It’s been well over two months since Donald Trump won the presidential election. Though since being sworn in, seeing approval ratings rise and making good on campaign promises during his first week, folks are still doing their best to stir up controversy over the the results.
Apparently a fake news site called USA News Today has been blasting rumors around the internet about Republicans taking payments from Hillary Clinton in a bid to try and destroy Trump.
This fanciful piece of fiction has made the rounds across Facebook, spreading misinformation far and wide all over cyberspace.
According to ABC News:
A fake news article headlined “JUST IN: 6 REPUBLICANS TOOK SECRET PAYMENTS FROM CLINTON TO DESTROY TRUMP” has been all over Facebook during the last several weeks, spreading misinformation on a conspiracy between former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and several high-ranking Republicans — a conspiracy that never actually happened.
The article goes on to say:
The fake article cites “an email from John Podesta to Huma Abedin that was released as document number 1078645” in July. This document is supposed to reveal that political action committees run by former GOP candidates Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich would “receive a significant allowance from advertising budget.”
Document number 1078645 actually corresponds to a WikiLeaks-released email from the intelligence company Stratfor on operations in Saudi Arabia in November 2009. It has nothing to do with Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. And it is not a matter of a mis-numbered document, since a search of all WikiLeaks for the text of the purported email at the center of the story comes up empty.
“HRC is in the loop and has talked to all three personally. Eyes only,” says the fake email — that phrase and others quoted don’t appear anywhere on the WikiLeaks website.
The three GOP presidential candidates mentioned — Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina and John Kasich — had all ended their campaigns by the time the fake article claims the “source” emails were sent. It therefore can’t be true that these GOP campaigns were subsequently “on Hillary Clinton’s payroll.”
The story goes on to falsely claim that dollars from Hillary Clinton’s campaign were funneled to Sen. John McCain’s U.S. Senate re-election campaign.
“FEC reports shows that two large donations from PACS and private sources ln [sic] early October went to John McCain right after he attacked Trump publicly criticized Trump,” says the fake story, even though it’s impossible to register “private sources” of money with the Federal Election Commission.
An ABC News analysis of campaign finance documents found no such transactions. The article falsely asserts that Clinton and her aides somehow cleared the field for Sen. Lindsey Graham’s re-election bid in 2020.
The report goes on to state that the article was chock full of spelling and grammatical errors, usually signs the story itself is fake and is simply being pushed around the internet for the sake of advertising dollars.
One of the reasons this work of fiction managed to catch so much traction was due in large part to the story being featured on Sean Hannity’s radio show before Christmas.
This is a prime example of the negative impact fake news can have on our culture as there are many folks out there who will simply not put in the effort to check the accuracy of something that comes across their social media feeds.
There are tons of parasites out on the web who see alternative media as a means of making a quick buck and they have no qualms about lying to fulfill their goals.
However, there are far more genuine sources covering the material the mainstream media refuses to air, so for the sake of a free press, people can’t throw the proverbial baby out with the bath water.
Instead, double check the information you receive to ensure it’s credible.
[Note: This article was written by Michael Cantrell]