Lion of the Blogosphere

Fake news about fake news in the NY Times

All the fake news that’s fit to print?

The history of “fake news” is that yes, there were some guys in the former Soviet Union, who were NOT working for the KGB but were just independent scammers making money by getting people to link to their fake news sites, which then served up ads which they got paid for.

If the term “fake news” had simply been limited to those people, we wouldn’t be having this blog post. But the mainstream media fell in love with the term “fake news,” and everything else that the MSM didn’t like, but which traditionally had other names (like “conspiracy theories” or “biased stories”) they started calling “fake news,” but only when the MSM perceived these things to have a right-wing bias.

The MSM has a long history of serving up misleading and biased stories when it fits into their left-wing narrative. For example, leaving everyone with the impression that George Zimmerman shot some 12-year-old kid in the back who was running away from him when in reality he shot a much older teenager who was taller than him and surely stronger and more experienced at fighting, after getting into a fight that Zimmerman was losing. Giving the biased mainstream media some benefit of the doubt, it’s not clear who started the fight, but of course the biased MSM, when they do acknowledge that there was a fight, blame Zimmerman for starting it.

The MSM reported the “hands up don’t shoot” narrative when all the weight of the evidence points to Michael Brown starting the fight with the cop who arrested him after Michael Brown robbed a convenience store, and he never had his hands up or said “don’t shoot.”

When it was clear that the MSM was trying to use the term “fake news” to try to shut down the freedom of speech of people whom the MSM disagree, the conservatives successfully fought back on twitter, labeling all of the misleading and biased MSM news as “fake news” also. The success of this grass roots campaign is demonstrated by this story in today’s NY Times, which like most stories in the MSM this year is extremely misleading and slanted. The story leaves out all of the background explained above (except for the part about the scammers in the former Soviet Union). In the alternate universe of the New York Times, conservatives out of the blue just started using the term “fake news” to attack the righteous and truthful reporting of the MSM.

I label this story about fake news to be fake news, because by eliminating the important background of what really happened, a valid story of grassroots conservative opposition to pervasive liberal propaganda and threatened suppression of free speech becomes just more liberal propaganda to attack anyone who disagrees with their narrative.

* * *

Mike Street Station writes in a comment:

From the article, “Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online.”

That term fake news has only been in common use immediately after the election when the media went on a 10 day fake news spree to blame the election results on viral online stories. The premise was ridiculous of course, no, Trump did not when because of a fake story that the Pope endorsed him. Blaming these type of stories for Trump winning the election is the very definition of fake news in my opinion.


And the term quickly expanded from viral stories with fake facts, to anything that the MSM considers right-wing propaganda even if the facts are true. (Of course the MSM, masters of propaganda themselves, understand that true facts can be cherry picked and distorted to present a very false impression of reality.)

* * *

Also, it continues to annoy me that #pizzagate is called “fake news” when that is something that has always been called a “conspiracy theory.”

There’s a liberal conspiracy theory out there that Donald Trump is a Russian intelligence agent, and that has never, to my knowledge, been called “fake news” by the mainstream media, or cited as a reason for why HRC won the popular vote instead of Trump.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

December 26, 2016 at EDT am

Posted in News

19 Responses

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  1. From the article, “Until now, that term had been widely understood to refer to fabricated news accounts that are meant to spread virally online.”

    That term fake news has only been in common use immediately after the election when the media went on a 10 day fake news spree to blame the election results on viral online stories. The premise was ridiculous of course, no, Trump did not when because of a fake story that the Pope endorsed him. Blaming these type of stories for Trump winning the election is the very definition of fake news in my opinion.

    Mike Street Station

    December 26, 2016 at EDT am

  2. There are lots of commenters unironically referencing George Orwell’s 1984 in the linked article.
    Hilarious. Whenever I wonder what it’s like to be a useful idiot, I go back to a NYT op-ed comment section.


    December 26, 2016 at EDT am

  3. There’s plenty of conspiracy, propaganda and bias coming from both ends of the political spectrum. But it’s only those stories and sites that oppose the MSM’s agenda and narratives that they consider a problem. This hit a peak in the recent election as social media was used to do an end run around the MSM by spreading news about the Democrats (email server, wikileaks, etc) which the left believes cost Hillary the election. Since the MSM and social media (Facebook, Google, Twitter) are both dominated by leftists they needed a way to shut it down.

    If Big Social had simply started censoring news they didn’t like they would have been decried for censorship. So they created a crisis in need of a solution. By pushing the “fake news” narrative they now have a pretext for censorship. Of course, they’ll be using “fact checkers” composed largely from the MSM to determine which stories and news sites are “fake”. In other words, stories about wikileaks would have been censored while “hands up don’t shoot” and “Benghazi was caused by a youtube video” would not.

