How much fake news is needed to swing an election?

by on January 19, 2017 at 12:42 pm in Data Source, Economics, Political Science, Web/Tech | Permalink

Hunt Allcott and Matthew Gentzkow have a new paper (pdf) on this topic.  I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but here is the bottom line:

… we find: (i) social media was an important but not dominant source of news in the run-up to the election, with 14 percent of Americans calling social media their “most important” source of election news; (ii) of the known false news stories that appeared in the three months before the election, those favoring Trump were shared a total of 30 million times on Facebook, while those favoring Clinton were shared eight million times; (iii) the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them; (iv) for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads.

Self-recommending…

1 Right... January 19, 2017 at 12:53 pm

What of the stories which suggested that Trump was robbing the Treasury by taking a loss on his tax forms? Fake news?

2 msgkings January 19, 2017 at 1:12 pm

Yeah that was one of the stupider memes from Clinton’s side, I had zero problem with that aspect of Trump.

3 Anonne January 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

You have no problem with Trump being a freeloader on society. So much for the party of personal responsibility.

4 Nodnarb the Nasty January 19, 2017 at 2:26 pm

I still haven’t seen much historical context used in the “fake news” debates now prominent in Western public discussions. Vincent Geloso gets the ball rolling on this…</a?

5 Mark Thorson January 19, 2017 at 11:23 pm

We need a new term that’s less judgemental than “fake news”. Sort of like how “illegal aliens” are now “undocumented immigrants”. I suggest “unsourced journalism”.

6 Michael January 20, 2017 at 3:01 am

How about “lies”?

Oh the irony: “for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads” (known for their truthfulness)

7 Gabe Harris January 20, 2017 at 10:35 am

The idea that we need to bomb the mid east around 26,000 times a year killing thousands of innocent people under every democratic and republican regime in order to provide us with oil is a long running fake news story in the MSM. I am not sure the definition of fake news used int he snippet above has a very good definition.

8 Josh January 19, 2017 at 5:02 pm

What about the “trump is a racist” fake news story.

9 Gabe Harris January 20, 2017 at 10:36 am

I thought the illuminati orders were to stop using the fake news meme cause it backfired already…Tyler didn’t get the memo?

10 ohwilleke January 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Premise (iv) is not implausible. Television campaign ads are among the least effective forms of advertising known to man and have a long track records of rarely having any statistically significant effects on election outcomes.

11 prior_test2 January 19, 2017 at 1:17 pm

Tell Willie Horton about it – but maybe it takes an integrated approach to saturating the media, and not just the ad itself.

12 Bill Kilgore January 19, 2017 at 2:32 pm

Poor Willie Horton.

You get convicted of stabbing somebody 19 times, get a weekend pass out of jail, and then rape a woman multiple times while her gagged fiance gets to watch and suddenly everyone thinks you are a bad guy.

13 Roy LC January 19, 2017 at 3:48 pm

Poor Dukakis,

The man just can’t get a break, the legislature passes a furlough program specifically excluding those serving a life sentence except for cases of funerals, dying relatives, and medical treatment.

Then the very next year the State Supreme Court extends the right to furlough to first degree murders sentenced to life for purposes of reintegration into the community because they are not explicitly excluded from the program, despite the fact that they are not eligible for parole or early release.

Then the legislature immediately amends the act, which forces St Michael of Brookline to veto the bill specifically because it would “cut the heart out of inmate rehabilitation” and as if the injustices haven’t piled up enough then a dozen years later he was called to account for it by Al Gore in the Democratic primary.

Then to add to the calumny after calumny hurled at him, TWELVE YEARS later, after the issue had been raised by the aforementioned Holy Al Gore, the primary settled, and a newspaper awarded a Pullitzer for detailing the abuses of the Massachusetts furlough program, St Mike, again of Brookline, consents to its abolishment in late April of 1988.

How anyone could think this was a valid issue to bring up afterwards. How dare Bush and Atwater condemn him for maintaining a program that led to multiple crimes being committed by furloughed prisoners, after all he had abolished it two months previously. It was clearly a dead issue, no more relevant than the French Revolution or Hillary’s email server.

