aside Anatomy Of A Fake News Story /How Does The President-Elect Gets His News?

During this 2016 U.S. presidential election cycle, “Fake News” stories have reached millions of viewers to the chagrin of the establishment media. This fake news phenomenon has not only competed for reader viewership but it has taken its share of the pie of advertising dollars. Finally, Facebook and Google are taking steps to end this fake news industry which has had an undue influence in this year’s presidential elections.fake-news-cartoon-beeler

On 11/5/16, David Mikkelson of exposed a fake news story which had gained traction with a lot of press coverage. This is what a successful  fake news story looks like:

FBI Agent Suspected in Hillary Email Leaks Found Dead

Reports that an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server killed himself after murdering his wife are just fake news.

CLAIM: An FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server killed himself after murdering his wife.


ORIGIN:On 5 November 2016, the Denver Guardian web site published an article positing that an FBI agent investigating Hillary Clinton’s use of a private e-mail server killed himself after murdering his wife:

Walkerville, MD — An FBI agent believed to be responsible for the latest email leaks “pertinent to the investigation” into Hillary Clinton’s private email server while she was Secretary of State, was found dead in an apparent murder-suicide early Saturday morning, according to police.

Investigators believe FBI agent, Michael Brown, 45, shot and killed his 33-year-old wife, Susan Brown, late Friday night before setting the couple’s home on fire and then turning the gun on himself. Brown was a 12 year veteran of the Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police Department before spending the last six years in the FBI.

There was no truth to this story. The Denver Guardian is simply a fake news web site masquerading as the online arm of a (non-existent) big city newspaper. Like the Baltimore Gazette, the Denver Guardian is nothing more than a hastily thrown together web site with a bunch of non-working links and a fake street address, all created for the sole purpose of disseminating fabricated clickbait news stories.

MY THOUGHTS: It is disturbing to me that the president-elect has selected Steve Bannon, who is the former chairman to Breibart News to be his chief strategist. Breibart News is a favorite resource for those trafficking and reveling in “Fake News.” Then there is the retired Lt. General Mike Flynn who will be vetting data for the president-elect,.as a conspiracy theory enthusiast and the national security advisor.

In the recent past, the president-elect has verbalized facts which have on too many occasions, turned out to be total fabrications, based on fake news. As a fellow blogger keeps saying, it is difficult enough for a leader to govern based on an abundance of accurate, and competently vetted data.

BuzzFeed News has analyzed all the links Donald Trump tweeted since he launched his presidential campaign to determine where the president-elect gets his news. The following results have been posted on 12/3/16 by Charlie Warzel and Lam Thuy Vo:

“Since winning the presidential election, Donald Trump has reportedly skipped out on the majority of his intelligence briefings; this past Sunday, Trump made headlines after sharing false information blaming his loss of the popular vote on mass voter fraud — a claim previously reported by the conspiracy news site Infowars. It’s been widely reported that Trump is an obsessive consumer of cable news — he has himself admitted to receiving at least a portion of his military advice from “the shows.”Related image

“To better understand Trump’s media consumption, BuzzFeed News turned to the president-elect’s largest source of public proclamations and shared news: Twitter.  While Trump’s media consumption and methods appear opaque and unconventional, the stories he chooses to share with his now 16 million–plus followers offer a unique window into the news and commentary that catch his eye.”

“Our analysis revealed a media ecosystem that appears to largely reinforce and affirm the views publicly expressed by Trump and his closest advisers. The news stories Trump tweets share several characteristics: 1) They often favor sensationalism over facts and reporting; 2) They frequently echo direct quotes from Trump himself or his closest advisers; and 3) They routinely malign his enemies and vindicate his most controversial opinions.”


“When it comes to news sources, the stories tweeted by Mr. Trump (and the staffers who sometimes manage his Twitter account) suggest that he is unfazed by news of questionable accuracy, likely to rely on hyper-partisan news, and apt to promote mainstream news only when it validates his opinions. While politicians from both sides of the aisle use their Twitter accounts to share content that furthers their agendas, Trump’s reliance on sources and stories of questionable accuracy stands out both in frequency and in engagement. The stories shared by Trump’s account throughout his campaign suggest the president-elect has constructed a powerful online filter bubble that largely flatters and confirms that which he claims to be true.”Using his tweeted links as a guide, Trump’s favorite information source appears to be Twitter itself. Nearly half of the hyperlinks shared by Trump’s account during his presidential campaign come from Twitter URLs. Many show Trump retweeting his fans, including — according to Fortune — at least 75 retweets of white supremacists and a false claim about gun violence demographics. Trump’s other most frequently tweeted links are to his Facebook page (266 links) and his website (201 links — most referring to statements, event schedules, and voter information).”

Here is a link to the entire BuzzFeed story: Here’s Where Donald Trump Gets His News – BuzzFeed News


  1. Gronda, I was watching one of his spokespersons answer the question about the 3 million votes illegally made on PBS Newshour. Rather than back down on this refuted story, he again cited Trump had taken legitimate studies and applied percentages to the vote counts. He would not cite the studies or the math, but doubled down. It should be noted these studies were faulty and applied to earlier elections. So, it was a leap. When he said he applied the percentages that should have been evidenced that he made up the numbers.

    It gets back to the data Politifacts has tracked in the campaign which mirrors his entire career. Trump lies far more times than he tells the truth. So, we should start from the position a betting person and take everything he says as a lie until it is proven to be true. This jives with an attorney who worked for him for years who simply said “Trump lies all of the time.”

    What makes this more sad, he has chosen Bannon a purveyor of fake news and racism and Flynn who believes everything is a conspiracy in key roles.


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