Fake news sites have been booming this year, and well before that. But the name “RealTrueNews” probably should have tipped off someone.
“This ‘Conservative News Site’ Trended on Facebook, Showed Up on FOX News – and Duped the World”
by Ben Collins
The Daily Beast
October 27, 2016
Marco Chacon had only spent about $20 on his conservative news website, RealTrueNews, when he heard his words in prime time on Fox News’ The Kelly File.
“Yeah,” Chacon said. “That was an accident.”
Just as he’d done for the last few months, Chacon had read the latest explosive conservative news—this time it was Hillary Clinton’s leaked speeches to Wall Street banks—and typed up an imagined transcript of his own.
“So in the transcript, she’s explaining Bronies to the Goldman Sachs board of directors,” said Chacon. “Do you know what Bronies are?”
Bronies are hard-core, usually adult fans of the cartoon My Little Pony.
“In this one, [Bronies] are part of a threat of subalterns who are going to take over the election. And people believe all this,” he said. “And I’m just… I’m telling people, ‘How can you believe this!?’”
Somewhere in the middle of that block of text about My Little Pony, Chacon’s transcript contained the phrase “bucket of losers,” attributed, falsely of course, to Clinton, which legitimate conservative news websites picked up as real.
Sure enough, by 9 p.m. that day, Trace Gallagher was on Fox News telling viewers that Clinton had “apparently called Bernie Sanders supporters a ‘bucket of losers.’” (Megyn Kelly later apologized after the Clinton campaign vehemently denied Clinton said it.)
Taking official-looking documents at face value isn’t just burgeoning among alt-right media. It’s a tactic now endorsed by the Republican candidate for president. Keep reading.