Oh those evil Republicans with their outright lies and their Southern Strategy!

14 Brian Donohue January 19, 2017 at 6:27 pm

You forgot the part where he rode around in a tank with a helmet on. One of the great “Jesus, we make these guys jump through the most absurd hoops” moments in American political history.

15 JWatts January 19, 2017 at 8:16 pm

“we make these guys jump through the most absurd hoops”

No one made him do it. That was his own poor judgement.

16 Donald Pretari January 20, 2017 at 3:51 am

Well, they might have mentioned that California had a similar furlough program under Governor Reagan, during whose tenure two furloughed convicts committed murder. Governor Reagan continued to defend the program admitting that it wasn’t perfect. Also, the Federal Prison system under Reagan/Bush was not amended due to Willie Horton, but I think that the Massachusetts program was.

Although it was his decision to ride around in the tank, it was also his decision to volunteer in the U.S. Army and be stationed in Korea. Strangely, I admire Dukakis for his joining the army. I don’t think it’s seemly for people who chose not to serve in the military to mock someone who did. On the other hand, I don’t admire Trump for his deferments. I did not vote for Dukakis. I voted for Ron Paul in 1988. I do hope I’m not passing on fake news, so please correct me if I’m wrong.

17 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 4:02 pm

Well as long as the candy bar theif can never terrorize the candy shops again, then surely all logic flowing from your concerns will be judiciously applied.

18 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 3:38 pm

“I think the real takeaway from the Willie Horton incident is how racist America is.” -Every Democrat, on Democrat support for a program that allowed 1st degree murderers to have weekends out to rape and murder.

“I bet that rape victim may have even said derogatory terms about Willie Horton’s, who as a black man, is a victim of white supremacy, when he was raping her. The NERVE! #rapemelania” – Democrats

19 Roy LC January 19, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Not only that but Mr. Horton has repeatedly stated his name was not Willie, it is William. It just perpetuates stereotypes to call him that.

20 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 4:06 pm

As long as there are people who come along and try to twist the story into “black men are like that”, there will be those who will defend even the rapist murderer whose actions form the basis of the, yes, RACIST associations drawn by incorrect inference.

21 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 4:10 pm

In my perception, pop_racists/pop_race_baiting_leftists -> 0

22 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 7:03 pm

The ability to put on a fake show of non-bias for 5 seconds here and there does not mean you are not what you are.

Having pride in your self, your culture, and ongoing striving and celebration? Fantastic. But it seems that you get your sense of self worth from shitting on other people. That is not culture worth preserving.

23 DevOps Dad January 20, 2017 at 12:17 am

And for Patrick’s next trick, he will attempt a guilt inducing spin on this recent headline: “10 Killed, 29 Wounded In MLK Day Weekend Shootings”.

24 Cineminded January 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

I thought social media shares were seen as much more effective than TV spots, because shares have the added benefit of friends as authority figure. Peer pressure a powerful force.

Also, what is the net effect of TV ads vs. shares? Ads probably have a low effectiveness rate, because of a kind of cancellation effect: an arms race of smears might create a lot of volatility in sentiment, yet not change the final outcome in terms of votes. Like if a stock had a lot of spurious pro and con news stories leading up to an earnings report that eventually revealed the truth.

25 Axa January 19, 2017 at 2:34 pm

It’s not a premise, it’s “results”……

26 ohwilleke January 19, 2017 at 8:03 pm

The result is that fake news has to be 36 times more effective than campaign ads to be outcome determinative. The premise is that fake news actually is that much more effective than a campaign ad.

27 chuck martel January 19, 2017 at 1:00 pm

“the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories,”

Simply BS. A sad waste of irreplaceable pixels.

28 Todd K January 19, 2017 at 2:20 pm

You sort of hope economists don’t write things like that.

29 The Other Jim January 19, 2017 at 1:01 pm

Tyler is going to have a very, very long 4 years.

And perhaps 8.

