirical sites whose satire isn't noticed, or click-seekers who want to rile up partisans by bias-confirming reports.

    The "real" news, on the other hand, is still relied on by some middle of the roaders.

  • Lee Genes||

    Yet, actual video of wrongdoing by DNC operatives fails to get any response out of them

  • Cy||

    Ha... good luck finding rela news! I feel like I have to interpret every article I read anymore. Read it as a conservative, re-read it as a liberal, read it in a sarcastic voice, read it with a russian accent... it gets tiresome.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    You lie!

  • Pro Libertate||

    This is all so recursive--I like it.

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    I keep thinking your return is fake.

  • commodious gits gud||

    It's another Tulpa sock. You can tell because it posts stuff here.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's possible, I suppose. For instance, Urkobold is gone, yet I still link to it--why?

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Same reason I link to a blog I don't update. We cling to the greatness that once was. In my case, the greatness that never was.

  • Pro Libertate||

    The beauty of the web is that the content of your site, in a thousand years or so, could launch a new school of philosophy.

  • yet another dave||

    Oh lord... Sugarfree...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly. If the government is so great, why can't it erase the Internet?

  • commodious gits gud||

    I find it difficult to take someone seriously when in one breath he claims James Comey cleared Clinton of any wrongdoing and in another vents about losing the election to fake news.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Meanwhile, Krugabe still has a pulpit from which to bellow his inane anti-capitalist nonsense.

  • timbo||

    seriously. I seem to remember a fair amount of fake news during the cold war 80's. we went to war with saddam in the 90s over a little bit of fake news. We assured him in private meetings that we would not retaliate if he invaded Kuwait. Then we called it a surprise attack when he did it and raided him.

    That little tidbit of fake news has since turned the world into a massive pressure cooker.

  • searchingmind||

    timbo|11.23.16 @ 12:19PM
    "we went to war with saddam in the 90s over a little bit of fake news. We assured him in private meetings that we would not retaliate if he invaded Kuwait."

    No. "On 25 July 1990, April Glaspie, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, asked the Iraqi high command to explain the military preparations in progress, including the massing of Iraqi troops near the border. . .The American ambassador declared to her Iraqi interlocutor that Washington, "inspired by the friendship and not by confrontation, does not have an opinion" on the disagreement between Kuwait and Iraq, stating "we have no opinion on the Arab–Arab conflicts". ('Invasion of Kuwait' --- Wikipedia)
    Was there a mistranslation? Did Saddam think we were giving him carte blanche? Damfino, but we sure as Hell did not tell him "that we would not retaliate if he invaded Kuwait."

  • D.D. Driver||

    It's fake news-ception,

  • Bubba Jones||

    Anyone else notice the string of fake news clickbait between the story and the comments?

    I seem to recall a South Park about this...

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Anyone else notice the string of fake news clickbait between the story and the comments?

    No. That's what ad blockers are for.

  • Bubba Jones||

    Is there an ad blocker for my iPhone?

    Serious question. What browser do you use?

  • Bubba Jones||

    Just installed adguard. Yay!

    But still. It is epically ironic.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    I use Firefox with Ad Aware Ad-Blocker. Admittedly, it doesn't block everything, but it blocks most of the more annoying ads. The only ones I see are the suggestions that link to other stories on reason. So at least I don't have to see anymore "These Celebrities Died and No On Cared HERR- DERR" or "20 Outrageous Wal-Mart Shoopers DERP" clickbait bullshit.

    I think there's a version of Firefox for iOS, and there may be ad blockers for that version, but I don't know for sure.

  • BenG||

    It's a different browser basically. Guy above mentioned it, Adguard. You us it instead of your old browser on IoS and Android.

  • ||

    What difference, at this point, does it make?

  • BenG||

    It's externalizing the faults in their candidate and their reasoning. People look eveywhere but themselves much of the time for a reason things didn't work out how they wanted to.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    Politico is keeping a running tally of the popular vote. That's pretty much fake news.

    They're spinning it as evidence of Clinton's popularity and not her incompetence.

    SHE RAN TV ADS IN CALIFORNIA. What a fucking idiot.

  • timbo||

    ha. Never thought about that. Did she really need to appeal to the woman vote constantly. After all, once they were able to convince stupid women that there was a war against them in 2012, pretty sure they were never going to waiver from absolute allegiance.

  • Zero Sum Game||

    The oft-forgotten Binder Wars of 2012.

  • timbo||

    Forgotten only because shit only got so much more ridiculous and stupid in the 4 years since.

