The Daily Beast’s title pretty much summarizes the situation: The Washington Post has placed itself, however unwittingly, on a fake news hot seat. And it may emerge from this debacle not only with a badly reddened backside but also with a deeply tarnished reputation.
By now, most informed Americans know the drill: A Post article published over the Thanksgiving holidays maintains that deft Russian propagandists have actively colluded with or deluded certain news U.S. news sources to disseminate fake news and with the goal of destabilizing American democracy and, in the course of which, undermining Hillary Clinton’s candidacy and electing Donald Trump.
Several of the news sites targeted by the article are enraged and threatening legal action.
The focus of the outrage stems from the Post’s use of a highly specious and secretive source, PropOrNot, whose media blacklist was posted online only a few days after the group launched its Twitter feed, according to The Daily Beast.
From my prospective, what has transpired almost exceeds the bounds of belief. As a late Baby Boomer, I was brought up within an educational environment in which the whole premise of blacklisting was roundly condemned and characterized as one of the more odious penchants of the American Right.
Now, of all people, The Washington Post, which built a journalistic legacy reporting on and condemning McCarthyist blacklists and Nixonian enemies lists, appears to have employed slipshod journalism – if this even qualifies as conventional journalism – to construct a blacklist of its own.
In the aftermath of all of this, I’ll say this to my liberal friends and acquaintances and left-wing posters to this site: Please don’t lecture me anymore about the authoritarian proclivities of the right unless you are willing to concede an inconvenient truth, namely that the left-leaning Establishment appears to harbor a few authoritarian aspirations of its own.