Possibly 12-16 with Ivanka…

30 msgkings January 19, 2017 at 1:13 pm

(((Ivanka))) would be WAY better as president

31 prior_test2 January 19, 2017 at 1:18 pm

One hopes this is a fake – otherwise, disgusting.

32 msgkings January 19, 2017 at 1:32 pm

Not a fake. Satire of the ((())) idiots.

33 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Ivanka deserves to be harassed and attacked, even in front of her kids. Don’t you follow Democrats? Lauren Duca, thought leader for your tribe, said so.

34 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm

Were they speaking of specific things that they disagreed about which they thought needed to be addressed? Or were they doing stuff like ogling her (given the way she dresses, should not be considered a problem, per se, for those of no aspirations), making rapey comments and generally engaging in the lowest forms of harassment and abuse?

35 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 4:45 pm

No, they were chasing her down an airport terminal and screaming at her on a plane regarding her father, and regarding how she should not be on a commercial aircraft. In response to widespread disapproval, Lauren Duca, thought leader for you, tweeted that ‘even though Ivanka looked like she smelled good, she shouldn’t be let off the hook’. Then she went to debate Tucker Carlson, and her like? upspeak? And, like, verbal fryyyyyy? And like, really man?? didn’t do the job, so she pulled a lefty move and called him a sexist pig. The left, like, called Tucker a big meanie, and then went back to talking about how Lena Dunham should be a saint for wanting to get pregnant and abort a fetus.

‘Also, I didn’t like, consent, to you like responding to me, so that, like, takes away my sovereignty, okay?’ -Inspired by lefty thought leader Lauren Duca.

36 Jan January 19, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Duca succeeded in making Carlson look like a petulant child after he went after her. Not that he needs any help to pull that off. He also got tricked into bringing in an obviously fake protest company to “expose them” on national TV this week, which was hilarious. My prediction is that he lasts less than three months before they get an adult to take over the timeslot.

37 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 10:11 pm

Carlson’s first sentence was to expose the fake protest company. We’ve had enough of your fake news Jan. Go root for #whitegenocide elsewhere, you giant loser.

38 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 10:23 pm

For context, white and man hating scumbags like Jan have been running Universities for decades, and we now find out that Jan and his friends have created a rape culture with 10 times the rape rate as regular society. Jan, you scumbag, you rape-supporting scumbag, you racist, you homophobe.

Man, it is easy to be a leftist scumbag, and make leftist scumbag arguments, like Jan.

39 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 10:39 pm

51% of British Muslims think homosexuality should be illegal, but what the fuck does Jan care? Jan and the loser like him don’t care. Jan deals in oppression scales. Islam is more oppressed, so Jan thinks that muslims should be able to throw homosexuals off of buildings. Fuck off you piece of shit. You are deplorable. You are scum. You are nothing, and you lost. Donald Trump waved a rainbow flag on a stage while you apologized for islamists burning gay people, you scum. Take this moment to self-reflect as to why your worldview results in gays and women and minorities being tortured and murdered, scumbag.

40 Ray Lopez January 19, 2017 at 1:26 pm

TC with Ivanka? Hmmm…sounds like a scandal. Keep in mind it’s probable Trump did have sex with a Russian prostitute (and Putin has the tapes), since it’s clear Trump and his wife Melania (which means ‘ink’ in Greek, hence ‘melanoma’ connotes ‘ink-like’ in Greek) are estranged (she stays in NYC, he in DC), and rumor has it Trump does not like, pace his first wife, women that are a bit ‘loose’ after childbirth (notice he’s never had more than one kid with his other wives, after his first wife). Possibly they are estranged since Trump likes other women…

Bonus trivia: Trump’s first wife had a reality TV show were she showed her life as a cougar in Europe, where she lives; at least one of her lovers / husbands was a younger man.

41 Dan Lavatan-Jeltz January 19, 2017 at 5:15 pm

Hmm, I would think Melania also has the tapes and doesn’t care. It isn’t like Trump stays in the same city for more than 30 seconds. I also thought Mountain Lions were endemic to the Americas, but I don’t watch much European TV.

