Attacking people with rumors has been a staple offense among social circles since the first grunts of man.
As historians have revealed, there are examples throughout human history of a rumor being accepted as fact and starting wars or getting people killed. Demonizing an enemy with lies reaped rewards for ambitious, sinister people.
Today’s world of online, all-the-time information has elevated rumors and lies to a level of public conversation never seen before. Headline after headline for months has borne out how fake news, as false information is deemed now, has attacked and worked to undermine the democracy of America itself.
Sinister people lurk everywhere online, and some have found a way to fool US intelligence officials and use gullible mainstream media as the scapegoat in demonizing the president-elect of the United States.
This dangerous new level of fake news attacking President-elect Donald Trump fermented in the online rumor mill for months alleging much wrongdoing, John Podhoretz opined in The New York Post.
Some of those terrible allegations have to do with efforts to influence the American elections and Trump. Some of them have to do with Trump’s personal sexual conduct.
Trump said all the BuzzFeed information was false during his press conference Wednesday.
He called the information a “pile of garbage.” He said US intelligence agencies were “disgraceful” for being fooled and then leaking the information to the press.
But the scurrilousness of what BuzzFeed has done here is so beyond the bounds of what is even remotely acceptable it should compel even those most outraged by Trump’s political excesses to come to his defense and to the defense of a few other people mentioned in these papers whose names are also dragged through the mud.
There is literally no evidence on offer in these memos or from BuzzFeed that any single sentence in these documents is factual or true. What’s more, we know most major news organizations in America had seen them and despite their well-known institutional antipathy toward Trump, had chosen not to publish them or even make reference to them after efforts to substantiate their charges had failed.
Still, the rumors were presented as fact by US intelligence officials and that validity opened the gates of media vitriol against Trump. The lies spread like wildfire through mainstream media.
At a moment when journalists are up in arms about “fake news,” what BuzzFeed has done here is take fake news to a new level. Its editor, Ben Smith, acknowledges “there is serious reason to doubt the allegations.” In other words, there is almost certainly fake news inside these memos, and it might all be fake, or some parts of it might be true but buried so deeply under falsity that it would be impossible to separate it out.
Surprisingly, BuzzFeed previously warned such fake news would grow and impact information sources.
“Fake news will become more sophisticated, and fake, ambiguous, and spun-up stories will spread widely,” warned an important American editor at the end of December 2016. His name: Ben Smith. His publication: BuzzFeed.
The heralded days of media and its journalists being the Fourth Estate – the watchdogs against corruption and government – have faded too quickly.
Mainstream media has promoted and presented fake news all too often for decades. The problem is media is operated by humans, and humans are fraught with jealousy, ambition and vengeance.
People really haven’t changed since they were grunting about fire, and sinister “reporters” are conjuring fiery fake news to attain nefarious goals.
Source: New York Post