Glenn Greenwald: ‘Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it’
Craig Melvin wags his finger at purveyors of fake news, as if MSNBC wasn’t guilty too
Glenn Greenwald lands a solid punch on his website The Intercept.
“Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it.”
After WikiLeaks published the Podesta e-mails the first week of October, regular viewers of MSNBC heard a constant refrain that the damaging revelations (including excerpts of paid Wall Street speeches that Hillary Clinton refused to make public) were somehow fabricated. When the e-mails were released, MSNBC analyst and intelligence expert Malcolm Nance instantly declared that they were “riddled with obvious forgeries.” This claim was repeated on air ad nauseam.
I noticed at the time that neither John Podesta nor any other author of the released e-mails denied that the information was genuine. To this day, they have neither confirmed nor refuted the authenticity of the e-mails despite being asked. It reminded me of the classic Sherlock Holmes story where the most important clue was the dog that didn’t bark. All that Hillary had to do to prove the contention that the e-mail documents were doctored would have been to release the full speech transcripts, that remain shrouded in secrecy.
Greenwald has the rest of the story:
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.
It turns out that Malcolm Nance got the idea that the e-mails were “riddled with obvious forgeries” not from his sources in U.S. intelligence or even from the Hillary campaign, but from a tweet(!) sent by fake news author Marco Chacon.
In his Daily Beast article, published on November 21, Chacon describes how he manufactured the forged Goldman Sachs speech transcript. He says he did it prior to learning that the WikiLeaks releases of Podesta emails contained actual Clinton speech excerpts to Wall Street banks. But once he realized WikiLeaks had published actual Clinton transcripts, Chacon began trying to lure people he disliked – Clinton critics – into believing that his forged speeches were real, so that he could prove they were gullible and dumb.
Sadly for Chacon, however, the people who ended up getting fooled by his Fake News items were the nation’s most prominent Clinton supporters, including supposed experts and journalists from MSNBC who used his obvious fakes to try to convince the world that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and thus should be ignored.
Has anyone at MSNBC issued a correction/apology for spreading fake news? No. Have they at least stopped doing it? Well, in between frequent segments deploring the prevalence of fake news all over the place, MSNBC is telling us all day every day that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency. This story is supposedly based on anonymous sources at the CIA. Point of information: the CIA is an organization made up of professional liars. Anybody who says “the CIA has released a report” is lying. None of the other 16 U.S. intelligence agencies have weighed in, as far as we know.
Glenn Greenwald reports: Anonymous Leaks to the WashPost About the CIA’s Russia Beliefs Are No Substitute for Evidence.
Yes, I predicted the Evil Russkie theory would go away after the election because along with everybody except Michael Moore I believed Hillary would win. But I also said that if Hillary lost that this talking point would be used an an excuse. Remember that a key part of Hillary’s agenda was to re-start the Cold War for the neocons and the defense contractors.
Malcolm Nance is now on MSNBC peddling his latest book…
This was published two months ago, when Malcolm thought Hillary would win. But what the hell, Russkie bashing is still a thing.
Judge rules that the recount can proceed, after attempts to halt it failed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, a Trump supporter who also chaired Jeb Bush’s campaign for president.
That was some powerful news for Jill Stein to include in today’s announcement in front of Trump Towers, that she would be filing a federal lawsuit in Pennsylvania, due to Trump’s strategy to make that count too costly to complete.
That same strategy has been used by Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin to jack up prices for a recount from $18,000 to $4,000,000 in recent legislation. Another tactic in Wisconsin has been to greatly hinder hand counts in that state by letting individual counties ban them, which they have, against pleading from renowned computer scientists and a Wisconsin judge.
Nobody except Trump – and myself 🙂 – has flatly said that fraud is happening, but whatever the outcome, it will be plainly obvious that officials in all three states Stein is attempting to verify votes in, DO NOT want you to know what’s on those ballots or computer chips.
Personally, I agree with Greg Palast that the election was stolen before one vote was cast.
