President Donald Trump is right. There is an epidemic of “fake news” in America. Only it’s being perpetuated not by his political opponents but by him and his supporters.
This was made evident when the Washington Post published an account of how a Trumpkin named James O’Keefe, who runs the deceptively named Project Veritas, tried to fool its reporters by sending their way a woman who claimed she had been impregnated as a teenager by Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore and had subsequently gotten an abortion. O’Keefe hoped to expose the Post to ridicule if it published this tall tale and thereby discredit its ground-breaking reporting on would-be Senator Moore’s pursuit of underage girls. But the Post didn’t fall for his scam, thereby showing how rigorous its reporting is.
O’Keefe has a long history of running such laughably inept “sting operations” that seek to expose supposed leftist bias in various institutions. His biggest success to date has been relieving gullible conservative donors of their dollars — money that would better be spent teaching young conservatives how to do actual shoe-leather reporting.
But O’Keefe is only one small part of the “fake news” industry that includes outlets such as Infowars, Breitbart, and Fox News. They propound crazy conspiracy theories such as the claim that the hacking of the Democratic National Committee was not done by the Russians, as the U.S. intelligence community has concluded, but rather by a staffer named Seth Rich who was conveniently killed — and therefore cannot clear his name. Some Trump supporters even went so far as to claim that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton was running a Satanic child sex-abuse ring out of a Washington pizza parlor — a made-up allegation that led a North Carolina man to show up at the pizzeria in question with a very real semi-automatic assault rifle.
Trump himself contributes to this perpetual-motion B.S. machine by concocting wild claims about how he was supposedly wiretapped by former President Barack Obama or about how Hillary Clinton supposedly gave away our uranium to Russia. Neither story is remotely true, but that doesn’t stop the Trump echo chamber from faithfully spreading it.
Trump, in turn, pays back his sycophants by retweeting their work favorably to his 43.5 million followers. On Saturday, he thanked a website called MagaPill that is a one-source stop for nutty conspiracy theories such as “false flag…