A finance and economics blog called Naked Capitalism was one of many websites listed in a recent Washington Post article as being so-called fake news. Now, an attorney representing the website will be suing the Post for defamation unless they issue a retraction and an apology.
“You did not provide even a single example of ‘fake news’ allegedly distributed or promoted by Naked Capitalism or indeed any of the 200 sites on the PropOrNot blacklist,” the blog’s attorney James A. Moody writes in a letter to the Post. “You provided no discussion or assessment of the credentials or backgrounds of these so-called ‘researchers’ (Clint Watts, Andrew Weisburd, and J.M. Berger and the ‘team’ at PropOrNot), and no discussion or analysis of the methodology, protocol or algorithms such ‘researchers’ may or may not have followed.”
WaPo alleged in their article that a “sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign” was underway spreading fake news in order to derail the Hillary Clinton campaign. That is the stuff conspiracy theories are made of. Ironically, by the media’s own definition, this WaPo article was an example of fake news.
The defamation suit includes emotional distress, according to their attorney’s letter:
“Moreover, writers and editors associated with Naked Capitalism face ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement, including for example, difficulty passing background and security checks.”
At this point, a retraction and an apology probably aren’t going to do much. The damage has already been done.
The fake news designation has absolutely nothing to do with trying to prevent misinformation from getting out to the public. Misinformation has always been around. This is nothing new. What is new is that the alternative, conservative media is a threat to the giant media networks. People don’t trust the mainstream media. If fewer and fewer people are watching national media networks, and buying “reputable” newspapers like the Washington Post, then that means these businesses are losing ad revenue. Calling their competitors ‘fake news’ has as its purpose to discredit and eliminate them.
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