42 Alain January 19, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Ray,

He is a billionaire so it is plausible that he has a very eccentric. However, his children have turned out exceptional will. They don’t have many of the visible failures of other children of the very wealthy. This leads me to believe that he is actually a decent fellow.

43 Meets January 19, 2017 at 1:04 pm

In other words, the news that fake news affected the election is itself fake news?

44 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:07 pm

If the concern is later found to be less than originally suggested, therefore the original concern is fake (and not over-estimated).

Also, this is just one simple analysis.

45 Meets January 19, 2017 at 6:06 pm

If exaggeration isn’t fake news, maybe the study needs to be redone

46 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 1:06 pm

So I take this, “for fake news to have changed the outcome of the election, a single fake article would need to have had the same persuasive effect as 36 television campaign ads” to mean that there conclusion is “it didn’t change the outcome.” All the same, any attempt to try to study this or draw conclusions about it is going to have a variety of problems, such as:

“of the known false news stories that appeared in the three months before the election”
“Known” seems of pivotal importance here. Or perhaps, “acknowledged” or “classified.” I generally suspect there will be an anti-Trump bias in determining whether an article was “fake.” I read a lot of news where I find fault with the veracity of some, or many, statements.

“those favoring Trump were shared a total of 30 million times on Facebook, while those favoring Clinton were shared eight million times”
Going out on a limb here, but what if a lot of the “Trump” shares were by anti-Trump people saying “this is a lie! Trump is ridiculous” etc? I doubt they’d be able to check the context of the share, rather than the fact of sharing.

Out of those news stories that were shared on Facebook that were not “known false news stories,” what proportion were about Trump v. Clinton? I am going to guess substantially more were about Trump, and that they were often shared in outrage.

47 Yancey Ward January 19, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Yes, I had the same actual experience with the pro-Trump news stories, regardless of actual veracity, in regards to Facebook- at least 80% that I noted were exactly that- shared by Clinton supporters who called the stories lies. I don’t have extensive Facebook ties, and 95% of those were die-hard Clinton supporters, so my sample is no doubt skewed, but here is the thing- these Clinton supporters weren’t really sharing pro-Clinton and anti-Clinton stories in any context. They wrote posts supporting Clinton, of course, but external links and shares were almost exclusively Trump-related.

I think the point is really this- there might not be such a thing as bad publicity, especially given that the public has such a low opinion of politicians and journalists of all persuasions. Trump just benefited regardless of the story or its slant by having people constantly talking about him.

48 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 3:21 pm

I thankfully fled Facebook just before Trump entered the race, so I had no first-hand experience.

49 Chip January 19, 2017 at 1:09 pm

Did a quick read to see how they determined what was fake.

To define fake, of the four main determinants two were BuzzFeed and Politifact.

The study has no cred.

50 Chip January 19, 2017 at 1:19 pm

The idiocy of citing BuzzFeed as an arbiter of truth is obvious but in case you were wondering about Politifact here’s a rundown of how they determine the honesty of America’s main politicians.

http://thefederalist.com/2016/12/16/running-data-politifact-shows-bias-conservatives/

You’ll see that according to Politifact Hilary is the second-most honest senior politician in the United States.

Do these social scientists believe they’re objective or do they knowingly support their team? It’s hard to tell. Kind of like the White House press nodding agreement with Obama’s statement the other day that the US makes it harder to vote than any other developed country, even though these countries require ID and the US mostly doesn’t.

Ignorance or supporting the team? Now that’s a study I’d like to see.

51 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 1:28 pm

Yep. I hate both Parties but even my limited exposure to Politifact (and a variety of other cites claiming to rate the “truthfulness” of some political claim) convinced me they had a substantial liberal/democratic bias. I don’t know that it requires much conscious choice. Easy enough to be more demanding when you disagree with the statement or the person stating it, and more forgiving when you agree with it and its proponent.

52 Benny Lava January 19, 2017 at 1:53 pm

“even though these countries require ID and the US mostly doesn’t”

Lol conservatards!

