Before I went off the news I saved a few things that I thought were going to be illustrations of The Smear. I had forgotten all about them in the ensuing weeks. This article about the Dirty Little Secret reminded me. But first, it amazed me because it is such an odd twist. I will mention again that while we are sometimes talking about fake news, untruths, and even illegal acts, often this is just deceitful, expertly-managed news, performed by intelligent people who make this their career and are probably better at fooling us than we are at seeing through it. Notice, for example, the clever little dig that gets worked into the last paragraph by this pro. He's good.
Observe the spinning and massaging of the news going on in the background of all of these. Then, stop and think about your half-dozen fave sites. Could someone be paying, or "helping?" them. Sending links to sites that they might want to publish - which is something I occasionally do - is a bit like doing research and doing their job for them. What if we had a whole quiet little nonprofit that did that research all day, shipping out stories? The receiving sites might not even be aware. Or could one or more of the opposition commenters at a site be a true believer who also gets a little cash sent his way? It doesn't reach down to the AVI level. No one would pay for that. But someone is getting paid to do pushback comments at all the major sites, so how far down does that go?
Was it a hack or a leak?
Joel Osteen gets a bad rap.
Note it's a group pushing this, and there's not any clear accusation of wrongdoing. Just wrongishness, ohsobad.
You're racist, because.
These are conservatives doing the same thing. Notice the weaselly "...made its way into the hands of..." People who should be bullied by a few, like this teacher, are now bullied by 100,000.
New York Times, doxxing dangerously.
An old story about Google at Arstechnica
I don't know about neontaster, maybe he's paid, too. But the story is what it is.
Southern Poverty Law Center started as a direct-mail fund-raising site. It's just a high-tech version of that now. Except they also like to hurt people.
I hadn't even thought of foreign sources. This all just got three times as bad.