  • The Grinch||

    Huh, what a waste of resources.

  • Playa Manhattan.||

    The flash mob of Hillary dancers in NYC really helped people in middle america make up their minds. Same with the Beyonce and Jay-Z concert.

  • timbo||

    Perhaps now we can get a little less dose of the brain dead zombies that are beyonce, jz, and kanyay.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    They're spinning it as evidence of Clinton's popularity and not her incompetence.

    "What are they saying?"

    "It sounds like, 'For god's sake, put some clothes on!'."

  • ||

    President Obama and a host of other deep thinkers

    Huh, so the Big O is a "deep thinker" now?

    Would love to see some other examples of his deep thinking, Mr. John Jacob Barton Hinkle Schmidt.

  • BakedPenguin||

    It's kind of bad form to put /sarc tags in original the article.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Pretty sure that was sarcasm.

  • Drave Robber||

    Is "deep thinker" one whose thinking processes occur so deep within that they cannot be noticed?

  • PapayaSF||

    As I said in another thread: Maybe I'm just cynical, but I wonder if the brouhaha over "fake news" isn't a JournoList-inspired campaign with several purposes: protect the MSM rice bowls ("Only we can be trusted!!"), attack the non-mainstream news sources that helped Trump and hurt Hillary, and perhaps as a pre-emptive strike against the next scandal that will threaten the establishment.

  • RAHeinlein||

    Astute versus cynical.

  • dantheserene||

    PSF-
    That is exactly what I think it is. When did this concept suddenly and spontaneously flower across the MSM? I certainly think it was coordinated.

  • JaimeRoberto||

    My thoughts exactly.

  • The Grinch||

    The Russian email hacking has to be the biggest fake news story from the last election season and the right wasn't pushing that one.

  • MarkLastname||

    Or the fabrication that Wikileaks had altered the Clinton emails they were posting. Total lie, published in mainstream rag, repeated by Krugman and everyone else, and still widely believed by democrats.

  • Cy||

    The messiah will not be challenged! Pay not attention to the monster behind the curtain!

  • Cynical Asshole||

    It's "fake news" all the way down. Maybe if more journalists stuck to dryly reporting facts instead of trying to spin a narrative, everyone would be much better off. Nah, that's crazy talk.

    One of the best sources of actual news I've ever seen was back when I had a TS/ SCI clearance. I had access to daily intelligence briefings that were far more informative about shit that was really going in the world than anything reported in the news. In fact there were a lot of times I'd read about something in one of the briefings and then see something about it on the news a few days later, and the news report would be laughably, hilariously wrong.

  • MarkLastname||

    Reading updates by the Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Congressional Budjet Office is one way for those of us the general public to get to information before too much spin gets added.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    The best thing that could EVER happen is for everyone do disbelieve absolutely everything they're told.

  • Lord Rollingpin||

    Wait....

  • RAHeinlein||

    Posted on another thread - where is Reason on the Breitbart ban by Appnexus?

    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-38076579

  • Cynical Asshole||

    where is Reason on the Breitbart ban by Appnexus?

    Hoping they're not next to be banned?

  • MarkLastname||

    I assume they're going to block the Guardian and Jezebel for anti-male hate speech and incitement of violence against men any day now?

  • Dan S.||

    There's a difference between reporters being fooled, and and sites that willfully put out completely fake stories. Sites like World Net Daily Report, for example, which should not be confused with World Net Daily. Everyone knows stories from The Onion are fake, but not everyone realizes stories from these other sites are just as fake. Some have obscure disclaimers somewhere on the site, some don't. The worst are sites that mix real news stories with completely made-up ones. Would it violate the First Amendment to require that there be reasonably prominent disclaimers posted on such sites? Maybe, but certainly it doesn't hurt for companies like Google to deny them the kind of ad-sharing revenue they allow sites that at least try to be accurate to have.

  • The Grinch||

    The problem is that news from a certain political slant will be vigorously policed while this won't occur for the other side. Counterintuitivly, it also undermines public trust in the news-people don't trust the media to be unbiased in their assessments.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Yeah, it all comes down to who gets to decide what is or isn't "fake news." Since it's impossible to have a truly unbiased gatekeeper making that judgement, I think the best solution is to let people decide for themselves what they do or don't want to believe. Besides, most of the really, truly fake bullshit gets called out as fake. The example Hinckle points out, the whole "Pope Endorses Trump" shit, was probably the most commented on because so many people were calling bullshit.

