a Tedx Talk at the University of Nevada a couple of weeks ago
(watch the video below) investigative journalistSharyl
Attkisson revealed the origins of the "fake news"
narrative that was aggressively pushed by the liberal media and
Democrat politicians during the 2016 election, and how it was later
flipped by President Donald Trump.
pointed out that "fake news" in the form of tabloid journalism and
false media narratives has always been around under different names.
she noticed that in 2016, there seemed to be a concerted effort by
the MSM to focus America's attention on the idea of "fake news" in
conservative media. That looked like a propaganda effort to
Attkisson, so she did a little digging and traced the new spin to a
little non-profit called "First Draft," which, she said, "appears to
be the about the first to use 'fake news' in its modern context."
September 13, 2016, First Draft announced a partnership to tackle
malicious hoaxes and fake news reports," Attkisson explained. "The
goal was supposedly to separate wheat from chaff, to prevent
unproven conspiracy talk from figuring prominently in internet
searches. To relegate today's version of the alien baby story to a
special internet oblivion."
noted that a month later, then-President Obama chimed in.
insisted in a speech that he too thought somebody needed to step in
and curate information of this wild, wild West media environment,"
she said, pointing out that "nobody in the public had been clamoring
for any such thing."
suddenly the subject of fake news was dominating headlines all over
America as if the media had received "its marching orders," she
recounted. "Fake news, they insisted, was an imminent threat to
who has studied the manipulative moneyed interests behind the media
industry, said that "few themes arise in our environment
organically." She noted that she always found it helpful to
"follow the money."
if the whole anti-fake news campaign was an effort on somebody's
part to keep us from seeing or believing certain websites and
stories by controversializing them or labeling them as fake news?"
deeper, she discovered that Google was one of the big donors
behind First Draft's "fake news" messaging. Google's parent
company, she pointed out, is owned by Eric Schmidt, who
happened to be a huge Hillary Clinton supporter.
"offered himself up as a campaign adviser and became a top
multi-million donor to it. His company funded First Draft around the
start of the election cycle," Attkisson said. "Not surprisingly,
Hillary was soon to jump aboard the anti-fake news train and her
surrogate David Brock of Media Matters privately told donors he was
the one who convinced Facebook to join the effort."
declared that "the whole thing smacked of the roll-out of a
propaganda campaign." Attkisson added, "But something happened that
nobody expected. The anti-fake news campaign backfired. Each time
advocates cried fake news, Donald Trump calledthem 'fake
news' until he'd co-opted the term so completely that even those who
[were] originally promoting it started running from it -- including
Post," which she noted later backed away from using the term.
called Trump's accomplishment a "hostile takeover" of the term and
cautioned people to always be aware of "powerful interests might be
trying to manipulate" their opinions.
described two warning signs to look out for.
media tries to shape or censor facts and opinions rather than
so many in the media are reporting the same stories, promulgating
the same narratives, relying on the same sources -- even using the
pointed out that there's an infinite number of ways to report
stories, so "when everybody's on the same page, it might the result
of an organized campaign."
warned the audience about the latest effort to quell speech through
something called "media literacy," where liberal elites tell
everyone else whom they should trust. She said, "Media literacy
advocates are busy trying to get state laws passed to require that
their version of media literacy be taught in public schools."
more, they're developing websites and partnering with universities.
She warned that these people have their own agendas and want to tell
you what to believe.