53 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 3:44 pm

“black people are too stupid to get IDs” – racists like Benny.

54 msgkings January 19, 2017 at 5:03 pm

I’m fine with voters needing to show ID, but a lot of the disenfranchisers go much farther, as in what kinds of ID are allowed (gun permits) and which are not (student IDs). Also they make sure there are fewer polling places in the ‘wrong’ areas, and close them earlier, and require students to vote at home vs where they are in school, and so on. It’s not a secret, many Republicans in NC bragged about these tactics.

55 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Sure, the application of voter ID laws are political and sometimes racist. That being said, the obviously correct answer here is that voters should have to provide ID. We don’t make murder legal because a side effect is disproportionate impact on young, black men, or even young men. The argument that black people aren’t capable of getting ID is racist.

56 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 5:54 pm

All citizens should be able to get a free ID from their nearest governmental office X often. All citizens should be required to present valid ID in order to vote.

To the extent either side opposes this solution, it is likely because they want to push the policy towards enfranchising/disenfranchising favored/disfavored groups.

57 Benny Lava January 19, 2017 at 6:52 pm

“Blacks are genetically inferior that is why conservatives are justified in disenfranchisement” – Thomas

See how easy it is to make up lying quotes? I quoted exactly but conservatard Thomas hasn’t even the intellect for that.

58 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 7:31 pm

ID requirements can only disenfranchise black people but not white people if black people aren’t as good at getting IDs as white people, Ben. You own that “incompetent black people” argument.

59 Benny Lava January 20, 2017 at 10:03 am

Who said anything about disenfranchising people. Maybe you are just a retard, Tommy. Do retards get to vote in America?

60 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:18 pm

You do recall that Clinton was evasive, MUCH more so than a liar. At least with an evasive person, you can tell when they are evading an answer. With an outright liar, you must disregard any statement as a possible lie, and verify every detail. Which is a serious pain in the butt when that person is the president.

61 Meets January 19, 2017 at 1:30 pm

“the average American saw and remembered 0.92 pro-Trump fake news stories and 0.23 pro-Clinton fake news stories, with just over half of those who recalled seeing fake news stories believing them;”

This doesn’t strike me as an “important source of news.”

62 Dan Hanson January 19, 2017 at 1:31 pm

I don’t remember an uproar over ‘fake news’ when Harry Reid made a fake claim that Romney had paid no taxes – even after Reid admitted he lied to help Obama win. Not much of an uproar over the ‘hands up – don’t shoot!’ story which was completely fake yet repeated as truth throughout the media. Only the right was upset over the fake news, released 12 weeks before the last election, that the terror attack in Benghazi was caused by a video and not by terror groups and a complete failure by State to respond to the numerious security risks and demands for increased security from an increasingly frantic ambassador Stevens.

It seems that ‘fake news’ is only an outrage if it harms a Democrat.

63 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:22 pm

There was no uproar, but you remember it 5 years later? Sounds unlikely.

64 The Original D January 19, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Romney refused to release his tax returns until Reid’s statement got traction. Up to that point he had released his 2010 return but curiously not 2011, nor any returns from previous years. He never released actual returns from before 2010. Instead he just release a summary indicating his effective tax rate though not the actual amount of taxes he paid.

65 chuck martel January 19, 2017 at 10:40 pm

Why is a political candidate’s tax return of legitimate interest to the general public? Why can’t the citizenry pick through the tax returns of all public employees? It might be interesting to know if a police dispatcher is a partner in a towing company.

66 The Original D January 19, 2017 at 11:18 pm

In Romney’s case I wanted to know how much of his income came via the carried interest exception.

67 The Original D January 19, 2017 at 11:19 pm

And re public employees, most governments at least do a background check of some kind on the employee and often drug testing. Has anyone done that on Trump?

68 Millian January 19, 2017 at 1:48 pm

Appointing Sylvester Stallone to help the National Endowment for the Arts turned out to be fake news on the double.

