The Weaponization of Fake News

I have not studied the Roy Moore story in detail for one reason, and one reason only. That reason is the number of different websites that have diverse and often conflicting claims about Roy Moore and the prevalence of sharing of all of those fake stories by hundreds on my friend’s list based upon their perceptions.

Worse is that it is obvious there are at least three different groups having weaponized the Roy Moore story. For good or for ill they have completely hijacked the campaign for Senate for their ideals (Hint: One of them is Establishment based, Steve Bannon is learning that once a weapon is used the other side learns real fast).

Today alone I saw multiple stories about a restaurant where the restaurant was either not existing at the time cited, barely existed at the time, was existing in a different State entirely and so forth. Also today I saw multiple analysis of the handwriting including that ‘different inks’ were used, handwriting analysis, people saying the dates were wrong, that he was not the District Attorney (DA) back then, and that the yearbooks were only issued at certain times. Links, pictures, and copies of text from ‘news stories’ were provided in nearly every case.

The Alex Jones side, with some Bannon, seems intent in countering the Establishment side or in confusing the issues, the third party, currently unknown except in style, seems to be playing both sides like a fiddle making them have to respond to yet more data coming out.

Even the real media is caught up in this as they have their own desires and wish to change the seat as much as the Establishment wants to. It’s such a mess that discerning truth has taken a second seat to generating as much noise as is possible. Someone is even doing robocalls now based on the fake news.

The striking part is that inside the various camps you can see a huge spectrum of different responses. Some are choosing to believe the worst of Roy Moore and to excuse that behavior as a means to prevent a Democrat to take the seat, some are choosing to believe that it is made up but are posting that Roy Moore should step aside so that the issue will not cost the Republicans a seat. I would never like to side with Bannon in anything, he is ethically challenged in the extreme, but in this, he seems to be coordinating a strategy against what appears to be an effort by the Establishment to destroy Moore for his primary success against Luther Strange. With no irony, this sort of thing has happened before where Mitch McConnell has helped spread lies and misinformation against candidates who were challenging the power of the establishment. In most of those cases, the lies Mitch spread won over the truth, the victims were exonerated later but never had another chance politically (with one exception, the election of Matt Bevin as Governor after a brutal previous war with McConnell).

Republicans often point at the tribalism of the left, where small segments are given extreme amounts of power in exchange for their voting block. This fake news has fractured the Republicans so thoroughly that it shows in just how people are treating the Roy Moore event.

In the news, and commentators is hard to find someone who is objective anymore. There are people who are cheerleaders for certain politicians, there are people who appear resigned to ‘go with the flow’, people who are pandering to those in power, those who are critical of the powers that be, and so forth. All of this just in one hour of Rush Limbaugh… (end of sarcasm).

Truth is harder to find today than ever before, misinformation and the spreading of it to match one’s worldview seems to be winning. The Father of Lies must be grinning from ear to ear over this.

Meanwhile the rush of fake news has silenced major world events such as the apparent coup in Zimbabwe, the Coup or huge crime ring present in Saudi Arabia, the passing of the Pacific Ocean area Trade Agreement by nations after the dropping out of the United States, the trial of a Democrat in Congress over illegal bribes wrapping up, China sending more nasty messages to North Korea and the attempted assassination of a family member of the North Korean Dictator by North Korean assassins inside China, the poor and unwise pick of a Treasury Secretary, the death of the new Tax Packages presented in Congress, the ever increasing Mueller investigation that now has a half dozen new possible targets, the Trump Jr Twitter with a known Russian agent apparently timing things together during the elections, the Paradise Papers, the trucking strikes going on around the nation and the possible massive increase in costs for freight resulting from bad regulations that are in effect next month, and so forth. You are missing real and major news because of the unleashed torrent, the global and national fake news war that is going on, arriving in your social media and being shared further by you and even by me.

Do yourself a favor, wait a day on your sharing content on Roy Moore, wait to see if it gets countered quickly, instead share a story that has major implications beyond this Senate Race, share a story on kittens, but take a Roy Moore break to slow the tide of the fake news bonanza.

Michael Harrington is a political activist, conservative, a statistician, and an Army veteran



All views expressed by the author belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Little Bytes News.

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Patricia is the founder and editor of Little Bytes News, a former elementary teacher, radio talk show host, political activist and political blogger. In 2012, Patricia was nominated one of “Circle of Moms” top 25 political bloggers.

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