During the 2010 Minnesota gubernatorial race, the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” spread a story – Target was “anti-gay”.
They weren’t, of course; Target has always been socially progressive to a fault; by 2010, they spun themselves into a fair tizzy over every PC fad that came along. They still do.
But they’d donated money to the Tom Emmer campaign. And Tom Emmer opposed same sex marriage – exactly as the majority of the DFL did, on the record, at that point.
And so the “Alliance for a Better Minnesota” created a wave of “fake news” (and even more mangled advocacy reporting) to attack Target and Emmer. Waves of paid and DFL-affiliated “protesters” descended on Target; after that, the media breathlessly proclaimed their campaign was having an effect on Target’s share price (it wasn’t) based on a report from a “progressive” fund that owned pennies on pennies on the Target dollar. The media, played enthusiastically along, for the same reasons they did with Hillary. In one cast, CBS news collaborated, willingly or not, with a local left-wing advocacy group to create an entirely fake news story.
The goal, of course, was to simultaneously attack Emmer and try to intimidate Minnesota businesses into not donating to Republicans; if they could cause problems for the mighty Target, what could they do to a machine shop in Owatonna?
So when Democrats whinge about “fake news” – they sowed the wind,
But did they reap the whirlwind?
Hillary is blaming “fake news” for her loss:
“The epidemic of malicious fake news and false propaganda that flooded social media over the past year — it’s now clear the so-called fake news can have real-world consequences,” Clinton said during a speech on Capitol Hill.
Some Democrats have argued the spread of anti-Clinton fake news online contributed to her electoral loss to Donald Trump.
Several problems with this theory:
- There was at least as much “fake news” supporting Hillary. My social media feed was clogged with photomemes and phony stories from groups like “Occupy Democrats”.
- Beyond the purportedly fake news and “propaganda” epidemic, the mainstream media wallowed in a Pauline Kael-like echo chamber of pro-HIllary bias, to the point of publishing, well, “fake news” against Trump, to the point where the publisher of the NYTimes felt the need to publicly rededicate his paper to not doing the things that the media’s apologists say it never did.
- Not so much a “problem” but an observation; this is just another symptom of the cranky arrogance that helped Clinton lose the election in the first place; “If you deplorables weren’t so stupid, believing the wrong fake news, ‘d be in the White House again!”.
The mainstream media is less fake than “Occupy Democrats” – but it’s a matter of degree.
Berg’s Seventh Law is getting an epic workout this cycle.