‘Fake News’ is Far More Pervasive than We Realize

Pervasive indeed! Here is Dr. Michael Brown writing at BarbWire.com:

Speaking on Capitol Hill on Thursday, Hillary Clinton warned of “The epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year.” Coming from a very different perspective, Milwaukee sheriff David Clarke claimed on Fox News that “fake news” was created by the liberal media, beginning with the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” propaganda in the police shooting of Michael Brown in 2014. Clarke pointed directly to The New York Times and The Washington Post in allegedly spreading this “fake news.”

In reality, I believe that “fake news” is far more pervasive than we realize, for the following reasons.

1. Headlines themselves are often fake. I used to assume (wrongly so) that a headline was simply a short (even if sensational) summary of an important news item, but in many cases today, headlines now put a slant (often a misleading one) on the news being reported.

To cite a recent (and highly relevant) example, on Thursday, the Drudge Report featured as its main story, “Bitter Hillary Blames ‘Fake News’,” suggesting that Hillary directly blamed her defeat on “fake news.”

The Drudge headline was linked to an article on The Hill titled “Clinton blasts ‘epidemic’ of fake news,” yet nowhere did that article state that a “bitter Hillary” directly blamed fake news for her defeat. Instead, the article quoted her as saying that “it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” also stating that “This isn’t about politics or partisanship…. Lives are at risk—lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.”

She was apparently referring to an incident this week in which “a gunman entered a pizzeria in Washington that was at the center of a false viral conspiracy theory that alleged it was home to a pedophilia ring operated by Clinton and her inner circle.”

Read more: BarbWire.com

Image credit: www.barbwire.com.