The virulently anti-Trump Washington Post is now crying foul over a pejorative term that they were instrumental in popularizing. On Thanksgiving Day, the WAPO’s Craig Timberg wrote a piece that prompted a shady and secretive group’s labeling of over 200 independent news websites as Russian fronts putting out “fake news”.
The story was immediately criticized over the paper’s granting of anonymity to the sleazy neo-McCarthyists of PropOrNot and after being threatened with a defamation lawsuit backed down. The story itself was fake news and it now bears an official disclaimer at the top identifying it as such. The WAPO once again came under fire with the now thoroughly discredited fairy tale of Russian penetration of the Vermont power grid which has been since retracted.
Now in a wonderful bit of schadenfreude, Pravda on the Potomac is crying uncle now that they have become the textbook example of their own attempts to silence critics.
According to the WAPO “It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news’”:
But though the term hasn’t been around long, its meaning already is lost. Faster than you could say “Pizzagate,” the label has been co-opted to mean any number of completely different things: Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn’t like to hear.
“The speed with which the term became polarized and in fact a rhetorical weapon illustrates how efficient the conservative media machine has become,” said George Washington University professor Nikki Usher.
As Jeremy Peters wrote in the New York Times: “Conservative cable and radio personalities, top Republicans and even Mr. Trump himself . . . have appropriated the term and turned it against any news they see as hostile to their agenda.”
So, here’s a modest proposal for the truth-based community.
Let’s get out the hook and pull that baby off stage. Yes: Simply stop using it.
Instead, call a lie a lie. Call a hoax a hoax. Call a conspiracy theory by its rightful name. After all, “fake news” is an imprecise expression to begin with.
The New York times has similarly bemoaned that the term has boomeranged and is now being used against its creators.
But it’s too late and now the WAPO and other big media megaphones are hopelessly mired in a shit bog of their own creation from which there is no escape. Big media so thoroughly discredited themselves with their relentless smears against Donald Trump accompanied by shameless cheerleading for Hillary Clinton that anything that they write or air will forever be viewed with extreme skepticism by millions and with good reason.