When we can actually vote the bastards out again, will truly be one of the best days of my life. I’m tired of watching the pundits trying to figure out why Americans are so damn stupid, and keep “voting” against themselves, in favor of those who have just about every dime of our money.
Speaking of money; Stein needs more now. Don’t believe the prolific lies that she is getting rich! DONATE!
Jesus fucking Christ.
A man who chose to “self-investigate” opened fire at Washington DC pizzeria which, according to fake news, is at the center of a child sex abuse scandal.
Let’s review – motivated by fake news some moron with a gun opened fire in a restaurant.
That is what happened.
What did not happen was the child abuse and sex trafficking.
Great, now we have people shooting people over fake news.
Thanks Donald Trump!
You wanna know something? Evangelical Christians are, bar none, the biggest crybabies in America today.
Seriously, I am so sick to death of their endless whining and whinging and carrying on about their supposed “victimhood.”
Grow the fuck up you pathetic whiny ass titty babies.
The latest example is the ear-splitting cry about some articles (one at Buzzfeed, one at Cosmopolitan) asking if Chip and Joanna Gaines, hosts of a popular HGTV show, are anti-gay in light of the fact that they attend an anti-gay church.
It’s a fair question given that HGTV (Home & Garden TV) should be renamed “Homo Gay TV”.
HGTV responded quickly with a press release proclaiming their support for LGBT persons and renewing their commitment to nondiscrimination.
The Gaines? Well, pretty much silence as far as I can tell. Their pastor preaches that gay people are really just sex addicts, that being gay is the result of abuse and that gay people can “change” – you know, pray away the gay. For some reason, gay people aren’t supposed to find his twaddle offensive – it’s his “faith.” Well fuck his ignorance and his hatefilled faith.
The religious right is getting its dander up. Todd Starnes, the dimwitted but apparently prolific Fox news opinionist, has written an attempt at a scathing article. Mostly, it’s just trademark evangelical Christian whining about “The gays are so mean to us” with a few sad jabs at Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Starnes seems to forget that right wingers were in an uproar about Wright for months in 2008.
Another piece, from the American Family Association’s Pravda-esque website, One News Now, describes the Buzzfeed article as a “hit piece.”
Below the main article, comments bewail the horrific and imaginary persecution visited upon Christians. It’s a sad spectacle of people who are angry they can’t just get their own way and not be bothered by having to think about anyone else.
Think about this – until 2003 – yes, two fucking thousand and three – it was illegal in Utah for same sex couples to have sex. That the law was rarely enforced or even ignored is irrelevant. It was illegal for same sex couples to have sex, they could face criminal charges for engaging in consensual sex. Until 2013, same sex couples could not marry in Utah.
The special snowflakes in American culture aren’t the gays – it’s the Christians with their endless, churlish whining about their victimization.
Since, apparently, the Republicans have committed themselves to a strategy of “repeal and delay,” I think it’s timely to stop and ask “What exactly is Obamacare?”
Repeal and delay means, simply, that Republicans will vote to repeal the Affordable Care Act but do so with a proviso that it remains in effect for anywhere from 18 months to 3 years while Republicans craft a replacement. There are a host of problems with this approach that you can read about at Vox.
Despite having been the law since 2010, Obamacare remains widely misunderstood.
First off, there is no such thing as “Obamacare”; you cannot go enroll in Obamacare, it’s not a discrete program like Medicare or Medicaid. The term itself was used by Republicans as shorthand for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is a sizable piece of legislation passed by Congress and signed into law in 2010 by President Obama. The bill itself was debated for months.
If there is no program known as “Obamacare” what, then, is it? Read the rest of this entry »
If you’re not familiar with Pamela Geller, chances are you aren’t rabidly anti-Muslim. Geller is, arguably, the most unhinged anti-Islamic activist in the US. She’s been described as a mix of Ann Coulter, a crazy cat lady, and Sarah Palin at her awkward word salad peak. Geller’s anti-Muslim/anti-Islam rhetoric and antics have made here noteworthy if not actually newsworthy.
Since June, Geller has been pushing a story about an assault that took place in Twin Falls, ID.