69 Jake January 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm

The article concludes that a fake news article would have to persuade 0.73% of Americans exposed to the article on average in order to change the outcome of the election.. (they use .02% as the persuasion rate of a TV ad which is where they get the 36 X stat). maybe I am off base here but that doesn’t seem impossible?

Obviously, strong Hillary/Other Candidate supporters have a persuasion rate of virtually zero which brings the average down so I think this would be easier to conceptualize if the authors estimated the percentage of marginal Hillary/Other Candidate voters who were exposed to Fake Trump news articles and calculated the minimum persuasion factor for that group needed to change the election outcome…

70 ohwilleke January 19, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Agreed. A 0.02% persuasion rate for a TV ad is pretty negligible. A 0.73% tilt is not huge.

71 anon January 19, 2017 at 3:01 pm

My phone won’t open the PDF, sorry.

So I have to ask other readers, do they tally anti-Trump/Clinton fake news separately?

Or did voters really only remember one?

72 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 3:45 pm

They lie about what fake news is. You’d love it.

73 anon January 19, 2017 at 3:04 pm

2nd comment, you don’t have to retain the story for it to reinforce “crooked Hillary,” to make her public service less trusted.

74 MOFO January 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

Same applies to Trump though, doesnt it?

75 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Crooked Hillary was fake news for sure. That’s why her charitable organization just closed.

76 anon January 19, 2017 at 3:57 pm

What is the fake news here? This September story says it started shutting down before the election:

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-09-19/clinton-global-initiative-ends-run-with-some-of-shine-worn-off

Remarkably few reports today seem aware.

77 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 4:17 pm

She has so much time to dedicate to her charity, now that she is unemployed. I wonder why all the donations dried up and the activity ended? They should open it back up. Donations should be way, way up since she no longer has government decision making, with hundreds of billions of dollars of consequences thereof, to occupy her time. Right?

Speaking of time, has she been to any black communities lately? Does she still carry hot sauce in her bag, swag?

78 msgkings January 19, 2017 at 5:05 pm

She’ll get back to that when she’s running for mayor of New York City. Prepare yourself.

79 anon January 19, 2017 at 6:00 pm

The interesting thing is, if it did start shutting down in September, that was the right thing to do, to divest, and end the question of “access selling.”

But as the article says, between “concerns,” the Initiative did hella good while it was operating.

80 anon January 19, 2017 at 6:09 pm

In other words it did more than buy portraits of itself and give away rounds of golf.

81 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm

It also accepted substantial funds from foreign entities while she was Secretary of State, and provided employment for loyal Clintonistas in-between government positions. Or even while they were in government positions!

If the people donating money to it just wanted to put that money towards “good” they could have easily done so without the specific existence of the Clinton Global Initiative. They only needed CGI as an outlet for their do-goodery if they actually wanted to use that it as a vehicle for gaining favors and peddling influence.

Hillary could have done speeches and what-not and had the donations sent directly to completely independent charities. There was no reason for the CGI to exist as an independent entity, and certainly not to exist and except funds when she was SoS. Would you contend that if all of Hillary’s speeches provided that the funds go directly to the Red Cross, no good would have come of it?

Your continual willingness to give the “all’s well” on this makes every criticism you make of Trump ring like so much partisan BS.

82 anon January 19, 2017 at 6:21 pm

TV, I thought you were better than that. Funds from country A went to country B to save lives. Is this actually bad?

83 anon January 19, 2017 at 6:23 pm

I mean shit, if say Saudi Arabia only gave money to CGI because C was an ex-President, and the funds saved thousands of lives in Africa … your moral call is that this is bad?

84 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 10:12 pm

The funds gave Chelsea a 9 million dollar wedding and Hillary some another campaign ad on top of her billion dollar Soros investment, you chump.

85 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 7:27 pm

Real shortage of charities. We absolutely needed the Clinton Foundation/CGI despite the obvious conflicts of interest and potential for corruption. How would good be done otherwise?

“Huma Abedin stepped down from her post as deputy chief of staff at the State Department and Hillary Clinton’s ever-present personal assistant on June 3, 2012. Only she didn’t really leave.

