Google might be a gigantic, evil corporation that holds a secretive annual “billionaires camp” where celebrities and others can assemble via their private jets to discuss climate change, but its search engine is pretty good. It’s a pity more journalists don’t use it.
On Wednesday, Sen. Mitch McConnell’s team gave an example of how fake news is manufactured, citing a tweet by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who wanted an explanation of why McConnell’s net worth had gone up so markedly in just ten years.
Sen. Mitch McConnell's net worth:
Increase: $23,965,520 (+809.1%)
How does a senator earning $193,400 a year increase their net worth by nearly $2.4 million a year, every year for a decade?
— Akki (@akkitwts) July 31, 2019
— Nicholas Kristof (@NickKristof) July 31, 2019
Maybe he wrote a best-selling book, and you could be a millionaire too if you just did the same? Turns out there was a simpler explanation among all of the responses calling out #MoscowMitch for bribery by Putin.
His wife’s mom died. Nice of you to bring it up.
From 5 years ago —-> https://t.co/sCujxDFmf8
— Josh Holmes (@HolmesJosh) July 31, 2019
This is how fake news is manufactured.
3,000 likes on the question.
16 likes on the shameful correction. pic.twitter.com/OueN9Bod0P
— Team Mitch (@Team_Mitch) July 31, 2019
Make that 17 likes on the “correction.”
— Alex Howard (@digiphile) July 31, 2019
Note that “shameful correction” wasn’t even a tweet, and it certainly wasn’t an apology … Kristof simply retweeted someone who gave the correct answer that he couldn’t be bothered to Google.
But at least he threw some chum in the waters to gin up a bunch of outrage:
Mitch had gotten filthy rich – all while keeping his foot firmly on the necks of the working class. And now he's also on the Putin payroll.
— Wallis Weaver (@wallisweaver) July 31, 2019
This is incorrect
$ is not a symbol for Rubles
— Orville's Wedding (@the_year_is_one) July 31, 2019
YES, Moscow MITCH, please explain!! That's a lot of rubles!!
— rubyvol (@rubyvol) July 31, 2019
Ah, Nick, old friend. You spelled "#MoscowMitch" wrong.
But, yeah. That's an interesting grown path.
— Thomas Levenson (@TomLevenson) July 31, 2019
Follow the money!
— Larry Keene (@lkeene34) July 31, 2019
Is this in dollars or rubles?
— B Koplow (@bmkoplow5) July 31, 2019
You’ll not hear a peep or a tweet in response. He’s a deaf mute when it comes to his $$$$.
But rest assured, #MoscowMitch the grifting grinch loves to deflect.
— Bridgette Yvonne ??#Resist ?? (@BridgetteYvonn1) July 31, 2019
#MoscowMitch has obviously made some very wise "investments."
— Groucho #Resists (@voodoodad) July 31, 2019
— Barbara M Straw (@BarbaraMStraw) July 31, 2019
That's because he sold the USA out. Its obvious right? I mean he didn't amass this great wealth by creating anything did he? he is #MoscowMich
— WTF News (@NewsYouCantLose) July 31, 2019
— Willard Diaz (@WillardDiaz8) July 31, 2019
24 million in ten years with public servant salary. Hmmm? Moscow Mitch raking in those Russian kickbacks! Put him in prison.
— @ConstitutionCriers (@ConstitutionCr6) July 31, 2019
Yeah, put #MoscowMitch in prison for inheriting money!
CNN’s Brian Stelter: The Onion is a great parody site, but The Babylon Bee is straight-up fake news https://t.co/joi7hpdreV
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) July 31, 2019