MONDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2016
Press corps assails "fake news:" The press corps has suddenly declared jihad against the scourge of "fake news."
We're sorry, but what a joke! The Easter bunny invented colored eggs. In a similar way, the mainstream press corps invented the culture of fake news.
Fake news didn't get its start in the past few months. We've been deeply sunk in the culture of fake news for a very long time now.
We started this site in 1998 because of all the fake news. The mainstream press was already a leading purveyor/enabler of same.
When Jerry Falwell peddled the tale of the Clinton murders, that of course was fake news. The press corps averted its gaze. It was safer to see no evil.
Remember when Rush pimped the death of Vince Foster? That was fake news too.
In the two months since Labor Day, Paul Krugman has correctly alluded, three separate times, to the way the mainstream press invented a series of lies by Candidate Gore in 1999 and 2000. That twenty-month jihad was an extended example of guild-endorsed, all-hands-on-deck fake news. Incredibly, Krugman is actually plowing new ground by mentioning this conduct now! Everyone else has observed the press corps' code of silence.
On the front page of this morning's Style, the Washington Post's Margaret Sullivan pens the three millionth recent column about fake news. Right next to her column, the page is dominated by a giant, highly worthwhile profile of Alex Jones, a fake news superstar.
Why are they profiling Alex Jones now? And why is the profile in Style, rather than on the Post's front page, identified for what it is—a highly important news topic involving the strangulation of our culture?
It has taken us many years to attain our current advanced state of fake news. Let's create a chronology:
First they let Imus on the air, then they let Howard Stern in. After that, they let Limbaugh go national. Now we have Alex Jones.
(Also, Mika and Joe!)
During these decades of downward spiral, the press corps played footsie with these deliberate idiots. The corps invented fake news of its own. It also averted its gaze from the fake news others were crafting.
In 2011, Donald J. Trump got very busy with the fake news called "birtherism." Our big newspapers refused to pursue his loathsome conduct. This deference continued right on through the recent White House campaign. Last July, the New York Times took an obvious dive on this matter right on a Sunday front page.
Four years after he wed himself to that blindingly stupid fake news, this disordered man announced that he was running for president. Four years after his birther scam, Darling Rachel mugged and clowned and specifically said that she nothing bad to say about him.
(Weeks passed before she thought it was safe to criticize his comments about all the rapists Mexico was sending us. In our view, she's one of our biggest corporate con men we have, though she really can sell the car!)
The press corps is suddenly deeply concerned, but they've invented and enabled fake news every step of the way. Here's what their sudden vigilance has called to mind around here:
During the Clinton/Gore years, fake news often took the form of fake scandals. The press corps invented some of these fake scandals. In other cases, they adopted the fake scandals of others, or they averted their gaze from the purveyors of same.
One fake scandal involved fund-raising calls from the White House. Vice President Gore had made some such calls; so had President Clinton. No one said that Gore couldn't have made any fund-raising calls. They said he should have limo'ed three blocks to DNC headquarters and made the same phone calls there!
Also this: Clinton's phone calls came from rooms in the White House which were officially designated as part of the residence. Gore's phone calls came from rooms in the White House which were designated as offices. On the basis of that non-distinction distinction, the howls went up. Gore had committed a crime, partisan purveyors of fake scandal said.
(Amazingly, Clinton hadn't! By now, it was Gore they were hunting. Just as Comey hunted Clinton, Louis Freeh hunted Gore. In each case, your liberal heroes averted their gaze, said nothing.)
In part, here's how that fund-raising hooey looked to us at the time:
People who have no morality at all will sometimes invent arcane moral codes to which they can fetishistically adhere. This allows them to pretend—to voters, let's say—that they are trying very hard to observe important ethical rules.
"I go to the DNC/RNC to make my phone calls every time," they will declare.
We think of that when we see the press corps assailing a narrow type of fake news. They've been building the culture for twenty-five years. Pointing to narrow examples of same, they're deeply upset by it now.