Instead, in a reverse twist on a program intended to bring talented outsiders into government, Abedin was immediately rehired as a “special government employee.” She also took paying jobs with the Clinton Foundation and Teneo Holdings, a consulting firm with international clients that was co-founded by a foundation official who also was Bill Clinton’s long-time personal aide.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-08-15/huma-abedin-s-overlapping-jobs-renew-focus-on-clinton-conflicts

Yep. All on the level. Nothing to be concerned about. You would absolutely take the same stance on identical behavior involving Trump.

86 robz January 20, 2017 at 10:12 am

Doug Band’s memo:
“The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents….I hope you will speak to her and end this.”

That’s all the evidence that I have ever seen that might be taken to be evidence that supports Thomas’s 9 million dollar claim.

The Clinton’s wedding planner said ““It’s one-stop shopping,” he said. “You pay Rafanelli. We pay everyone else.” He also said the Clintons wrote the check. He also said that the published estimates of the wedding cost were vastly overstated. The Fiscal Times estimated that the wedding cost between 2 and 5 million. Many other published estimates cite the cost at 3 million.

Hillary and Bill Clinton released their taxes and they do not show any income from Foundation sources.

It’s a very nice example of “Fake News”. And judging from all of the leftists that I’ve seen citing the “facts” in horror,
it was a very effective lie, too.

87 Yancey Ward January 19, 2017 at 3:05 pm

I have two close family members who were fanatical Clinton supporters, and they were both prolific posters of pro-Trump stories, but in the vein of, “Look at this Pro-Trump Story, it is a lie!!!!!!”. Are we to take from the excerpt that remembered a so-called pro-Trump fake news story is being remembered by Trump’s supporters alone?

88 Turkey Vulture January 19, 2017 at 3:19 pm

I wouldn’t be surprised if there were far more Trump-related stories (whether “fake” variety or of the “pure unbiased truth” variety we normally expect from our media) shared by Trump opponents than Trump supporters. I could easily believe that the ratio of “true” Trump-related vs. Hillary-related stories was actually larger than the ratio of “fake” Trump-related vs. Hillary-related stories (a little better than 3:1 according to this paper).

89 The Original D January 19, 2017 at 5:59 pm

Dueling anecdata – I grew up in a small town in Georgia. My Facebook feed was full of anti-Hillary fake news from people I knew in high school, particularly the ones who have never lived more than 20 miles from where they graduated high school.

90 Rich Berger January 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

I’m starting to suspect TC of peddling fake economics.

91 Brian Donohue January 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

It wasn’t so long ago that such talk was considered by many to be tearing at the delicate fabric of our democracy.

92 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 3:59 pm

Because one effect is larger than the other, therefore in a situation of balance the effect is zero.

Right?

93 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 4:19 pm

According to Politifact: When Hillary repeated, over and over, that at no time was any classified information on her private, amateur email server, that wasn’t a lie. When Trump said that Hillary “acid-washed” her email, that was a lie, because she actually used “BleachBit”.

Fake news is a lie. I know it is comforting to the losers of American politics, but a lie it remains.

94 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:30 pm

Shall we prove the point over thousands of arguments that the point remains debated?

I hear that someone emailed her a press release that was deliverd later the same day. Despite the press release having been years previous, this was post-facto defined as classified.

How do you post-pre-classify a same day press release?

Is this easily-fixed-tech-issue in the same category of concerns as “the president formerly sold a great number of kingly properties to oligarchs of the number 1 or 2 stated global security concern from the American perspective”?

95 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

However, when Trump says that Muslims were dancing in the streets of NYC on 9-11, this is demonstrably a lie no matters how many times he tries to claim otherwise.

On par, he tells about one major lie a day. Which would be fine if he could say “oh, that was dumb, but I know the reality is …”, but no, it’s almost always doubling down on dumb bullshit.

