Investigative journalist reveals origin of 'fake news'

Friday, February 16, 2018
 | 
Steve Jordahl (OneNewsNow.com)

Sharyl Attkisson (journalist)If you think the concept of "fake news" started with Donald Trump, you'd be wrong. As it turns out, so-called "progressives" got the ball rolling – and it came back to bite them.

It didn't take long for the mainstream media to start trying to dismantle President Trump. On Inauguration Day, TIME Magazine reporter Zeke Miller tweeted that Trump had removed a bust of Martin Luther King, Jr. from the Oval Office. He was wrong and quickly admitted it, but the tone was set. Since then, there have been dozens of examples of certain news outlets giving facts short shrift if they see a chance to damage the president.

Trump calls those reports "fake news" and is largely credited – or blamed – for coming up with the term. But investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson says not so.

"I did a little digging and I traced the effort to a non-profit called First Draft, which appears to be about the first to use the phrase 'fake news' in its modern context," she explains in a TedX Talk (see below).

First Draft, she says, was birthed at the start of the latest presidential election cycle and run by a multimillion-dollar donor to the Hillary Clinton presidential campaign. A month later, President Obama used the term when he said someone needed to approve the news before it went out. Attkisson recounts that event:

"He insisted in a speech that he, too, thought somebody needed to step in and curate information in this wild, wild west media environment. Nobody in the public had been clamoring for any such thing – yet suddenly, the topic of 'fake news' dominates headlines on a daily basis. It's as if the media had been given its marching orders. Fake news, they insisted, was an imminent threat to American democracy."

But, Attkisson says, somewhere along the way the tables turned.

"The anti-fake news campaign backfired. Each time advocates cried 'fake news,' Donald Trump called them fake news until he'd coopted the term so completely that even those who originally promoted it started running from it.

"In fact, it's now commonly misreported that it was Donald Trump who thought up the phrase – actually it was just a hostile takeover."

So how do you spot fake news – from either side of the aisle? When everybody's on the same page, using the same phrase, emphasizing the same politically biased story, Attkisson says, it may be "the result of an organized campaign."

The journalist says when "connecting the dots" behind fake news, she suggests "follow[ing] the money" – finding out who's funding the sources. And typically, she adds, those who most loudly denounce fake news are the ones most aggressively disseminating it.

"When interests are working this hard to shape your opinion, their true goal might just be to add another layer between you and the truth," Attkisson concludes.

Comments will be temporarily unavailable. Thank you for your patience as we restore this service!

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWS BRIEF

FEATURED PODCAST

VOTE IN OUR POLL

Are elections in your state well-protected against voter fraud – or is election reform needed?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Chamber of Commerce seeks end to Biden anti-work incentive
Texas becomes the latest state to fight election fraud
It's confirmed...major plunge in California population numbers
Police: 29 people recovered from semitruck in Texas
Israeli troops kill 2 Palestinian terrorists

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Dems after bad jobs report: More spending is answer
Media suddenly focused on inflation after D.C. spending spree
NY AG: 'Net neutrality' comments to FCC faked
White House admits it tries to keep Biden from probing reporter
Cori Bush slammed for referring to mothers as 'birthing people'

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
'Black Panther' movie: A springboard to the Gospel?

"Black Panther" movie posterA number of churches across America are reportedly throwing their support behind the new blockbuster film, Black Panther