Since “fake news” is all the rage within the mainstream media, here’s the top 10 “real” news stories they reported on — and some downright propagandized — that turned out to be, well, fake. It’s the reason this new narrative of “fake news” will never catch on, and why Americans’ trust in the press is at an all-time low.
1. If you like your health care plan, you can keep it
In selling his health care overhaul, on at least 37 separate occasions, President Barack Obama pledged that Americans would be allowed to keep the plans they liked. In 2013, about 4 million Americans got cancellation letters, and PolitiFact labeled the statement the lie of the year.
But that didn’t stop reporters from writing repeated stories beforehand on how great Obamacare would be, even though, the administration knew at the time they were making the statements, some health coverage would be lost.
2. Hands Up, Don’t Shoot
“Hands up, don’t shoot” didn’t happen in Ferguson, Missouri, but that didn’t stop the narrative from spreading throughout the news media and in Black Lives Matter protests. Faulty witness accounts spread the rumor that Michael Brown had his hands raised in surrender, and mouthed the words “don’t shoot” before being shot by cop Darren Wilson.
A grand jury couldn’t confirm the narrative, and neither could the Department of Justice in its own investigation of the shooting. What was confirmed was that Brown fought with the officer and tried to take his gun. The popular “hands up” slogan couldn’t be corroborated by any ballistic evidence, reliable witness statements, or DNA samples.
According to the DOJ report: “Although some witnesses state that Brown held his hands up at shoulder level with his palms facing outward for a brief moment, these same witnesses describe Brown then dropping his hands and ‘charging’ at Wilson.”
It was all a lie.
3. The Iran deal was negotiated with moderate Iranians, not the radical mullahs
This was the narrative in the mainstream media while the deal was being made. It was not until an insightful New York Times Magazine piece did we see how the Obama administration snowballed the press with its lies.
“All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes told The Times in May. “Now they don’t. They call us to explain to them what’s happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change.
“They literally know nothing,” he said.
That’s how Mr. Rhodes was able to shape the narrative that the U.S. was negotiating with moderate Iranians, not the hardliners. In The Times piece, Mr. Rhodes admits the administration wasn’t “betting on” moderates taking charge in Iran, but that he was just selling the deal to a gullible press in order to further his boss’s legacy.
4. Bowe Bergdahl exchange was hard-fought/negotiated
In 2014, the Obama administration allowed five detainees at Guantanamo Bay to be transferred to Qatar in exchange for the release of Army Sgt Bowe Bergdahl, who was being held by the Taliban. The exchange was lauded by the press and at the Rose Garden, where President Obama held a ceremony saying Mr. Bergdahl was “never forgotten.”
“Sergeant Bergdahl has missed birthdays, and holidays and simple moments with family and friends which all of us take for granted. But while Bowe was gone, he was never forgotten” — not by his family or his hometown in Idaho or the military, Mr. Obama said. “And he wasn’t forgotten by his country, because the United States of America does not ever leave our men and women in uniform behind.”
It was later revealed Mr. Bergdahl deserted his unit, and that’s why he was captured by the Taliban. He’s been ordered to face a general court martial on two charges, which could impose a lifetime sentence. Mr. Bergdahl has requested a pardon from Mr. Obama.
5. Benghazi attack inspired by online viral video
According to the Benghazi Report released this year by Congress, the Obama administration knew almost immediately after the attack on the American consulate it was one of terrorism, but were unwilling to admit it to the American public. The media was all too willing to swallow the administration’s weak lie the attack — which happened on Sept. 11 — was a spontaneous event spurred by protests of an online video that was offensive to the Prophet Muhammad.
6. Climate change will produce more storms like Hurricane Katrina
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the media and liberals like Al Gore were predicting more storms in our future because of the rapid pace of climate change.
In 2006 CBS’s Hannah Storm predicted Katrina-like storms would happen “all along our Atlantic and Gulf coastlines,” and CBS anchor Russ Mitchell said there was “no end in sight” for big hurricanes a month after Katrina hit landfall.
