Media Matters, the far-left organization that watches media, was caught a few years ago promoting as fact the disputed claim that White House talking points on the Benghazi attack were edited to preserve a criminal investigation.
Then it was caught fabricating quotes to smear a Hillary Clinton critic, and later founder David Brock admitted that his nonprofit organization defended Clinton from political fury, apparently in defiance of federal requirements that nonprofits avoid taking political sides.
So when its pages started being filled with reports on Fox and “fake news,” nightly news shows combating “fake news,” Facebook and “false and hateful contents,” conservatives and “fake news,” and more, and it announced it will “pivot” away from its focus on Fox News and now attack “fake news,” probably no one expects it to be reviling the work of David Muir, Diane Sawyer and George Stephanopoulos on ABC, John Berman and Mark Preston of CNN, Amy Chozik, Gail Collins and Jonathan Martin of the New York Times, and the like.
They were, after all, on a “fake news” compilation released on the Ron Paul Liberty Report.
Media Matters’ idea of “fake news,” however, likely is more along the lines of the Drudge Report, WND, the online news pioneer that is approaching its 20th anniversary, Breitbart and a multitude of other outlets that have gone online to compete successfully with America’s legacy media.
It was in Politico that Hadas Gold reported the “liberal media-watchdog organization Media Matters” not only was naming a new president, longtime executive vice president Angelo Carusone, but will take on “what they argue is misinformation in conservative media, particularly on Fox News News,” and will focus on “the likes of Breitbart, the ‘alt-right,’ conspiracy theories and fake news.”
“There was a period of time when we were, rightfully so, described as the ‘Fox antagonists,” Carusone told Politico. “Now, our mission is to be principally focused on the value of journalism.”
He recently was deputy CEO of the Democratic National Convention.
Carusone explained Fox was gate keeper for a long time, “But now there are so many potential bad actors. Now there are places like Facebook who aren’t bad actors but can be enablers of misinformation.”
The report said Media Matters is adding staff and focusing on technology to “track conspiracy theories and misinformation.”
“We have to think about how we’re getting bigger and louder, not just misinformation but all out propaganda. That’s a role that’s very different than in the past. We’ve not tried to mobilize massive amounts of people or develop a larger following. But it’s going to have to be a part of what we’re doing,” he told Politico.
In a statement, Brock said the group’s goals will include “ensuring the media doesn’t normalize Trump’s bigotry or neutralizing the spread of fake news and other propaganda.”
The concept of “fake news” arose in the latter part of the 2016 presidential race, and the term became common in daily usage after Clinton lost the election.
Sites that had actively supported her and campaigned for her all of a sudden were claiming that those who reported on a wide range of other issues concerning the election were “fake news” sites because they didn’t trumpet the talking points about Clinton.
Chris Rossini at the Ron Paul Liberty Report came up with a list of “fake news” sources that included “the culprits who told us that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and lied us into multiple bogus wars. These are the news sources that told us ‘if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.’ They told us that Hillary Clinton had a 98 percent (chance) of winning the election.”
“They tell us in a never-ending loop that ‘the economy is in great shape.’”
The list includes dozens of names of ABC, CBS, MSNBC, Times, Guardian and other personalities.
WND columnist Pamela Geller explained that the “fake news” attacks from the leftists are just a “fictional publicity campaign.”
“The New York Times reported shortly after the election that Google and Facebook ‘have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome,’” she wrote.
“That was fake news in itself: ‘Fake news’ didn’t influence the presidential election’s outcome; all too real news about the wrong direction in which our nation was headed under Barack Obama did. Nevertheless, the Times said that ‘those companies responded by making it clear that they would not tolerate such misinformation by taking pointed aim at fake news sites’ revenue sources.’”
She continued, “The ‘fake news’ controversy has become a huge international story, with the Los Angeles Times among those leading the charge with headlines such as ‘Want to keep fake news out of your newsfeed? College professor creates list of sites to avoid‘; ‘Fake news writers: ‘Hillary Clinton, here are your deplorables”; and ‘Fake news writers abuse the 1st Amendment and endanger democracy for personal profit.’
“There is conspiracy theory and there is conspiracy fact, and what we have on our hands is one mother of a left-wing conspiracy parading as a right wing conspiracy. You can’t make this stuff up. It’s diabolical. In the run-up to the election, I reported on a number of fake conservative new sites created by left-wing operatives in order to discredit the conservatives’ news sites. If you have a bogus conservative site, it makes a conservative site look questionable. ‘News sites’ like the Baltimore Gazette and the National Report were dropping hoaxes for months to discredit conservatives who might pick up the story,” she explained.
“If a blogger or news writer gets a story wrong, does that designate him or her, or his or her site, as ‘fake news’? If that’s the case, they’ll have to shut down the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, CNN, etc. They get things wrong all the time.”
One such site blasted by the Washington Post as “fake news,” has responded with a demand for a retraction, which was accompanied by the suggestion a defamation lawsuit may follow.
“You did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist,” the site told the Post.
Naked Capitalism is a finance and economics blog started in December, 2006, with a stated goal of “shedding light on the dark and seamy corners of finance.”
Barack Obama even complained about “fake news” in an interview in Rolling Stone magazine, which famously was found liable in a $7.5 million libel case filed after its report on a University of Virginia “rape case” was discredited.