Last week, Hillary Clinton told Congress that an epidemic of “fake news and false propaganda” had flooded social media. She said, “This is not about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days to do their jobs, contribute to their communities,” Clinton said. “It is a danger that must be addressed and addressed quickly.”
The liberals would love to do away with free speech, as Hillary Clinton would have if she’d been elected and could have packed the Supreme Court with liberals who would have reversed the Citizens United decision and others protecting free speech. But the best way to do away with about 99 percent of the “fake news” that is broadcast and printed is for the liberals and their media allies to stop creating it.
Fake news — propaganda — is often risible and easily recognized. When the North Korean government described the first time Kim Jong-Il (father of Kim Jong-Loon, the current dictator) went golfing, they broadcast that he scored a hole-in-one five times in one round of golf.
These days, the liberal media don’t wait for enemy governments to make stuff up. They do it themselves.
Eleven years ago, a breathless Dan Rather reported a 60 Minutes story based on newly discovered Texas Air National Guard documents. Rather purported to prove that President George W. Bush violated orders, evaded the draft, and broke a whole bunch of Air Force regulations decades ago while a pilot for the Texas ANG.
The documents were obviously forgeries, a fact that came out within hours of Rather’s report when a few experts at a conservative blog site saw that the typeface couldn’t have been produced when the documents were alleged to have been, because they were printed on a modern computer’s printer rather than a typewriter.
That was a perfect example of fake news.
Another was Hillary Clinton’s claim that in 1996 she and her daughter Chelsea had landed in Bosnia under sniper fire. (In 2003 news anchor Brian Williams made a similar claim, reporting that a helo he was riding in was forced down by gunfire during the Iraq invasion. He must have been so lazy that he essentially plagiarized Clinton’s 1996 claim.)
But all those examples are small potatoes. There is only one King of Fake News. That’s President Barack Obama.
Everyone remembers his line, “If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it,” which was PolitiFact’s lie of the year in 2013. But to fully grasp how Obama and his disastrous team relied on their media pals to spread fake news in order to propel his agenda for the past eight years we have to recall the actions of three people: Jonathan Gruber, Ben Rhodes, and Susan Rice.
Jonathan Gruber was one of the principal architects of Obamacare. Although Obama denied that Gruber was on his staff, Gruber was paid about $400,000 to draft parts of the Obamacare bill. The individual mandate — which requires every American to buy health insurance or pay a fine — is his idea.
In 2014, seven videos of Gruber’s speeches were published. In them, he ridiculed Americans, saying we are so thoroughly stupid that he and the rest of Obama’s team were able to lie on fundamental points of Obamacare to get the bill through Congress and engage the media to publish their lies.
In the videos, Gruber boasted that if people had been told the truth about Obamacare, the bill would have died in Congress. He said the bill “was written in a tortured way so that the Congressional Budget Office didn’t determine that the individual mandate was a tax. He said “the lack of transparency is a huge political advantage” and that “the stupidity of the American voter… was really, really critical for the thing to pass.”
Ben Rhodes is Obama’s Deputy National Security Advisor for “strategic communications.” He writes many of Obama’s speeches, plans his foreign trips, and, according to a May 2016 paean to him in the New York Times, is the most influential foreign policy voice in the White House, second only to the president.
The article quoted Rhodes bragging about how he and Obama had lied to Americans and the rest of the world sufficiently to sell Obama’s nuclear weapons deal with Iran to the public.
The article recounts, in specific terms, how Obama and Rhodes lied to Congress and the American people, employing the useful idiots of the media. It wasn’t hard to bamboozle the press, he said, because where once there were foreign press bureaus staffed with experienced reporters, now there are only domestic reporters, 20-somethings who literally knew nothing. Rhodes bragged about having created an “echo chamber” in the media, think tanks, and all around the country to spread disinformation about the deal.
Obama’s — Rhodes’s — campaign to sell the Iran deal to the public was, as the Times article boasts, almost entirely false:
Rhodes’s innovative campaign to sell the Iran deal is likely to be a model for how future administrations explain foreign policy to Congress and the public. The way in which most Americans have heard the story of the Iran deal presented — that the Obama administration began seriously engaging with Iranian officials in 2013 in order to take advantage of a new political reality in Iran, which came about because of elections that brought moderates to power in that country — was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal. Even where the particulars of that story are true, the implications that readers and viewers are encouraged to take away from those particulars are often misleading or false.
Mao Tse-tung said that “a lie repeated a hundred times becomes the truth.” Obama and Rhodes and their media-think tank “echo chamber” told the lies supporting the Iran deal tens of thousands of times to create their own “truth.” It was, and is, a mountain of “fake news.”
And then there’s Susan Rice, formerly UN Ambassador and now Obama’s National Security Advisor.
After receiving briefings from Rhodes and others on Obama’s staff, she went on five Sunday morning political talk shows five days after the September 11, 2012 Benghazi attacks. She told the same lie on each show, that the attacks were spontaneous and a reaction to an anti-Muslim video that virtually no one had seen. She, Rhodes, Obama, and Clinton all knew that the Benghazi attacks were carefully planned terrorist attacks. (There is an email from Clinton to her daughter Chelsea, sent during the attacks, that admits that fact.)
Clinton reportedly told the mother of one of the Benghazi victims, at a ceremony at Joint Base Andrews when the bodies were brought back for funerals, that the attacks were in reaction to the video.
Obama, Clinton, Gruber, Rhodes, and Rice lied in furtherance of Obama’s agenda. In doing so, they succeeded in creating mountains of fake news — disinformation — for the president’s political purposes.
Though others in history — Stalin, Mao, Hitler to name just a few — created their own fake news to change history, President Obama has to be recognized as the modern King of Fake News.