On Sept. 18, 2005, NBC Nightly News anchor John Seigenthaler said, “scientists studying the earth’s climate say we are experiencing stronger hurricanes in this century, a trend that’s likely to continue.”
Guess what? The U.S. hasn’t experienced a storm like Katrina since it hit more than a decade ago.
7. Cuba has great health care; murderous dictator Fidel Castro was good
After the death of Fidel Castro this month, the mainstream media went out of its way to romanticize the leadership of the murderous dictator — saying although the country was communist, he was a great orator who inspired his people and healthcare and literacy improved under his watch.
“How Cubans Live as Long as Americans at a Tenth a Cost,” an Atlantic headline read on Nov. 29, four days after Mr. Castro’s death. “Lessons of physical prosperity in a despotic regime.”
The Los Angeles Times wrote in an opinion piece: “Fidel Castro, human rights violator that he was, did plenty of good for Cuba.”
Oh really? Mr. Castro oppressed his people for 59 years, torturing and killing an estimated 15,000 of his own citizens who opposed him. His reign was so idyllic, over an eighth of the island’s population chose to go into exile, with about 700,000 coming into the U.S. prior to 1980.
8. Myth of the killer cop epidemic
If you were to listen to the Black Lives Matter movement and it’s sympathizers in the media, you would think that white police officers were out targeting and killing black men at an unprecedented tick. Black Lives Matter, and all of its umbrella organizations, has claimed that every 28 hours a black man is killed by a police officer.
The figure comes from an April 2013 report called “Operation Ghetto Storm,” by the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. The report “is a window offering a cold, hard, and fact-based view into the thinking and practice of a government and society that will spare no cost to control the lives of Black people,” the preface reads.
The Washington Post’s fact-checker gave the claim four Pinocchios, saying the victims studied in the report were not all unarmed, and they were not all killed by the police. The group was including those who rushed and or ambushed police in their report as well as those killed by “police officers, security guards or vigilantes.” As you can imagine, the term vigilantes was loosely defined.
A Harvard study has also disproved Black Lives Matter’s notion that there’s racial bias in police shootings.
The paper for the National Bureau of Economic Research, which examined thousands of incidents at 10 large police departments in California, Florida and Texas, concluded that police were no more likely to shoot non-whites than whites after factoring in extenuating circumstances.
9. Donald Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon is a white supremacist
There is absolutely no evidence of this, but the mainstream media loves to splash the idea around — or at least infer that Mr. Bannon, because of his association with alt-right website Breitbart, is a white supremacist, racist, bigoted, xenophobe, etc.
“White nationalists see advocate in Steve Bannon who will hold Trump to his campaign promises,” a CNN headline read.
“Steve ‘Turn on the Hate’ Bannon in the White House,” The New York Times editorial board wrote.
The New York Daily News added fuel to the fire writing: “Here’s why white supremacist groups love Stephen Bannon.”
It’s all in an effort to smear the man who won Mr. Trump the White House, and therefore the president-elect himself.
10. Donald Trump can’t win the White House
Mr. Trump’s campaign manager Kellyanne Conway said during a Harvard University panel last week that the mainstream media’s narrative saying Mr. Trump could never get the 270 electoral college votes he needed to win the White House was the biggest fake news of them all.
And she was right.
Going into Nov. 8, here’s a sampling of the mainstream media’s headlines — heck, Newsweek thought Hillary Clinton had it such in the bag they printed out copies of their magazine ahead of time with the title: “Madam President.”
NBC: “On eve of election day, Clinton maintains her lead over Trump”
Washington Post: “Hillary Clinton has enough electoral votes to win the White House in final Fix map”
New York Times: “Inside Donald Trump’s Last Stand: An Anxious Nominee Seeks Assurance”
CNN: “CNN’s Poll of Polls show Clinton leading Trump by a 4-point margin”