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Kavanaugh, DeSantis and the Human Cost of Fake News

Politico, the media outlet of choice for flacks and hacks, has declared that Ron DeSantis, the conservative Republican running for Governor of Florida, against the media’s favorite new socialist, suffered his “fifth race-related” controversy.

That fifth “controversy” is about something that somebody who isn’t DeSantis tweeted. The fourth controversy also involved a DeSantis donor. The third controversy falsely smeared the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Restoration Weekend attended by DeSantis (and Medal of Honor winner Clinton Romesha). The second involved a GOP official who also isn’t DeSantis. And the first was that DeSantis had been added without his knowledge to a Facebook group where other people said racist things.

And the media actually dares to get offended when people call it, ‘Fake News’.

What the five “race-related” scandals have in common is that none of them involve DeSantis. They’re all guilt by association. Even by the loosest possible association, a donor, a GOP official, someone on the same Facebook page or someone in Florida.

These fake news scandals aren’t being generated because there’s any basis to the racism smear. It’s a strategic campaign decision made because DeSantis’ opponent, Andrew Gillum, is African-American. Since Gillum is black, the Democrats decided to accuse DeSantis of racism. (If DeSantis were running against a woman, he would be accused of sexism.) And the media decided to advance the smear by inventing “race-related” scandals based on the flimsiest of premises to help the Democrats win.

The fake news template is to find somebody in Florida who said something controversial, then to demand that the DeSantis campaign disavow it. And presto, there’s another “race-related” controversy.

But the DeSantis fake news blizzard is mild compared to the campaign against Brett Kavanaugh.

Like DeSantis, the Kavanaugh smear was a purely tactical decision. Once the Democrats had decided to narrow the focus of their campaign to abortion, accusations that played on sexism were inevitable.

The shoddiness of the accusations were equally inevitable.

NBC News decided to go with a Facebook post by a classmate of the Kavanaugh accuser, which she later pulled. “Kavanaugh Accuser’s Classmate: ‘That It Happened Or Not, I Have No Idea’”, became a headline. Giving NBC a run for its money, The Guardian ran with a claim that a professor, who is not Kavanaugh, had advised students who wanted to clerk for Kavanaugh to dress attractively.

Third degree hearsay is what the media does now.

This isn’t just bad because the media is turning the political culture into a toxic pool of poison, destroying anything that smacks of civility or ethics (while trashing its own reputation in the bargain.)

There is a human cost to fake news.

The media took up the banner of fighting fake news after the election (by banning opposition media outlets and embedding its own fact checks into social media) as a threat to democracy. Fake news is bad for democracy. And the media ought to know that since there isn’t an election anywhere in the country for a position higher than town dog catcher that it doesn’t try to hijack with smears and lies.

Read the full story from Front Page Mag

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