Washington Post admits its “fake news” story relied on a fake news source

Oh the irony.

A few days ago, I wrote about how the Washington Post was seriously damaging its credibility with its obviously fabricated Craig Timberg story accusing Natural News and 199 other websites of being “fake news” sources controlled by the Russian government. Now, after the discredited paper has been threatened with lawsuits by several of the websites named in the WashPost’s cited source, they’ve all but admitted their entire story was surely fake to begin with.

Wednesday evening, the Washington Post added an editor’s note to the top of their story which essentially admits the Washington Post slandered and defamed 200 websites by reporting fabricated, false news derived from sources that even they no longer think are legitimate. Without offering any direct apology or retraction of their blatantly false and extremely irresponsible “fake news” story, Washington Post editors have now added this “weasel words” half-apology:

Editor’s Note: The Washington Post on Nov. 24 published a story on the work of four sets of researchers who have examined what they say are Russian propaganda efforts to undermine American democracy and interests. One of them was PropOrNot, a group that insists on public anonymity, which issued a report identifying more than 200 websites that, in its view, wittingly or unwittingly published or echoed Russian propaganda. A number of those sites have objected to being included on PropOrNot’s list, and some of the sites, as well as others not on the list, have publicly challenged the group’s methodology and conclusions. The Post, which did not name any of the sites, does not itself vouch for the validity of PropOrNot’s findings regarding any individual media outlet, nor did the article purport to do so. Since publication of The Post’s story, PropOrNot has removed some sites from its list.

In other words, the same Washington Post that relied heavily on the discredited fake news group “PropOrNot” as its primary source for the story is now admitting PropOrNot can’t be trusted at all. The editor’s note is “in effect admitting the entire story may have been… ‘fake news’ and conceding the Bezos-owned publication may have engaged in defamation by smearing numerous websites – Zero Hedge included – with patently false and unsubstantiated allegations,” writes Zero Hedge, one of the sites defamed by the Post.

By the way, one organisation has announced a $10,000 reward for the identities of the PropOrNot organizers, and we’ve been informed that two research groups are working on obtaining that information.

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