(Tea Party PAC) – When “fake news” first became a buzzword, it was done so by folks on the left who wanted to toss insults at independent news sources and aggregates who were spreading around information liberals didn’t want you to see. Because facts, in the hands of a freethinking people, are dangerous things to those who crave power and are willing to do anything in order to get it and keep it.
Progressives don’t want you to see the other side of the story, because doing so means that you will be apt to think for yourself, to engage the ideas and policies they try to shove down your throat. You’ll see for yourself that what these folks want to do is bad for the economy and muzzles our individual liberties and that’s a no-no.
Well, the term “fake news” has been redeemed thanks to President Trump’s application of the phrase to actual false reporting done by mainstream media outlets like CNN. Now it’s a term we on the right use to slam those same institutions who belittled us for sharing the other side of the story, the less convenient facts no one wanted you to see.
In fact, this phrase now fits well with Vox founder and current editor-at-large Ezra Klein, who kicked off 2020 by sharing fake news in a viral tweet.
Here’s more from The Daily Caller:
Klein tweeted out a nine-month-old Washington Post article stating counties that hosted Trump rallies saw massive spikes in hate crimes compared to counties that didn’t host Trump rallies. Klein’s tweet garnered more than 7,000 retweets and more than 14,000 likes by Wednesday afternoon.
But what Klein didn’t tell his 2.5 million followers was that the article was based on a study that was thoroughly debunked months prior by researchers at Harvard University.
"We found that counties that had hosted a 2016 Trump campaign rally saw a 226 percent increase in reported hate crimes over comparable counties that did not host such a rally." https://t.co/zy0093lPoH
— Ezra Klein (@ezraklein) December 31, 2019
“The study is wrong, and yet journalists ran with it anyway,” Harvard researchers Matthew Lilley and Brian Wheaton wrotein a September article published in Reason magazine.
When Lilley and Wheaton tried to replicate the original study, they found that “adding a simple statistical control for county population to the original analysis causes the estimated effect of Trump rallies on reported hate incidents to become statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
The criteria relied upon for the first study actually demonstrated that rallies for former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton “contribute to an even greater increase in hate incidents than Trump rallies,” they noted.
“Given how little scrutiny was required to reveal the flaws in the thesis that Trump rallies cause hate incidents, one cannot help but wonder whether its viral status was aided by journalists predisposed to believe its message,” the Harvard researchers added.
Klein has yet to delete his viral-but-misleading tweet, even after others pointed out that he was promoting a debunked study.
— Vince Coglianese (@VinceCoglianese) December 31, 2019
As expected, Vox didn’t return a request that was made by the Daily Caller for comment. What could they possibly say at this point anyway? Oh. Yeah. They could apologize and retract the tweet.