Dear Dirty America

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Making up Fake News Like the Onion or the Pentagon

August 08
06:00 2011
Creating fake news articles is a blast. You, as the author, can control who says what, and which pieces of information are highlighted. It’s all fake, of course, but the approach, the tone, and the specific details all play a role in causing readers to believe your fake news story.

Aude

The Onion is pretty good at doing this. I’ve personally had some success at creating fake news articles that caused some buzz among the proletariat. But, the Pentagon is by far the greatest at creating fake news with posing commentators.

For some reason, everybody believes it when the Pentagon creates fake news.


Matthew Lasar wrote three years ago:

Last month the New York Times published a lengthy expose that revealed how then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld recruited dozens of former military officers to become TV news show cheerleaders for the U.S. war in Iraq. Publicly promoted as objective analysts, the Times revealed that many of these retirees now consult for military contractors that profit from the ongoing conflict. They also had access to regular Pentagon briefings—that is, as long as they hewed to the Rumsfeld line on key issues such as Guantanamo prison, weapons of mass destruction, and the overall success of the occupation.
The report identified retired Marine colonel John C. Garrett as one such analyst who regularly appeared on Fox TV. A lobbyist for Pentagon contracting negotiator Patton Boggs, Garrett benefited from his presence at regular DoD briefings and government paid trips to Iraq. The Times published documents suggesting that Garrett was anxious to please his benefactors. “Please let me know if you have any specific points you want covered or that you would prefer to downplay,” the newspaper quotes him writing to the Pentagon just before President Bush appeared on television to announce the “surge” in Iraq.

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