Thursday, February 22, 2018
“Fake News” Now Preoccupies Big Media, But NYT’s Predictions Had Much Bigger Impact

WASHINGTON, DC  Nov. 29 (DPI) – In a fairly blatant attempt to blame outsiders for their candidate’s loss, mainstream media outlets are now reporting on “fake news” – fabrications apparently of foreign origin presented as genuine news on the internet – and their role in swaying the presidential election.   NPR did a long segment today, while The Washington Post produced its own report, declaring  “millions of Americans have been deceived this year in a massive Russian “misinformation campaign.”

Unfortunately for the mainstream media, the biggest culprits of disseminating misinformation were themselves – and most notably The New York Times and its Upshot column, which maintained for the entire campaign a credible-looking prediction of a 80% and 90% chance that Hillary Clinton would win the White House, not simply the popular vote.  Such reports simply wrote off Clinton’s challenger, and served to energize Trump’s supporters.  The reports too likely had an impact on voter turnout.

Prior to the election there was little reported on the existence of “fake news” and its sources, which some have attributed to Russian hackers and supporters of Vladimir Putin. But both The Times and The Post have dedicated substantial energy since Nov. 8 to examine the role that fabricated news played in the election.


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