Why do attacks on the US media – calling it “Fake News” – resonate so widely?

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By Gleen Greenwald @ggreenwald

Why do attacks on the US media – calling it “Fake News” – resonate so widely? Because of utterly fabricated and reckless articles like this one from @politico, by a former *CIA officer allowed to write under a “pen name”*. The whole thing is a fraud:

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/11/28/paul-manafort-julian-assange-222694

The only point of the article is to *invent out of whole cloth* a wild conspiracy theory: that perhaps Russia-controlled operatives caused the @Guardian to publish a false story – its viral Assange/Manafort story – in order to discredit Luke Harding for his Russia reporting.

The whole conspiracy theory is made up with no evidence. Worse, it relies on blatant fabrications, such as the one highlighted here. Everyone knows I didn’t work with WL to report the Snowden story. It’s a lie. But US media outlets are *willing to lie if the targets are right*

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POLITICO also allowed this ex-CIA agent’s to falsely claim that the only people raising doubts about the Guardian’s story are people who are part of “Russia’s disinformation network.” In fact, as @Emptywheel noted, a wide range of people raised doubts about the story. Compare:

The US media has only itself to blame for the attacks on it. If you are willing to outright lie like this when it advances your narrative, invent wild conspiracy theories & malign people as Russian agents, you don’t deserve the respect that media outlets demand they receive.

In response to a highly dubious Guardian story, POLITICO allowed an ex-CIA officer to use a fake name to publish demonstrable lies and blame Russia for this potentially huge media scandal – zero self-critique. Why would a profession that acts this way expect to be trusted?

In less than 48 hours, we went from “MANAFORT SECRETLY MET WITH ASSANGE 3 TIMES IN THE EMBASSY” (Guardian) to “MAYBE THE RUSSIANS TRICKED THE GUARDIAN INTO PUBLISHING A FALSE STORY” (Politico’s CIA writer). Next: why do people not trust news outlets??? It’s so unfair!

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Even 2 hours after I read it, I still can’t believe that Politico actually published an article by an ex-CIA agent under a fake name saying that if the Guardian’s blockbuster Assange/Manafort story is false, it’s Russia’s fault. Parodying the US media at this point is futile.

Updated: November 29, 2018 — 7:46 am

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