Unsurprisingly, Geller has almost all of her facts wrong. That hasn’t stopped the spread of the tale into the right wing internet ecosystem (growing ever more lurid and hysterical as it continues).
The Twin Falls City Council found themselves overwhelmed by citizens outraged at the attack, demanding answers to questions based on imaginary “facts” spread by people like Pamela Geller (as for example, the myth that police didn’t act due to a “language barrier” when in fact they acted as expeditiously as possible and there was no language barrier). The City Council members, who for obvious reasons knew little about the case, were blindsided by the sudden appearance of all these angry people. As the story has metastasized throughout the wingnutosphere it has grown more lurid and bizarre – with allegations that local authorities are trying to cover it up, that they have engaged in a deliberate campaign to impugn and attack the vicitm’s family and that victim’s family was driven out of their home as a result of harassment by refugees setting off fireworks outside their apartment with the (apparently) tacit cooperation of local and state authorities. Later tales have spread (by the victim’s family) that claim local authorities are deliberately trying to harm the victim and her family.
Geller, and others including an anti-refugee group in Idaho, have attempted to use this case to attack refugees and immigrants and to stop refugee resettlement in Twin Falls.
Like many of the right’s most treasured confabulations, this one has a kernel of truth. What actually happened very likely will never be publicly known; the case involves a girl (age 5), and three boys (ages 7, 10 and 14). As a result of the ages of the persons involved, the case is sealed. The police and local DA are trying to actually handle the case professionally and to give out only absolutely necessary information. Local law enforcement have confirmed that there was a crime committed, they are clear that no rape took place, although they are clear that there was some form assault. Many of the facts (i.e. at a gang rape at knife point and the perpetrators’ families celebrating said attack and so forth) are simply wrong and/or imaginary. Snopes, as usual, has a good summary of the who squalid controversy.
The pattern here is recognizable to anyone who pays attention. Some story spreads throughout the conservative internet – hopping from site to site, sometimes with additional details, sometimes with partial details. Readers go into a fury. The mainstream media and government officials are accused of covering up the story. Outraged citizens descend upon elected officials who usually have no idea what’s coming at them because the facts and the story being spread on the right are not the same. Elected officials, of course, are caught flat-footed by the whole controversy which only fuels the speculation that they’re covering things up. Efforts to accurately report on the story are dismissed as bias. Eventually the real world resolves whatever issue came up – actual news of what actually happened permeates the right (which steadfastly believes in the earlier conspiracies). It all vanishes – except in right wing mythology where it remains accepted as gospel truth.
These lies and distortions float around conservative circles, emerging periodically to be refuted by facts, which many conservatives flat out reject as biased.
Part of the problem is the way in which conservatives have colonized the minds of journalists who now, too often, do a weird dance in which they say, “Well it is alleged that”, knowing it’s untrue but afraid to say the allegations are unfounded, distorted or twisted. As a result, too few people know the facts; a large portion of the population either writes it off as a pointless feud or ignores the whole thing altogether.
We then see conservatives who are murderously certain of untruths confronting people who are genuinely stunned by their passion and anger over falsehoods. There are too few responsible voices on the right who call out people for spreading these rumors. So the rumors go unchallenged, to emerge periodically into the light of day before slithering back to the shadows.
It distorts our public debate, poisons the possibility of reasonable discussion and needlessly harms the public good.
I wish I knew the solution, but I know we have to start confronting these stories more effectively.
In a post at DKos, entitled “Now Trump’s claiming anti-Trump’voter fraud’ in three states. Our president-elect is unhinged.” DKos front pager Hunter observes:
There are two possibilities here. One, the president-elect is getting his news from conspiracy nuts and/or conspiracy websites even as he refuses to sit for classified intelligence briefings. Two, the president-elect is an unapologetic liar who is announcing crooked information that he indeed knows is crooked—a naked, post-truth propaganda attempt.
There is no choice three.
