The mainstream media is so concerned with the subject of Fake News and the threat that it poses that they are now subjectively consumed by it.
Mainstream news is making unsubstantiated claims that Anthony Bourdain’s travel show ‘Parts Unknown’ was replaced by 30 minutes of adult film entertainment on CNN.
The corporate media has been running damage control ever since their months-long promotion of Hillary Clinton failed to seal the Democratic nominee’s ascension to the White House.
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Mainstream outlets have made a concerted effort to perpetuate the narrative that “fake news” cost Hillary Clinton the election. In fact, CNN inadvertently did our advertising for us when they discussed the “rise of [the] anti-media’” recently.
But for all the time behemoth outlets have dedicated to smearing the growing independent media circuit, this week they proved they should probably exert a little more effort improving their own operations.
On Thursday, a Twitter user posted a screenshot that claimed to prove CNN aired thirty minutes of hardcore porn in place of a portion of its Anthony Bourdain special “Parts Unknown.” The Independent was the first mainstream media outlet to report the rumor as fact:
“Though viewers were tuning in for a new episode of Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown, the show’s title took on an entirely new meaning when the scheduled programming was replaced with explicit material starring transsexual pornstar Riley Quinn.”
Despite this “news” being based on one Twitter user’s image upload, (@solikearose’s account is now private) — and the fact it was denied by CNN and RCN, the cable provider — mainstream media outlets began regurgitating this story at an alarming rate.
First the Independent, then Fox News, ABC, International Business Times, AOL, Esquire, Mashable, New York Daily News, Maxim, the Daily Mail, News.com, the Daily Caller, the New York Post, and many other “credible” news sites reported the rumor as fact. The Verge pointed out that while it’s definitely possible porn aired on CNN (according to a statement from the network), “that still doesn’t really verify that anything occurred.” Many of the outlets that rushed to report the story failed to obtain comments from CNN or RCN — at least until after the fact.
Mashable (a harsh critic of so-called fake news on Facebook), like many other mainstream outlets, initially reported the rumor as truth with a clickbait headline, then quickly changed the title on their website after the story was outed as probably false.
Their headline was changed from “30 minutes of hardcore porn just aired on CNN, apparently,” to “Did 30 minutes of hardcore porn air on CNN Thursday night?” The original false report was apparently deleted from their Facebook page, and the new updated version was posted in its place — without a retraction or apology.
Most news outlets have now changed their headlines, updated the articles, and removed their previous Facebook posts of the rumor. Many of the mainstream news outlets that reported on the rumor changed their stories and headlines without issuing retractions, apologies, or update notices.
In another example of media hypocrisy, earlier today ABC published an (unsubstantiated) article claiming the fake news “epidemic” is part of a Russian propaganda campaign. A few hours later, an ABC affiliate published the CNN porn rumor story as fact.
Ironically, in addition to Mashable and ABC, many of the news outlets listed above have aggressively promoted the mainstream narrative that “fake news” is a threat to American democracy, continually publishing fear mongering stories apparently intended to discredit alternative sources of news.
Perhaps these publications will be reconsidering that sentiment after participating in the so-called “fake news” frenzy themselves.
As Mashable recently said:
“Fake news is like the living dead of new media. It is unkillable.”
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