Following Donald Trump’s surprise victory over Hillary Clinton, we were fed a narrative of an epidemic of “fake news” sweeping the nation (as if hyperbolic or fake news isn’t as old as news itself).
Why? Probably because the mainstream media was at a loss to explain how Trump could possibly have won when they were unanimously opposed to him. The only reason people wouldn’t buy into their reporting is if they were being fed a steady diet of lies, apparently. Of course, “fake news” was really just a euphemism for “conservative news,” which conservatives quickly realized and appropriated the “fake news” label for themselves to mock liberals.
Donald Trump famously told CNN’s Jim Acosta at his first press conference “you are fake news” (to applause), and Jake Tapper said his own 7-year-old son even uses the “fake news” quip against him.
Desperate for the “fake news” narrative to emerge from the ashes once again, Harvard University has released its own list of “fake news,” which includes just about every conservative website you could think of (with the exception of www.allenbwest.com).
This portion of the library’s website, which can be found in the “research guides” section, is intended to give students, “a brief introduction to the spread of misinformation of all kinds and tools for identifying it, and reading the news with a more informed eye,” according to the site. The “fake news” page includes the aptly titled subsection: “False, Misleading, Clickbait-y, and Satirical ‘News’ Sources .”
Well, at least they’re a bit more specific than just “fake news” now, and dividing up content they dislike with the tags “fake, satire, bias, conspiracy, rumor, junk science, hate, clickbait, unreliable, and political.”
So who makes the list? As previously stated, just about every conservative website makes a cameo, sandwiched between actual conspiracy websites.
Our friends over at Young Conservatives are listed as “biased,” as if anyone couldn’t glean their political leanings from the name of the website. Truthfeed is listed as a “hate” website, Ben Shapiro’s “Daily Wire” is listed as “biased” (also “duh”), as is the Heritage Foundation’s Daily Signal, Conservative Tribune, Independent Journal Review, among many, many others.
And the sources that they list as “credible?” LGBT rights magazine the Advocate, far-left Alternet, the Center for American Progress, and Fusion. The only source on the entire list of 900+ news websites listed as “credible” with a center-right bent (technically libertarian in this case) is the Cato institute.
With a list as biased against reality as that, should we be offended we weren’t included?
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]