Fake news, once the preserve of Macedonian teenagers, has moved mainstream. Yesterday I posted on an New York Times story that grotesquely misrepresented Rick Perry’s knowledge of the Department of Energy. Today we go to a story made up out of whole cloth by CNN.
According to news reports, Donald Trump has selected the Frank Sinatra classic, “My Way,” as the first song to be played at the official inaugural ball. Nancy Sinatra, who has made the total transition from sex kitten to left wing harpy, is no Donald Trump fan, and tweeted this:
That first line, of course, is:
And now, the end is near
The brought out the crazy in the media, for instance,
— The Hill (@thehill) January 19, 2017
— billboard (@billboard) January 19, 2017
Sinatra was actually a lot more philosophical and easy-going than her frothing followers:
What drew particular ire was this story:
— CNN (@CNN) January 19, 2017
The story is obviously wrong, both in substance and in context. She didn’t say she was unhappy about Trump using the song and her subsequent tweets make it clear that she was enough of an adult to realize she had no rights at all when it came to the use of the song.
This type of fake news, because that is exactly what it is, is much more pernicious than clickbait bullsh** pushed out on Facebook. This kind of knowingly false and misleading information gains currency because of the imprimatur that the brand of the news organization brings with it. You can’t classify this as a “mistake” or “error” because other outlets, even when going full metal Pulitzer-Hearst yellow journalism, didn’t attribute any statement or belief to Sinatra. They simply used their own take on what she tweeted. CNN was obviously trying to rope Sinatra into the great mob of entertainment figures who have said they want nothing to do with Trump and if they had to lie a bit to make their narrative work, so be it.