    But of course, if they just left it alone and let the chips fall where they may, then they can't control what people think, say, and do. Can't have that. Oh no, that's just crazy! /sarc

  • Diane Reynolds (Paul.)||

    Maybe, but certainly it doesn't hurt for companies like Google to deny them the kind of ad-sharing revenue they allow sites that at least try to be accurate to have.

    How would Google quantify that in their ad-sharing? Google's job is to sell eyeballs. You're now suggesting that Google's job is to nudge the body politic towards the right conclusions?

  • mortiscrum||

    In usual fashion, the actual important story is turned in to a soundbite by the general media, and the conversation becomes both adjacent and much less useful.

    The fake news story is very overblown, for all the reasons laid out in the article. However, underneath the surface lies something much more true and consequential: partisan affiliation increasingly determines who you get information from, and other sources of information are increasingly dismissed out of hand. This leads to two people, when they are inclined to debate at all, literally bringing a different set of facts to the table. Low and behold, they can't talk to each other in any meaningful way.

    Even when we say otherwise, humans love sensationalism. We love feelings righteous, and superior. Thus, conservatives seek out stories about how stupid and out of touch liberals are, and liberals seek out stories about how backwards and racist conservatives are. Since there's plenty of people who legitimately fit these descriptions, each side has no problem running a continual narrative that the other side is ONLY that, and people lap it up. The stories aren't fake so much as cheery picked for maximum outrage.

    Fake news isn't the problem. Media bubbles are the culprit, and a much more challenging problem to fix.

  • mortiscrum||

    Cherry*

    ....It sure would be nice to have a edit option. I wouldn't look quite so stupid that way - I don't really need the help.

  • GILMORE™||

    a recent study by Buzzfeed

    WTF LOL FAIL

  • Pro Libertate||

    You forgot to infringe on other people's copyrights.

  • SadlyShakingHead||

    It's all fake news. Remember Gell-Mann Amnesia?

  • 0x90||

    "I'm shocked, shocked to find that fake news is being written here."

    "Your talking points, Sir."

    "Oh, thank you, very much."

  • CatoTheChipper||

    By far, the biggest problem regarding fake news is that it is no longer possible to parody progressives without people taking it as factual news. The most absurd parody about anything progressive is plausible, hyperbole is believable, and mere exaggerations are accepted as true unless proved otherwise. Same goes for conspiracy theories.

    If eight years ago somebody said that the progressives' candidate would be undone by Donald Trump due to the combination of 1) a guy named Weiner who was married to the SoS's personal assistant and who liked to send pictures of his boner so much that he was caught multiple times, once with infant son in the photo, and who kept an e-mail file chock full of SoS e-mails that the FBI took an interest in due to his prurient interest in teenage girls, and 2) a weirdo campaign manager whose e-mail correspondence got hacked because he used something like p@ssw0rd as a password, and this exposed the media as conspiring with the SoS's campaign among other bizarre things, and 3) an enormously lucrative charitable foundation that served to exchange SoS pay for play favors for well-laundered foreign funding of her campaign, and 4) the SoS's use of a private e-mail server for any official purpose whatsoever, and 5) [add your own factual weird story about the Clinton campaign], I'd have said the storyteller was ridiculous.

    But them's the facts, even though they're more unbelievable than 90% of what is on the fake news sites.

  • CatoTheChipper||

    The worst sort of fake news is the type that is delivered by the likes of John Stewart, Jon Oliver, Colbert, Maher, etc.

    There are lots of people who actually think they're getting the news from such sources. And, reading very little else, they think they are well informed.

  • A Thinking Mind||

    You're right about this. We're in a world where it's hard to distinguish hyperbole.

    When I first heard of a new generation of Flat-Earthers, I was certain they all had to be internet trolls. There's just no way. Then I started looking at what some of them had to say and it's utterly confounding. They ask for all manner of proof, people give them the exact proof they ask for in spades, and they decry it as "fake" or "inconclusive."

  • Borisqtd||

    "2) a weirdo campaign manager whose e-mail correspondence got hacked because he used something like p@ssw0rd as a password"

    It seems pretty clear Podesta was targeting with a fishing scheme. And the link points back to Russian hackers "Fancy Bear". (They also got Colin Powell)

    http://motherboard.vice.com/re.....l-accounts

    But that makes the story even more crazy.

  • Gorbag||

    "But them's the facts, even though they're more unbelievable than 90% of what is on the fake news sites."

    which is why we haven't bred progressivism out of the gene pool.