96 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 7:40 pm

I’ve seen the MSM article wherein a police officer reports that at least one Muslim was celebrating. I mean, maybe according to Barry O, Islam has less to do with 9/11 celebrations than any other religion. That statement would probably be rated true by politifact. On your ignorance of classification, which is willful given that your argument has been rebutted repeatedly, Clinton was an OCA, meaning she assumed responsibility and had the power to classify documents; information is classified regardless of the stamped classification; Clinton was an SES who dealt with classified material everyday, meaning she is expected to recognize classified information. I wouldn’t have emailed any of that information, despite classification, as a lowly Navy service member. Clinton is an overconfident but incompetent idiot.

97 JWatts January 19, 2017 at 4:21 pm

“How much fake news is needed to swing an election?”

I’m still trying to figure out how many Angels can dance on the head of a pin.

98 Bill January 19, 2017 at 4:24 pm

Fake News was so bad

You didn’t know who to trust–

Lying Ted or

Crooked Hillary.

Thank God for that man

Who settled that fraud case

To bring us the Truth.

99 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 4:48 pm

“Hillary Clinton never had classified material on her amateur exchange server, and she never attacked women who Bill Clinton sexually assaulted. Also, Chelsea worked really hard to make $1,000,000 year, and you need to check your privilege.”

You lost, Bill. You are a loser. Get back to making money for The Man.

100 Troll me January 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

If someone determines years later that something should have been classified, does it then become classified at the moment it enters into a server?

Also, let’s focus on the relevant question of whether procedural upgrades are needed. That is the relevant question, not the name of the person whose experience proved it.

101 Thomas January 19, 2017 at 7:42 pm

If someone recognizes years later that something is classified, was it always classified? Yes, from the point at which is was classified, which has nothing to do with the marking on the document. Try to let this sink in your head.

102 robz January 20, 2017 at 10:22 am

Believe it or not, overclassification is a real thing.

103 Heorogar January 19, 2017 at 4:54 pm

Right! All that Trump-empowering, fake news that ABC, CBS, CNN, MSNBC, Huffington NBC, Post, Washington Post, NY Times, etc. won it for The Donald.

In fact, Crooked (corrupt and incompetent) Hillary didn’t benefit from a sufficient volume of the liberal, lying (redundant) fake news to drag her sorry carcass across the finish line ahead of President Trump.

How many times did Crooked Hillary shriek how horrible Trump would be to not accept her in-the-bag election victory?

104 anon January 19, 2017 at 6:14 pm

Get behind us Satan. You dumped the “800,000 illegal alien voted” crap on us, and then showed up to say there is no fake news.

105 ladderff January 19, 2017 at 6:42 pm

Cry, bitch, cry! Cry! Cry!

106 Michaelfoody@gmail.com January 19, 2017 at 8:18 pm

1) Wow only 14% of people humiliate themselves by saying social media is their primary news source. That must be true. Totally accurate. What’s more these stories are not meaningfully confined to social media. My dad doesn’t use facebook, but he believes all manor of conspiracy theories that originated and propagated on the social networking site.
2) To identify whether people were affected by fake news they compare ‘real’ fake news stories to placebo fake news stories. This seems almost engineered to get things wrong. The placebo articles were about as likely to be ‘recalled’ as the real articles, the paper treats this as mitigating the effects of the propaganda, when properly it demonstrates how effective propaganda is at creating a social climate where false negative claims are likely to be believed.
3) Christ this is dumb

107 Chris S January 19, 2017 at 11:00 pm

The comments on this thread are of astonishingly low quality.

108 Andrew January 20, 2017 at 3:49 am

Remember when there were actually interesting discussions about economics in the comment section? It’s now just partisan screech-fests at the end of any post that mentions U.S. politics.

109 msgkings January 20, 2017 at 4:03 am

Kind of a microcosm of the increased polarization and twittering of the whole country.

110 rluser January 20, 2017 at 7:38 am

Perhaps there is a reason our hosts do not read the comments. 🙁

111 John January 20, 2017 at 10:19 am

These days I wonder if the better question wouldn’t be “How much real news is needed to maintain a viable society and polity?” So much of the media has chosen to aim for hyperbole and sensationalism that the idea of real news these days seems a joke.

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