The Right Wing Outrage/Fake-News Ecosystem
If it’s a day ending in a Y, it must be a day where right wing outlets are busy pushing an agenda that bears no relationship to reality. We see it with the current Administration, whose views are based on fake news, or inventing details out of whole cloth (Bowling Green Massacre, Sweden, etc.) Within hours of Trump and his press flacks uttering these nonsensical bits on Twitter or in a press conference, his supporters gobble it up willingly. Polling a week later finds that a disturbing number believe that those events occurred.
Take that Bowling Green Massacre nonsense. 51% of Trump supporters now believe that it happened.
But the focus has to be more than on just the administration that spreads this noxious nonsense. It must concentrate on the purveyors of propaganda - people like Jim Hoft and Sean Hannity. Hannity’s the more well known of the two, but they’ve got a symbiotic relationship at this point - and Hoft’s managed to worm his way into the White House press pool, which means that he’s able to claim the mantle of “legitimacy” because he’s now appearing alongside established news outlets like Reuters, AP, NBC, ABC, CBS, CNN, and Fox News.
You’d think that this would require a news organization that takes reporting seriously, and that issues corrections when they get facts or details wrong. It doesn’t.
Hoft doesn’t care about facts or details, and he’s more than willing to push stories that are clear fabrications. Charles has covered this extensively here, but this takes the proverbial cake:
Whoa if true.
This is how agitprop makes it way through the right wing outrage ecosystem. Hoft peddles clearly BS nonsense, and it gets picked up by Hannity and others, who repeat it enough times that it can even make its way to Trump’s twitter feed, where you know it’s a matter of time before he repeats it uncritically.
It’s not even the first time Hannity’s repeated Hoft’s nonsense. Just this past November, Hoft pushed a bogus news story, and Hannity repeated it without hesitation.
That Hoft has such reach despite such a poor track record of reporting (or even “reporting”) shows how fact-free the right wing is. Time was, they used to claim that they’d fact-check your ass, but now they’ll publish anything and everything no matter how clearly fake it is, and even when confronted over how it is fake, they’ll stand by their stories anyways.
Looks like Hannity finally deleted that tweet (but on the Internet screen caps are forever). The Whoa if True nonsense doesn’t diminish fact that Hannity peddles this nonsense and lets it stand for hours, percolating through the right wing ecosystem.
Looks like Sen. John McCain, who was the focus of Hoft’s idiotic hitjob and Hannity linking to same, didn’t take too kindly to the smear job based on no actual facts.