Despite the hilarious efforts of the Trumpers to defend Il Duce's claim that millions voted illegally for Hillary Clinton, there have been only three (Brad Friedman says four) confirmed cases of voter impersonation in 2016, at least so far. Guess what? Those three were TRUMP SUPPORTERS
Fake news watch:
Heather Digby Parton has the best brief summary about the fake news explosion
that did so much to elect Donald Trump.
This is just the latest story over the past couple of weeks involving the issue of “fake news” and its effect on this last election. It has been revealed that Facebook, one of the most important news purveyors in the world with 44 percent of Americans saying they get news from the site, was responsible for a vast number of false stories being pumped out to millions of people, most of them helpful to Trump.
Earlier this year Facebook had been hit with accusations of suppressing conservative stories, so the company eliminated human news curators and replaced them with a new algorithm that, well, ended up providing more conservative stories. Most of them were fake, many of them focused on lurid pseudo-scandals about Hillary Clinton.
On Reddit, a Clinton fake scandal called #Pizzagate continues to rage. It is entirely false, yet the site’s Trump-supporting users are up in arms over Reddit’s decision to ban the board that had fueled the conspiracy theory, involving accusations that Clinton had been running a pedophile ring out of the back of a pizza parlor. Reddit would not have banned it if its users hadn’t been publishing the private information of innocent people and accusing them of pedophilia.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, The Washington Post unveiled a big story about Russian involvement in disseminating fake news. Other news outlets have tracked down fake news purveyors as well, including individual entrepreneurial types as close as California and as far flung as Macedonia and the nation of Georgia, where the perpetrators coincidentally found that fake news benefiting Donald Trump could be very lucrative on the internet. The Post article has been challenged for its reliance on a questionable group that claims to be tracking fake news sites that aren’t actually fake news sites. (And there’s good reason to suspect that much of the spike in fake news traffic came from good old Matt Drudge, a phenomenon that I wrote about months ago.)
The Intercept published a fascinating account of fake news being created by Floyd Brown (a famous associate of Trump intimates Kellyanne Conway and David Bossie and the founder of the right-wing “oppo” group Citizens United, which drove Whitewater coverage in the 1990s). It’s not surprising that the man who created the Willie Horton ad would be involved in an enterprise like this. The article also tracks fake news stories circulated by the site Lifezette of possible Trump administration hire Laura Ingraham and far right institutions like World Net Daily.
A while back, I posted a piece which argued that some
left-wing conspiracy theories were on the mark (or at least headed in the right direction) but all
right-wing conspiracy theories were bullshit. An angry reader blared that I was woefully ignorant of Pizzagate. He was right: All I knew about it was that it had something to do with child abuse allegations.
Now that I know more
. Good Lord. What can I say? Every week, it seems, one encounters a new contender for the title of Stupidest Conspiracy Theory of All Time. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Right-wing conspiracy theories are junk. I don't mean "junk" as in "trash" -- I mean "junk" as in heroin.
Right-wing CT is an addictive substance, the deadliest yet devised.
You think that's an overstatement? Look up Auschwitz on Google Earth. I can't consider the addicts to be anything other than subhuman garbage until they pull the goddamned needles out of their arms.
We could add much more to Parton's observations. For example, she does not mention that the creation of fake news has essentially been monetized. Even pro-Blue writers have found that they can make a good living concocting Clinton-hate for $$$
Coler is a soft-spoken 40-year-old with a wife and two kids. He says he got into fake news around 2013 to highlight the extremism of the white nationalist alt-right.
"The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly or fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction," Coler says.
He was amazed at how quickly fake news could spread and how easily people believe it. He wrote one fake story for NationalReport.net about how customers in Colorado marijuana shops were using food stamps to buy pot.
"What that turned into was a state representative in the House in Colorado proposing actual legislation to prevent people from using their food stamps to buy marijuana based on something that had just never happened," Coler says.
During the run-up to the presidential election, fake news really took off. "It was just anybody with a blog can get on there and find a big, huge Facebook group of kind of rabid Trump supporters just waiting to eat up this red meat that they're about to get served," Coler says. "It caused an explosion in the number of sites. I mean, my gosh, the number of just fake accounts on Facebook exploded during the Trump election."
Here's the part I love best:
Coler says his writers have tried to write fake news for liberals — but they just never take the bait.
I can verify. The most popular thing I've ever written -- by far -- was this post published on April 1, 2006
. Even today, and I mean this very day
, that post will receive more than two hundred viewings; all of the incoming links come from right-wing conspiracy theorists. If I had written something of that sort every day for ten years, and if I had found a way to monetize the "hits" (as Coler did), I would now be a wealthy man. Lefties simply don't fall for that sort of thing -- at least not in such numbers, and not for any length of time.
Guys like me are routinely accused of acting in a "condescending" fashion toward those poor, beleaguered red-staters who can't understand why they lost those good-paying factory jobs. Guilty as charged. You know why I'm condescending? Because red-staters and Trumpers just plain fucking deserve
it. They really are
inferior. They will always blame the wrong parties for the loss of their middle-class status -- and they will never understand that the only time in history when they had good jobs was when both parties hewed to the mantra "We're all Keynesians now." (Those were Nixon's words, uttered just when the assault on Keynesianism began in earnest.)
As long as you Trumpers continue to revile Keynesianism and to defend Milton Friedmanism -- as long as you continue to act like turkeys voting for Thanksgiving -- I will continue to treat you as my inferiors. Because that's precisely what you are