Back during my days working on Capitol Hill — and in the drive by media — I would make a point of turning on the TV news when I got home from work. (In both of those workplaces, much of what you experience during the day ends up on TV that night.)
I can’t tell you how many times — during those TV broadcasts — I asked myself: “Did I witness the same event(s) these guys did?” Many other items that would show up on TV, or in the next morning’s papers, would contain maybe ten percent, or less, of TRUTH.
All of THAT has me scratching my head over the current day drive-by media’s fixation with something called fake news. That’s right. Stuff that is absolutely fictitious presented as the truth.
How is this different from what’s been shoveled on us daily for decades? Let’s find out:
What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe — and invented by the same man.
Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he’s British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. “South Park” lawsuit last year.
But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump’s son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner’s faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.
In light of concerns that stories like Horner’s may have affected the presidential election, and in the wake of announcements that both Google and Facebook would take action against deceptive outlets, Intersect called Horner to discuss his perspective on fake news. This transcript has been edited for clarity, length and — ahem — bad language.
You’ve been writing fake news for a while now — you’re kind of like the OG Facebook news hoaxer. Well, I’d call it hoaxing or fake news. You’d call it parody or satire. How is that scene different now than it was three or five years ago? Why did something like your story about Obama invalidating the election results (almost 250,000 Facebook shares, as of this writing) go so viral?
Honestly, people are definitely dumber. They just keep passing stuff around. Nobody fact-checks anything anymore — I mean, that’s how Trump got elected. He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.[…]
Wow. *So, Donald Trump’s success is due to the stupidity of the American people.*
So, this so-called “fake news” had nothing to do with the elections of, say, Bev Perdue or Barack Hussein Obama? (Or all of those votes Hillary got?)
Most of the utter B.S. we identify in the driveby media is presented with a slant that aids liberals. Like the stories about Hillary leading the presidential race by 14 or 12 points nationally in October. Think back to 2014 — where we busted Binky and John Frank for accusing Greg Brannon of speaking sympathetically about slavery.
Look at the overall coverage of HB2 by North Carolina’s driveby media. NOBODY told the truth. NOBODY. And let’s not forget the fixation WRAL’s Binky and The N&O’s Colon Campbell had over witches and monkeys.
One example of “fake news” being cited by the drivebys is the alleged payment of anti-Trump protesters during the campaign. James O’Keefe had Brad Woodhouse and his employees on camera bragging about hiring people to disrupt Trump rallies.