Wednesday, January 4, 2017

WashPost is Richly Rewarded for False News about Russia Threat While Public is Deceived

Glenn Greenwald: In the past six weeks, the Washington Post published two blockbuster stories about the Russian threat that went viral: one on how Russia is behind a massive explosion of “fake news,” the other on how it invaded the U.S. electric grid. Both articles were fundamentally false. Each now bears a humiliating Editor’s Note grudgingly acknowledging that the core claims of the story were fiction: the first Note of which was posted a full two weeks later to the top of the original article, the other of which was buried the following day at the bottom.

The second story on the electric grid turned out to be far worse than I realized when I wrote about it on Saturday, when it became clear that there was no “penetration of the U.S. electricity grid” as the Post had claimed. In addition to the Editor’s Note, the Russia-hacked-our-electric-grid story now has a full-scale retraction in the form of a separate article admitting that “the incident is not linked to any Russian government effort to target or hack the utility” and that there may not have even been malware at all on this laptop.

But while these debacles are embarrassing for the paper, they are also richly rewarding. That’s because journalists – including those at the Post – aggressively hype and promote the original, sensationalistic false stories, ensuring that they go viral, generating massive traffic for the Post (the paper’s Executive Editor, Marty Baron, recently boasted about how profitable the paper has become).

After spreading the falsehoods far and wide, raising fear levels and manipulating U.S. political discourse in the process (both Russia stories were widely hyped on cable news), journalists who spread the false claims subsequently note the retraction or corrections only in the most muted way possible, and often not at all. As a result, only a tiny fraction of people who were exposed to the original false story end up learning of the retractions.

Via Drudge: for more go here


Amartel said...

These BS stories need to be slapped down, with an axe, before they get traction. Otherwise, once people are given space to speak about them, as in the usual cable TV news format, as if they were fact then the story becomes muddled and the general public is left with the impression that it might be true and partisan hacks have yet another drum to bang.

Chip Ahoy said...

Democrats are deceived but nobody else is.

Leland said...

Although, this too could be fake story; this one wasn't. The real story is about Obama expelling diplomats based on the fake notion that Russians influenced our election. I know Lem's place was a place for discussion during the primaries and general election. I don't recall any of us being persuaded by Russians.

The first link story suggests Obama is placing troops near Lithuania, which is very provocative. While there was probably a reason to do this a year or so ago, as Russia annexed Crimea and there was talk of it taking Lithuania; Russia hasn't shown much of a move on Lithuania for awhile now. And they already have a port, so as long as Lithuania allows Russian access to the Russia territorial port; why would either side want a war?

If someone publishes a story about the USS Maine sinking in the near future; I would be very skeptical.

AprilApple said...

Some leftwing dink echo-chamber dweller wrote a letter to the editor in the local paper and proceeded to preach that the only "news" anyone should read is:
WaPo and NYT.


Trooper York said...

Fake news.

Who pays attention to that crap.

As that nasty twat Heather Dubrow told her nemesis on the "Real Housewives of Orange County":
"If everybody tells you that you are dead maybe you should lie down already."

ampersand said...

Obama told Putin he would be more flexible after the election. Little did Vlad realize that O would be all lubed up and wearing a negligee to boot.