Take their memes from them, use them for your own purposes, club them to death with them, and make the little libtard propagandists cry.
I should have realized that any person, idea, or phrase — however neutral in its intention — could be twisted into a partisan cudgel. I had always reported on fake news generated from both the left and the right. But after the 2016 election, shocked US Democrats, looking for explanations, adopted the concept as an easy answer to the puzzle of Donald Trump’s election. And in response, Trump and his supporters saw the term as a threat and an insult — and a weapon.
The end of “fake news” as I knew it came on Jan. 11, 2017, when Donald Trump — master of branding — redefined the term to mean, effectively, news reports he didn’t like. The previous day CNN and BuzzFeed News had reported on the existence of the Steele dossier.
Trump stood on stage during his first press conference since Election Day and pointed his finger at CNN’s Jim Acosta. “I’m not going to give you a question — you are fake news.” (He also called BuzzFeed a “failing pile of garbage.”)
In that moment, fake news was conscripted to fight in the partisan wars, and was co-opted by Trump. This instantly made it harder to win the actual fight against the manipulation of platforms for profit and propaganda, the real challenges facing democracy in a connected age, and the risks of censorship from platforms and governments alike.
And let’s all just never mind that the Steele dossier was in fact the biggest Big Lie of them all, a record-shattering demonstration of Fake News in full effect, and that Trump was absolutely right to call out the manipulative worms pimping the thing at CNN and BuzzFeed on it. So how ya liking your Alinksy Rule 4 now, punks?
Why yes, as a matter of fact I DID intend that last paragraph as a practical example of Rule 5. As Glenn says: “Amazing how often those Lefty torpedoes have circled back around on their creators.” Ain’t it just. Funny as hell, too. But then, torpedoes will do that sometimes.