Editor’s note: With all the heat being generated about “fake news,” WND decided it’s time to review a few of the more recent, egregious examples of the phenomenon in some of the biggest, establishment news companies who claim to be concerned about phony news. Here’s the first roundup of “fake news” in the heart of what are perceived by many as the “mainstream media.”
WASHINGTON – This was the headline in a Politico story Friday: “Trump inherits Obama boom.”
Written by Ben White, the publication’s chief economic reporter, not I must point out, Barack Obama’s chief speech writer, the fake news story was apparently designed to persuade Americans that we are living in what he characterizes as “a fairly robust economy with the lowest jobless rate in nearly a decade, record home and stock prices and a healthy growth rate.”
For this reason, White states: “Trump instead will take office with an economy at near full employment and wages and spending rising. The economy is in such strong shape that the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates again later this month to try and cool things off.”
In other words, Trump simply fooled Americans into believing their economy was underperforming and that the government wasn’t insolvent to the tune of $20 trillion – more than the annual gross domestic product.
It’s a shockingly one-sided piece of trashy propaganda that ignores one stunning FACT after another – for instance, that there are nearly 100 million adult Americans NOT WORKING out of a total of civilian adult, non-institutional population of 253 million. When Obama took office, the number of adults not working was 80 million, meaning the number has jumped by 25 percent! Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has been growing at the shockingly low annual rate of between 1 and 2 percent throughout the Obama presidency.
Donald Trump took these numbers to the bank on Election Day, but White wrote: “No figures ever backed up Trump’s claims of soaring joblessness and no growth. The economy grew at a 3.2 percent pace in the third quarter. It could slow down again in the final quarter of the year. But the pace of job growth remains quick enough to keep the jobless rate falling and wages rising as employers compete for a smaller share of available workers.”
You would expect a chief economic correspondent to be a little more thoughtful than to simply regurgitate the official cooked numbers that literally only count those collecting unemployment checks.
On the FAKE NEWS ROUNDUP ranking scale of one to 10 scale with 10 being total fake, this one gets an 8.5.
Look who’s giving soapboxes to racists
A New York Times headline today: “Extremists Turn to a Leader to Protect Western Values: Vladimir Putin.”
And who are these extremists the New York Times quotes prominently? A collection of racists, Klansmen and know-nothing wannabees, neo-Nazis and other deplorables – the kind of people you might not expect the “mainstream media” to provide with a serious platform. And, by the way, what’s the motivation for this story?
Staff writers Alan Feuer and Andrew Higgins give it away: “Throughout the presidential campaign, Donald J. Trump mystified many on the left and in the foreign policy establishment with his praise for Mr. Putin and his criticism of the Obama administration’s efforts to isolate and punish Russia for its actions in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. But what seemed inexplicable when Mr. Trump first expressed his admiration for the Russian leader seems, in retrospect, to have been a shrewd dog whistle to a small but highly motivated part of his base.”
To make the case against Trump and Putin, the New York Times enlisted the following sources:
* Matthew Heimbach, founder of the Traditionalist Worker Party, an American group that aims to preserve the privileged place of whiteness in Western civilization, who calls Putin his ideal ruler, according to the Times. Did Heimbach even support Trump? The Times doesn’t say. What does that tell you?
* Sam Dickson, a white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan lawyer who frequently speaks at gatherings of the so-called alt-right, a far-right fringe movement that embraces white nationalism and a range of racist and anti-immigrant positions, as the Times describes him.
* Jared Taylor, the founder of American Renaissance, a white supremacist think tank, as the Times characterizes it.
* Richard B. Spencer, who runs the website AlternativeRight.com and directs the National Policy Institute, an alt-right group based in Montana, and who, according to the Times, has hailed Putin as a protector of the white race. He was quoted by the Nation magazine as saying: “I think we should be pro-Russia because Russia is the great white power that exists in the world.”
What the Times has done here is to give voice to those it labels as “haters” for the sole purpose of targeting its real enemies – Putin, Trump and also Stephen K. Bannon, the Trump aide and former chief executive at Breitbart.com, which the Times smears as a purveyor of “fake news.”
The Times also buys into the unfounded, groundless conspiracy-mongering of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama about Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election by including this incoherent nonsense: “The Obama administration has accused Russian interests of meddling in the presidential campaign by spreading fake news and hacking into the computers of the Democratic National Committee and the emails of John Podesta, a leading figure in Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. But efforts by Russia, which has jailed some of its own white supremacist agitators, to organize and inspire extreme right-wing groups in the United States and Europe may ultimately prove more influential.”
On the FAKE NEWS ROUNDUP scale on a one to 10 scale with 10 being total fake, this one gets an 8.7.
But the Times is hardly alone among the establishment press in deliberately manufacturing fake news in its efforts to smear its alternative media competitors with the label.
Last month, CNN went a bit overboard in such efforts.
It all started with a segment on CNN’s The Lead which quoted prominent white nationalist figure Richard Spencer as wondering if Jews were actually people. CNN host Jim Sciutto said, “of Jews Spencer said, ‘one wonders if these people are people at all, or instead soulless golem.’”
“That is an alt-right leader, Richard Spencer, talking about Jews,” Sciutto added. CNN then had a panel with RealClearPolitics’ Rebecca Berg and The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser with the chyron “ALT-RIGHT FOUNDER QUESTIONS IF JEWS ARE PEOPLE.”
Except, Spencer did not make those remarks about Jews. He made them about political consultants on television.
But it gets worse.
CNN’s decision to put the false charge in the chyron proved embarrassing, indeed, to Matt Vizer of the Boston Globe who some assumed to be the ALT-RIGHT anti-Semite villain in question. You can see his account here.
It was hugely embarrassing, once again, for CNN – but just deserts for a network that is creating false news in the name of denouncing it.
It’s hard to keep up with it all, thus, think about the FAKE NEWS ROUNDUP as your scorecard for the very worst offenses in total media manipulation.
On the FAKE NEWS ROUNDUP scale on a one to 10 scale with 10 being total fake, this one gets an 9.1.