Let us start with an understanding: “Fake news” occurs when the government or a favored group introduces false information, and the media ignore all contrary evidence to advance their shared agenda.

As you will note, fake news items tend to cluster in election years. In fact, I would trace the wholesale manufacture of the same to the desperate quest to re-elect Bill Clinton president in 1996, and the media have not stopped since.

1996: “[Ron] Brown’s entourage boarded an Air Force T-43 for the coastal town of Dubrovnik,” explained Time magazine, “where one of the worst storms in a decade was raging.” In fact, when the commerce secretary’s plane attempted to land, the rain had ceased, and the sun was peaking through the clouds.

1996: As one voice in the summer-long, multi-media, church-burning hysteria, Time magazine decried the “national epidemic of violence against black churches.” In fact, more white churches than black churches burned that summer, fewer than normal in both cases, and at least as many by Satanists as presumed racists.

1996: The media praised the president for “unilaterally” declaring the coal-rich Grand Escalante Canyons and the Kaiparowitz Plateaus of Utah a national monument. The FBI knew, but the media chose not to know that this move gave Clinton’s patrons, the Riady family of Indonesia, a monopoly on the world’s supply of low-sulfur coal.

1997: The FBI closed the TWA flight 800 case by showing a CIA animation. The New York Times congratulated the FBI for its “admirable thoroughness and openness.” The Times interviewed none of the official 258 witnesses to a missile strike, nor asked why the CIA was illegally employed to discredit their testimony.

1999: To justify bombing Serbia, President Clinton accused the Serbs of “genocide.” He claimed they murdered “tens of thousands of people” and compared their actions in Kosovo to the Holocaust. The media played along. In the war’s wake, however, international teams could find no signs of genocide. “We did not find one – not one – mass grave,” said the Spanish surgeon in charge.

2004: As told and retold, the Bush White House willfully leaked the name of CIA agent Valerie Plame to discredit her allegedly whistleblowing husband, Joseph Wilson. After a year of Watergate-style hysteria, and eventually a movie, it turned out that Bush’s critics in the State Department accidentally leaked this utterly inconsequential bit of information.

2004: Following Barack Obama’s convention speech, the media openly celebrated what biographer David Remnick called Obama’s “signature appeal: the use of the details of his own life as a reflection of a kind of multicultural ideal.” The details, however, were false. Despite his parents’ “improbable love,” infant Obama never spent a night under the same the roof as the old man and no more than a few weeks, if that, in the same state.

2004: On “60 Minutes,” Dan Rather attempted to derail President George Bush’s re-election campaign by claiming Bush went AWOL from his Air National Guard service. The documents proving this claim turned out to be fake. That did not stop Hollywood from trying to exonerate producer Mary Mapes in the absurdly titled, 2015 movie, “Truth.”

2006: “Unless drastic measures to reduce greenhouse gases are taken within the next 10 years, the world will reach a point of no return,” so said Al Gore at the premiere of his movie, “An Inconvenient Truth.” The media ratcheted up the madness. Ten years later, the word “truth” has taken a beating, but the world continues to do just fine.

2008: “I’ve written two books. I actually wrote them myself,” said Obama on the campaign trail. There is overwhelming evidence he wrote neither book himself. The media ignored the evidence, proclaimed Obama a “genius,” denounced all criticism as racist and continue to insist Obama is “the best writer to occupy the White House since Lincoln.” Sigh!

2010: Obamacare passed into law on the unexamined claim that the insured could keep their health plans. Six years later, Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau told Charlie Rose, “[Jon] Lovett wrote the line about ‘If you like your insurance, you can keep it.'” “How dare you!” said Lovett, and the others joined in the laughter, Rose included.

2011: Replaying Kosovo, Obama laid out the case for intervention in Libya, claiming that if he “waited one more day” Gadhafi would have unleashed a massacre in Benghazi that would have “stained the conscience of the world.” Democrat Mideast expert Alan Kuperman did the calculations the media refused to do, writing two weeks later, “The best evidence that Gadhafi did not plan genocide in Benghazi is that he did not perpetrate it in the other cities he had recaptured.”

2012: On Anderson Cooper’s “AC360,” CNN reporter Gary Tuchman, working with an audio design specialist, concluded that George Zimmerman referred to blacks as “coons.” This was one of a dozen fake news stories created to paint Hispanic civil rights activist and Obama supporter Zimmerman as a brutal racist in the shooting death of his thuggish attacker, the 6-foot-tall “little boy,” Trayvon Martin.

2012: A week after the Benghazi attack, Obama told David Letterman, “Here’s what happened. You had a video that was released by somebody who lives here, sort of a shadowy character.” The media, in the ample person of CNN debate moderator Candy Crowley, preserved Obama’s presidency by insisting Obama said Benghazi was a terrorist attack from day one.

2013: Obama speechwriter Ben Rhodes ran the successful, if thoroughly dishonest, “Iran-deal messaging campaign.” As the Times conceded three years later, the story the White House told America about Iran “was largely manufactured for the purpose for selling the deal.”

2016: Where to begin? The Orwellian endpoint for this self-delusion is the widespread media clamor that fake news, generated by Russia, caused Hillary’s downfall.

In a rare honest moment, Ben Rhodes explained how the left gets away with this nonsense: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That’s a sea change. They literally know nothing.”

Finally, some real news.

Order Jack Cashill’s latest groundbreaking book, “TWA 800: The Crash, the Cover-up and the Conspiracy”

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