Well, that was quick: fifteen minutes, according to the Washington Post’s public editor, Margaret Sullivan, who penned a piece on Sunday titled “It’s time to retire the tainted term ‘fake news.’”
It’s not that Sullivan doesn’t think the term fake news has merit. She cites three examples of “fake news,” all from conservative sources, suggesting that all fake news emanates from the Right. This is mildly hilarious since the newspaper she writes for found itself in very hot water recently after falsely reporting — and doubling down on its report — that the Russians had attempted to take down the U.S. power grid.
But its not the egg hardening on the WaPo’s face that is Sullivan’s motivation for calling for a moratorium on the reporting of fake news. Rather, she writes:
[T]he label has been co-opted to mean any number of completely different things: Liberal claptrap. Or opinion from left-of-center. Or simply anything in the realm of news that the observer doesn’t like to hear.
That argument is as facile as it’s false. Since the term fake news entered the vernacular shortly after the presidential election, the so-called elite media have been caught with their pants down so often they are developing chilblain of the posterior.
In many cases, ferreting out examples of fake news in the mainstream media is as simple as going through one’s archives using the search criterion “media bias.” Which is to say the MSM has been at this for decades. That’s one of the reasons the whole charade was so misguided to start with.