Fake news is news that cannot be verified by fact and is deliberately misleading.
Using this criteria, it is fair to say ABC News posted a fake news story on Thursday.
It said Vladimir Putin is “directly linked to US hacking.”
Ever the master spy, Russian President Vladimir Putin, a former KGB colonel, was personally involved in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and efforts to interfere in the American elections, U.S. and foreign intelligence officials tell ABC News.
No evidence provided, simply hyperbolic sensationalism based on the word of organizations that routinely lie, conduct psychological operations, overthrow governments, arm and encouraged terrorists, and have specialized in propaganda since the early 1950s.
Master spy? Putin was a colonel in the KGB. And George H. W. Bush? He was the director of the CIA.
Few probably remember Bush and the CIA spreading fake news.
Back in 2000, Robert Parry, a former Associated Press investigative journalist, wrote:
In early fall of 1976, after a Chilean government assassin had killed a Chilean dissident and an American woman with a car bomb in Washington, D.C., George H.W. Bush’s CIA leaked a false report clearing Chile’s military dictatorship and pointing the FBI in the wrong direction.
The bogus CIA assessment, spread through Newsweek magazine and other U.S. media outlets, was planted despite CIA’s now admitted awareness at the time that Chile was participating in Operation Condor, a cross-border campaign targeting political dissidents, and the CIA’s own suspicions that the Chilean junta was behind the terrorist bombing in Washington… the CIA – then under CIA Director George H.W. Bush – leaked for public consumption an assessment clearing the Chilean government’s feared intelligence service, DINA.
The CIA released fake news to cover up a political murder conducted by one of its paid assets, Chilean intelligence boss Manuel Contreras.
The CIA also produced fake news to make the Chilean military regime look good, according to a declassified report. The report mentions CIA activities “including support for news media committed to creating a positive image for the military junta.”
Parry also reported that Ronald Reagan ran a fake news operation in the 1980s to make the murderous Contras look good. It was called “perception management,” a technique that “began in earnest with the Reagan administration in the 1980s but it would come to be the accepted practice of all subsequent administrations, including the present one of President Barack Obama,” Parry writes.
In that sense, propaganda in pursuit of foreign policy goals would trump the democratic ideal of an informed electorate. The point would be not to honestly inform the American people about events around the world but to manage their perceptions by ramping up fear in some cases and defusing outrage in others depending on the U.S. government’s needs.
In 2008, author Nick Davies exposed how “shadowy intelligence agencies are pumping out black propaganda to manipulate public opinion,” the Independent reported.
For the first time in human history, there is a concerted strategy to manipulate global perception. And the mass media are operating as its compliant assistants, failing both to resist it and to expose it.
The sheer ease with which this machinery has been able to do its work reflects a creeping structural weakness which now afflicts the production of our news. I've spent the last two years researching a book about falsehood, distortion and propaganda in the global media.
In 2013, the CIA’s fake news machine—its Mighty Wurlitzer of lies and distortion—was legalized. On July 2, a little noticed “reform” went into effect. The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012, passed as part of the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, allows the CIA to flood America with government propaganda.
Because the CIA has a long history of fabricating fake news, we should call it out on this latest accusation and demand evidence to back up its unsubstantiated claim.
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