  • John C. Randolph||

    A story about fake news, and you don't even mention Dan Rather's attempt to swing an election with incompetently-forged documents?

    -jcr

  • 0x90||

    That was real fake news, we're talking about fake fake news.

  • μ Aggressor||

    Yo dawg...

  • KamaK||

    Fake internet news threatens democracy in the same manner that fake internet fornication threatens procreation.

  • geo||

    Have they already forgotten the Rolling Stone Magazine article about campus rape? Somehow they don't seem willing to admit that Mainstream Media is full of fake news on a daily basis.

    Scapegoating, blaming, and bogeymen seem to be standard techniques for the liberal media and the Democrats when their own belief system is challenged. E.g. "Russians hacked my email", "Vast right-wing conspiracy", "basket of deplorables", "Comey did it", etc. Thisi is just a new version of "primitive, stupid, racist, xenophobic, and irrational" which is truly what the Democrats believe is true of all of us who did not vote for their anointed Queen.

  • sudon't||

    There's a difference between bad journalism, and intentional disinformation. The latter is what's meant by "fake news". Bad journalism eventually get corrected. The purveyors of disinformation keep piling it on.

    Happy War on Christmas!

  • HiloJoe||

    Wouldn't surprise me if most of the so-called news out there is fake, sanitized, or a subset of the facts. Election season or not..

  • woodNfish||

    unReason is full of fake news just like the rest of the lying LSM. The LSM descriptions of the fake apology from the NYT a couple of weeks ago was laughable because the old gray whore never did apologize for creating and publishing lies, but said it would continue to do it. If you want fake news just turn on ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN or any cable news, or open any newspaper and read to your fill. unReason and the rest of the lying presstitutes have been pub;llishing lies about what Trump will or won't do or what conservatives (labelled alt_right by the leftists and cucks like unReason) are doing while refusing to publish stories on the actually violent Leftists, HRC crimes, etc.

    Hey unReason staff - when you finally tally up the damage you've done to your rag by the falling number of subscriptions and renewals and growing number of cancellations, just remember I told you so.

  • AD-RtR/OS!||

    When you have fake journalists, you get fake news.

  • Sir Doombringer of SexBot||

    What's a real journalist? That's your problem right there.
    Conferring superiority or credentials for a task that requires none.

  • Sir Doombringer of SexBot||

    *requires or deserves none.

  • Rockabilly||

    Fake News = Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize.

  • Borisqtd||

    "But that doesn't mean the purveyors of false left-wing narratives should get veto power over what the rest of us read."

    This statement assumes that the media only publishes "fake news" with a leftward slant. The biggest and most consequential reporting failure from the NYT in recent memory was Judith Miller's reporting on WMDs in Iraq. That was certainly not a left-wing error.

    More importantly, this article overlooks the rise of not only fake news, but conspiracy theorizing. In the 2000s it was mostly left wingers who were "Truthers," but the right has now far exceeded the left in its acceptance of conspiracy theories. Birtherism, Obama's secret Muslim faith and etc. seem quaint compared to the false narratives of the election season--from Hillary Clinton being followed by a secret doctor with a medicine injector to a secret pizza pedophile ring in DC. It would be humorous if the delusional people who believe this nonsense weren't harassing and threatening other human beings. But they are. And I don't see it getting better any time soon.

  • gclancy51||

    Meanwhile, on this very site... http://reason.com/blog/2016/11.....-suck-it-u

    So is this news, fake news, real fake news, or fake fake news? I'm inclining to the third...

  • freeewill||

    dont believe any thing ya hear from obama and only half of what ya see, but when i look at obama, i wonder which half to believe, the white half or the black half

  • Enemy of the State||

    "Most of the media despise Trump, for a simple reason: Much about him is despicable."

    Yet the media loved Bill's wife who's as equally if not more despicable.

    What's the "simple reason" they despise him, but not her?

  • MargeBouvier||

    Because he's embarrassing.

  • John Jacob||

    Um...HUGE error in the piece. The actual URL for End theFed is endingthefed.com, NOT endthefed.org. The author looked up the wrong URL. And according to Alexa.com endingthefed.com has a global traffic ranking of 6,246, and a U.S. traffic ranking of 1,252 - EXTREMELY high for a months-old site, translating into many millions, if not tens of millions, of pageviews per month.

    http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/endingthefed.com

  • sudon't||

    Obviously, it's not just Facebook. You failed to mention the largest source of fake news - Fox News and right-wing radio. And that stuff has been going on for a long time. Of course the mainstream media makes mistakes, or the reporters or producers they hire take shortcuts, but they're usually caught, and the story's eventually corrected.