    While social media sites are private property and can censor anything they want, they’re also enormously influential. Squelching stories on their networks to prevent them from gaining traction or “going viral” can absolutely influence public opinion, elections and even government policy. That’s what the MSM’s hand-wringing over “fake news” is really about.


    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • “Fake News” is commonly understood (by me) to be an out of hand dismissal of reporting that unacceptable to the labler.

      The NYT’s attempts at this late date to try to come up with a dry, clinical definition of “Fake” that whitewashes all of their post election vitriol is laughable. They are mad that their authority as gatekeepers wasnt accepted. Post election the Times lumped everything it didnt approve of- including the stories about Hillary’s health problems.

      The real definition of “Fake News” has to include the categories and stories that Lion and destructure identified. The news can be “Fake” because it was made up entirely (like the Pope) or because it was afforded way too much or too little prominence. BLM (and Occupy) get way too much prominence with every new channel setting up live cameras for maybe 200 protesters.

      I’ll point out here that the March for Life in Washington DC routinely get 500,000 marchers and is never reported. Why is that?

      I’ll add as exemplars of Fake News the MSM theatrical disinformation efforts. Its already kind of a joke how many things in the MSM are now praised as “Hamiltonian” based on a made up hip hop let’s pretend play.

      But consider big budget productions full of B-listers like “Game Change” (feted with many awards) and “Fair Game” which form the basis for all that many liberal know, or think they know, about Sarah Palin and Valerie Plame. Both are rife with factual errors, “Fair Game” bizarrely so. Both are Fake News. The real story is that Plames name was given out by Richard Armitage, Hillary Clinton endorser, and has nothing to do with Dick Cheney or revenge.

      None of that is mentioned in A.O. Scott’s review of “Fair Game” which he praises, give 3.4 starts and a “Critic’s Pick” ending his review bemoaning that in real life it “does not mean that justice was done, or that truth prevailed”. Kind of a bizarre attitude for the New York Times to take when one of their reporters, Judith Miller, was locked up as part of a gigantic 2 year fishing expedition that ultimately established none of the claims made in this movie.

      No where does the Time mention it was Armitage who gave out Plames name. Its amusing to see the Times puzzle about “As reporters were walking out of a Trump rally this month in Orlando, Fla., a man heckled them with shouts of “Fake news!”.

      Lion o' the Turambar

      December 27, 2016 at EDT am

  4. “Fake news” and “Putin hacked the election” are two left-wing tropes that absolve the left of responsibility for losing the election. The last thing a triumphant right needs is a self-aware and self-critical left that learns from its mistakes.

    Keep in mind that the left also lost a large number of state and local elections that have nothing to do with “fake news” or putative Russian hacking. The problem runs much deeper than that.


    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • I know, I’m loving it! The Rainbow Progs are doubling down on failure, refusing to learn anything. Their losses in 2018 will be epic, BIGLY epic. President Trump, or President Pence assuming Trump is murdered as the fakestream media desire, might get supermajorities in Congress after 2018, especially if he and/or Pence fulfill most of his campaign promises.


      December 27, 2016 at EDT pm

  5. OT, but the ‘Jewish alt-right’ guy now has a blog:

    You guys have a lot in common, but he’s already attracted the ire of the Stormfront crowd so it’s up to you how much you want to pursue this.


    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • Looks like he’s got the beginnings of a whole little ‘sphere on his blogroll there. Can’t believe he didn’t link to The Rebbe, though:


      December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

  6. There have always been “news” sources that report rumors as fact without verifying them. Now sometimes rumors are true or mostly true. Sometimes rumors are completely made up nonsense.

    There was the famous Steven Emerson discussion of Muslim “no-go zones” in Europe. He went as far as describing the city of Birmingham, England as being totally Muslim and non-Muslims just simply don’t go there. He suggested that parts of England and France were under Sharia Law.

    Now in fact Birmingham is 22% Muslim and is definitely not under Sharia Law. This is Fake News in that is not true.

    As best I can figure out the idea of Muslim “no-go zones” originated in 2006 from a Norwegian blogger named Fjordman who claimed there were “Muslim no-go zones” in Europe. He claimed they were places “where anything representing a Western institution (post office truck, firemen, even mail order delivery firms) was routinely ambushed with Molotov cocktails.”

    Also in 2006 a Daniel Pipes blog post described a French government list of 751 economically deprived zones as “No-Go Zones” without ever visiting any of the areas to see if the description was accurate. In the original post Pipes suggests the French government does not really fully control these zones, but does not mention Muslims or Sharia Law. From reading his original blog post, I only get the impression he is saying these are high crime areas that are not safe to visit.

