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Monday, January 01, 2018

Media regrets creating Fake News canard

Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed News Media Editor, said he helped popularize the term Fake News, which he now regrets.

Do tell. BuzzFeed is the site that pushed the Fake News that President Trump hired hookers in Russia to pee on a bed Barack Obama slept in.

Coming in February.

I include in my new book in greater detail that story of BuzzFeed reporting unverified items from the Russian dossier.

But while reporters Ken Bensinger, Miriam Elder, and Mark Schoofs (a Pulitizer winner) were unable to confirm the veracity of the urinating prostitutes story, they went with the story anyway on January 10, 2017, under the premise that the memo had been passed along to Trump, who was then the president-elect.

This dossier has floated around the press since at least September 2016, and no one in the press has independently confirmed the facts in any of the 35 memos in it.

The Russian dossier is Fake News -- very damaging and very false -- but Silverman wants you to stop calling it Fake News.

Which is why he wrote, "I Helped Popularize The Term 'Fake News' And Now I Cringe Every Time I Hear It."

He cited his tweet in 2014, "Fake News site National Report set off a measure of panic by publishing fake story about Ebola outbreak," a story from 2014.

The Fake News site's audience is far below that of the reach of CNN, which cited BuzzFeed's Fake News about pissing prostitutes.

CNN was discrete enough not to mention any particular items in the dossier because it could not verify those items.

It should not have reported any of it. The dossier was and still is fake.

Others morphed Silverman's 2014 cry of Fake News into one of the many, many excuses for Hillary's historic, billion-dollar loss. Nine days after the election, the Washington Post ran a story:
Facebook fake-news writer: ‘I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me’
The story was Fake News.

Horner did not elect Trump.

The Washington Post knew it.

But a politicized press wanted to discredit Trump and de-legitimize his presidency.

However, conservatives are no fools.

They pointed out all the false or misleading stories that the commercial media reported, and called them Fake News.

And guess what?

It stuck.

Silverman is upset:
The end of “fake news” as I knew it came on Jan. 11, 2017, when Donald Trump — master of branding — redefined the term to mean, effectively, news reports he didn’t like. The previous day CNN and BuzzFeed News had reported on the existence of the Steele dossier.
Trump stood on stage during his first press conference since Election Day and pointed his finger at CNN’s Jim Acosta. “I’m not going to give you a question — you are fake news.” (He also called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage.")
But the existence of the dossier was not a story any more than the existence of a Fake News report that a town in Texas had Ebola.

(Oddly enough, Silverman overlooked Paul Krugman's tweet that thanks to President Trump, Puerto Rico now has cholera. Krugman rescinded it hours later.)

Silverman in fact is misleading the public. In reporting this story, CNN and BuzzFeed were deliberately trying to undermine an incoming presidency.

And he also misleads readers by glossing over Fake News, calling them mere errors.
The press still gets a lot wrong, and that certainly includes the coverage of the Trump administration. (Put me squarely in the corner of those who think CNN and other outlets need to disclose much more about how they and their sources completely botched a report about when the Trump campaign learned of WikiLeaks’ cache of DNC documents. The same goes for the retracted Fox News story about Seth Rich.) But it’s possible — and essential — to delineate between errors made in the course of actual reporting and people or entities who consciously lie for profit and propaganda. Yet, today, any form of media mistake is weaponized, with willful fabrications treated the same as sloppy errors.
Silverman overlooked the Fake News story of the year: CNN's June 22 report, "Congress investigating Russian investment fund with ties to Trump officials."

The reporter of the Fake News story (since rescinded) was a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist -- as was one of the three reporters on BuzzFeed's pissing prostitutes story.

To date, CNN has not identified who the anonymous source was for its June 22 story.

Let's be honest. These are not innocent errors. Every error BuzzFeed, CNN, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and most of the media made this year was to make Trump look bad.

And yes, Fox News's errors stem from trying to make Democrats look bad.

The time has come for all of them to stop it.

They are killing journalism.

 And that is not Fake News.

That's the truth.


Please enjoy my two books about the press and how it missed the rise of Donald Trump.

The first was "Trump the Press," which covered his nomination.

The second was "Trump the Establishment," which covered his election.

To order autographed copies, write

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As always, Make America Great Again.


  1. The MSM is irredeemable. The only way to save it would be for them to go out and hire 40% conservatives. Not gonna do it.

    1. Mr doc? Stranger things HAVE happened.

    2. Or as some smarter than me have said, some true conservatives are going to have to own some mainstream media outlets.

  2. Strange how this works......

    The first time I heard the term 'Fake News" was not from candidate Trump or conservatives, it was in a speech by Hillary Clinton. Around the time she did her 'Alt Right" speech (maybe it was in that speech). That was picked up by the MSM and used against candidate Trump constantly. It was when the term was dying out that he revived it by throwing back their bogus stories with the label, and he's used it ever since.

  3. Yes, around the time of the 2nd debate when Hillary was complaining that nobody fact checks anything that is said by those on the right. She complained that everyone just allows all the fake news rather than dispute the claims.

    Now she and her assigned alphabet people are wishing they had not mentioned fake news.

  4. When you call real news 'fake,' it doesn't stick. When you call fake news 'fake,' it sticks. It's not complicated.

  5. May they all die bankrupt, in endless agony, selling pencils from a tin can on the street corner.

    That would be good news.

  6. There needs to be limits on advertising deductibility as a business expense. Lots of ways, such as: no more than 1% of revenue, or 10% of taxed profit (whichever is more).

    Of course the company can spend more, but from after tax net profit (instead of dividends), rather than with the tax deduction subsidy.

    Advertising helps the Dems far more than the Reps -- as well as helping to spread Fake News from both sides.