    That's a far cry from what Fox and the rest of the right-wing media does - intentionally broadcasting mis- and disinformation. They, and the Republican Party, are the ones who created the atmosphere of outrage which Donald Trump was able to cynically take advantage of. Clearly he's not quite so dumb as he looks, because he's backed off of almost every proposal that got him elected, weeks before he even takes office! How's that for a slap in the face?

  • True Scottsman||

    ^ Reading this, I really wonder if lefties are even capable of introspection.

  • NYC2AZ||

  • MoreFreedom||

    "The outrage over fake news is based on fake news about fake news."

    Barton hits the nail on the head, but he missed this story:

    http://www.cpr.org/news/npr-st.....he-suburbs

    It turns out that the fake news that "FBI Agent Suspected In Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide" was put out by a liberal, Jestin Coler, who wanted to discredit the alt-right by putting out fake news that appeared to come from the alt-right. And he lives in LA and publishes the "Denver Guardian" on the web.

    What NPR missed, is who's funding Jestin Coler to produce this fake news. I wouldn't be surprised it came from either the Clinton Foundation or Soros, and written off as expenses for a charity. This is the kind of "good work."
    they do.

    I sure hope Trump puts an end to this kind of charity fraud, but considering his charity spent over $20,000 of charity funds to have a portrait of Trump painted, I don't expect it.

  • MargeBouvier||

    Can't believe they didn't mention Judith Miller of the NYT (Iraq War) and Stephen Glass of the New Republic (everything he wrote).

  • DGS5043||

    The fake news on Facebook is certainly a problem.

  • Explorer86||

    "Walter Duranty won a Pulitzer for his reporting that denied the existence of famines in Soviet Russia"

    Please stop using the term "Soviet Russia" unless you're referring specifically to the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, which was only one of 15 republics in the Soviet Union.

    Most of the famine you're referring to took part in the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, along with other places.

  • James Alexander||

    Timeline of the intended goal:
    media sensationalizes "fake news" and "hate/intolerant speech" , gullible public demands that "something must be done about this!" , censorship laws are enacted and upheld by the courts, definitions of fake news, hate speech are expanded to include almost anything other than the "approved" message, apathetic and complicit public does nothing, (slippery slope continues)...

  • Gorbag||

    You forgot: repeal of first amendment, marching off all progressives to a personal gulag reserved for them in Siberia, ...

  • halmonkey||

    I agree with everything said in this article, but there does seem to be an interesting trend lately: satire/fake/sketchy news sites pushing right-wing garbage by entrepreneurs who are making a nice profit w/ads on these sites. They tried to push left-wing garbage but it didn't generate social sharing and/or enough traffic to be profitable. Low-info (or lazy) viewers who will click and share without doing any background checking / fact-checking seem to be more likely right-wingers, not left-wingers.

  • Dios041||

    This is fake as shit!

  • Dios041||

    They kicked me out of the theatre for jacking off. Ok, this is ABSOLUTE fucking bullshit. I went to see Cars in the theater yesterday, and when Lightning McQueen got HOT with Sally in Radiator Springs, my boner engaged. When Lightning McQueen said "Ka-Chow!", I couldn't help it!!! I closed my eyes, and I TORE my dick to shreds, using whip like motions and pulled with great force. That was one of the best nuts I ever had, just thinking about it now gets me riled up. Thing is, I nutted all over the kid sitting right next to me, and his mom got all pissed at me, screaming at me for jacking off on her son. I told that bitch to shut the fuck up, and that jacking off is a natural, artistic, and beautiful process. You should BE HAPPY that my semen is all over your son, maybe he can learn a lesson or two about the culture and art of jacking off. HOWEVER, the movie theater managers didn't agree with me. They KICKED ME OUT of the movie theater, and I didn't even finish watching the Cars movie. Not only THAT, but they made me clean up my semen after it already dried out and solidified on the seats. THATS TORTURE!! Do you know how hard it is to clean semen after its dried out? You CLEAN semen after its FRESH out of your cock, not an hour after you fucking nutted. This is a fucking OUTRAGE. Do you really expect me to not whip out my cock and jack off when i see a HOT sex scene in a movie? Either don't ban sex scenes in movies, or LET ME jack off in your theater, assholes.

  • Dios041||

    Hows it goin?
    The names, Foster...

  • jason2017||

    that is a pretty good things thanks for posting this wonderful thought Block ads using lucky patcher

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