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February 06, 2017

Oh My: The Federalist Documents The Hysterical Freak-Out Media's Fake News Stories Since the Election, and It's Quite a Long List

I suggested that someone start documenting not just the fake news but how many times the fake news gets retweeted (especially by journOlisters, or, as John Ekdahl calls them, the Blue Checkmark Mafia), versus how many times the retractions get retweeted.

The Federalist hasn't counted the journOlisters retweet totals, but they have noted the retweets of the fake news vs retweets of the retractions, as well as the Patient Zero for spreading these Fake News viruses -- which of the Blue Checkmark Mafia legitimized and "normalized" the fake story by tweeting it out to their lunatic followers.

It's quite a list.

Here's one I'm particularly pissed off by. If you're ever reading a story and you notice it's by Josh Rogin, stop reading. It's likely fake news. He spreads fake news, and he doesn't like correcting it.

On January 26, the Washington Post’s Josh Rogin published what seemed to be a bombshell report declaring that “the State Department’s entire senior management team just resigned.” This resignation, according to Rogin, was “part of an ongoing mass exodus of senior Foreign Service officers who don’t want to stick around for the Trump era.” These resignations happened “suddenly” and “unexpectedly.” He styled it as a shocking shake-up of administrative protocol in the State Department, a kind of ad-hoc protest of the Trump administration.

The story immediately went sky-high viral. It was shared nearly 60,000 times on Facebook. Rogin himself tweeted the story out and was retweeted a staggering 11,000 times. Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum had it retweeted nearly 2,000 times; journalists and writers from Wired, The Guardian, the Washington Post, Bloomberg, ABC, Foreign Policy, and other publications tweeted the story out in shock.

There was just one problem: the story was more a load of bunk. As Vox pointed out, the headline of the piece was highly misleading: “the word ‘management’ strongly implied that all of America’s top diplomats were resigning, which was not the case.” (The Post later changed the word “management” to “administrative” without noting the change, although it left the “management” language intact in the article itself).

More importantly, Mark Toner, the acting spokesman for the State Department, put out a press release noting that “As is standard with every transition, the outgoing administration, in coordination with the incoming one, requested all politically appointed officers submit letters of resignation.” According to CNN, the officials were actually asked to leave by the Trump administration rather than stay on for the customary transitional few months. The entire premise of Rogin’s article was essentially nonexistent.

As always, the correction received far less attention than the fake news itself: Vox’s article, for instance, was shared around 9,500 times on Facebook, less than one-sixth the rate of Rogin’s piece. To this day, Rogin’s piece remains uncorrected regarding its faulty presumptions.

I think the Federalist missed an important one -- the Washington Post's infamously flawed "Fake News" story about fake news itself, one which relied upon a "study" (with no specified methodology) but completely anonymous "researchers" with no offered credentials other than that they were claiming what the leftist media desperately longed to be claimed.


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posted by Ace at 12:16 PM

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