    People merged these two ideas so the 751 zones on the French government list became a list of 751 Muslim no-go zones in France. There are many online blog posts since 2006 discussing Muslim no-go zones as fact throughout Europe.

    In 2013 Daniel Pipes finally visit some of these No-Go Zones in Europe and admitted they were not really what he expected. He described them as “unthreatening, routine places” that can occasionally erupt in violence. He apparently saw no evidence of Sharia Law being enforced.

    So basically in 2006 Fjordman and Daniel Pipes coined the term no-go zone for 751 economically deprived zones in France without ever visiting any of these areas to verify his assertion. Finally in 2013 Pipes visited some of the areas and said he regretted labeling them no-go zones, but it was far too late. The idea that there were Muslim controlled no-go zones in Europe was too wide spread in the anti-Muslim community.

    Apparently serious terrorism analysts like Steven Emerson accepted the idea of Muslim no-go zones without verifying it. Muslim no-go zones is too attractive as scare story for anti-Islam activists. Even after Fox New officially apologized for airing Emerson’s claims, Fox hosts have continued to talk about Muslim no-go zones. You could argue that this is political hyperbole, but clearly many people are mislead to believe it is fact. When hyperbole is presented as news, it is Fake News.


    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • You mean like how the msm accepted ‘hands up don’t shoot’ and ‘Benghazi was caused by a youtube video’ without verifying them?


      December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

      • Benghazi was triggered by a youtube video was in the official CIA talking points given to government officials in the days after the attack. The MSM did verify that was what government officials were saying.

        The interesting thing is journalists who traveled to Benghazi after the attack and asked residents who claimed to know the people who attacked the consulate why they attacked it, were almost always told it was the youtube video. Now the MSM seems to have adopted this notion that the video had nothing to do with the attack, but the residents of Benghazi still seem to think it did.

        There is a conspiracy theory that the CIA was holding militia leaders prisoner in the consulate and the purpose of the attack was to free them. Perhaps the youtube video story was a CIA cover story.


        December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • Depends on what you mean by no-go. Maybe Americans are envisioning some sort of Mogadishu with bullets flying and helicopter evacs and whatnot.

      But it’s more like rock throwing at the fire truck or ambulance, or the police car destroyed if left unattended in the area, or delivery truck robbed, or even policemen ambushed (but not with molotov cocktails, more like dropping a manhole cover on the car from above). Cars burned, of course. Or normies getting attacked if they walk through the area. The justice system being impotent and witnesses routinely refusing to testify. AK-47s and grenades used in shoot outs. Normies occasionally getting wounded or killed as part of such a shoot out.

      So, would you consider Chicago southside to be a no-go area? Or selected parts of Baltimore? Etc. I would. That said, it’s not as violent as a crack war ghetto, but on the other hand, it’s usually organized by muslims with all that entails. Not something that should be tolerated.


      December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • I can verify that even in the center of London, just a few blocks from the UCL Campus there is a Muslim no go zone. When I walked through there back around the year 2000 a gang of Bangladeshi kids started throwing rocks at me, from that day I never walked back through that area. Police officers in the UK, France, and Sweden have all confirmed that there are Muslim no-go zones in their countries.


      December 27, 2016 at EDT am

  7. I am worried that about the “Countering Disinformation and Propaganda act”. My fear is all my favorite websites will be banned and we will be stuck with nothing but the MSM. Could it get that far?

    It’s not only Democrats who want this, neocon types are all in for this as well. Rob Portman (R-OH) was a co-sponsor of this bill. Portman has also been urging Trump to be tough on Russia. We need more Senators and House members in synch with Trump’s views. Right now we have too many Portman, McCain, Graham types who are much closer to being Democrats, especially since Dems have become obsessed with Russia.

    Jay Fink

    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • My fear is all my favorite websites will be banned and we will be stuck with nothing but the MSM. Could it get that far?

      Their goal isn’t to ban sites but to reduce their popularity and prevent alternate news from gaining traction. Think of it in terms of advertising. It’s not necessary to ban the competitors products. If you can prevent him from advertising then it will reduce his market share.


      December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

  8. that “fake news” is a thing for the msm is the real news.

    it’s the result of herding and indoctrination and elite college admissions criteria not conspiracy.

    people are blind for many reasons other than feigning blindness.

    minitrue…that’s the msm…and most of the altm too.

    1984 wasn’t about stalinism. the story that it was is fake news. it was about The Way We Live Now where “we” means americans and brits among others.

    Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!

    December 26, 2016 at EDT pm

    • Disagree, but in any event how many people do you know who understand the reference “The Way We Live Now”? How many people would you have to stop on the street before you found one who knew? As for Orwell, I live his essay “Inside The Whale” every day.


      December 27, 2016 at EDT am

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