Much of the discussion focuses on Trump’s apparent craziness. Trump is not crazy, although I would agree with the assessment that he unhinged. It’s part of public persona and it’s working for him.
Trump’s tweet (“In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”) is utter nonsense. But it’s nonsense with a purpose.
Trump supporters already believed the system was rigged. They are prepared to believe that millions of illegal immigrants voted. Trump voters are primed to believe that he won the popular vote. With the real possibility of a recount, Trump has to inoculate his supporters against any outcome other than “Trump won.”
It’s a simple scenario – Trump (who may or may not believe his own words) is an insecure, puerile manchild. He is all about being the “best” and coming in second in the popular (and by a sizable distance) is a blow to his fragile ego. He’s trying to assert a right to a mandate he does not have. He’s setting up his supporters to reject any outcome other than “Trump wins big”.
Recognize the behavior for what it is – gas lighting and propping up Trumperdinck’s ego. Not much more.
So far as I know, there’s no existing mechanism to prevent Electors from voting against Trump even if he won the popular vote in their states. In theory, Electors are free to vote as they wish; some state laws require electors to vote for whichever candidate won the majority in their state (but there’s some question about the actual enforceability of those laws), at the federal level, Electors are free to vote their conscience; it’s not inconceivable the Electoral College could vote against Donald Trump.
I would love that outcome but it would leave unresolved all the tensions and pressures which led to Trump’s nomination and the election outcome. I also think it is unlikely.
During the presidential campaign that ended a little over two weeks ago, Donald Trump promised again and again to defend Medicare.
During the primaries Trump said, “Every Republican wants to do a big number on Social Security, they want to do it on Medicare, they want to do it on Medicaid. And we can’t do that. And it’s not fair to the people that have been paying in for years.”
His campaign even accused Hillary Clinton of “destroying Medicare.”
Now that Election Day is behind us, the unified Tea-GOP regime has revealed new plans to phase out Medicare next year. Speaker Paul Ryan wants to get rid of the defined-benefit program and replace it with defined-contribution coupons for for-profit private insurance that won’t cover health care costs for seniors.
Trump now says he wants to “modernize Medicare,” which of course is code for phasing out the program and replacing it with CouponCare.
Minority leader-elect Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) predicted the push for CouponCare will fail, but didn’t say how Dems can stop it.
In a plea for President Barack Obama to support protestors of the Dakota Access Pipeline, one member of the affected Sioux tribe reminded him about their personal encounters two years ago.
Kendrick Eagle, a member of the Sioux Nation at Standing Rock reservation in North Dakota, addresses Obama directly in a video from filmmakers Lori Woodley, Doug McLea and Jonathan Klett uploaded to YouTube this week. Eagle, one of the pipeline protestors from more than 200 other Native American tribes, first met the president when he visited the reservation in 2014.
…“It’s like you cared about me and you cared about my story … it was amazing to hear you say that in front of people, in front of all the tribal leaders in DC,” Eagle said.
“You said, ‘Let’s not make this just a dream,’ and right now it kind of feels like it was a dream, because you said you had our backs, and here we are,” Eagle continued. “Help us stop this pipeline.”
President Obama has apparently decided to ignore the $3.8 billion, 1,134-mile Dakota Access Pipeline (#NoDAPL) until he leaves office. A recent night-time assault by police using water cannons sent 26 people to the hospital and injured hundreds more. The pipeline requires Corps of Engineers approval to cross the Missouri River, which means the President could stop it anytime simply by issuing an executive order.
And Happy Thanksgiving.
— ACLU National (@ACLU) November 24, 2016
Get out your magnifying glasses and try to look exhausted. Call in the Brooks Brothers to put on a fake riot. Find out if James Baker is still alive. This is going to be a lot of fun!
Jill Stein gives interview to – where else – The BradBlog: America’s voting integrity place to go, when all the other corporate “news” outlets let you down.
They’re going to need about 6 million dollars to get this done, and we shouldn’t take a chance that George Soros is too chintzy. It’s going up by about $200,000 dollars an hour, but I donated, and so should you.
Hillary is going to owe us BIG!