- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 12, 2017

The term “fake news” has been brewing in the media mix for weeks. But it appears to have reached a crescendo this week after two news organizations in particular embraced and published unverified smears against President-elect Donald Trump. The claims grew louder in the re-telling. A Newsbusters.org study found that ABC, CBS and NBC spent a combined 44 minutes on the “malicious hit piece” on Wednesday alone, with more to come.

And there are real consequences, says one veteran media analyst.

“This fiasco is exactly why the media’s ratings are in the toilet. It’s exactly why Donald Trump said the election was rigged and it’s also why Donald Trump hasn’t done many press conferences,” said Brent Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, a conservative press watchdog.

He advises news organizations who dabble in fake news to seriously revisit the craft of journalism. He also says the rest of the news media community should condemn the practice of using unverified or faked accounts in their own reporting.

“And President-elect Trump shouldn’t conduct any more press conferences unless and until the news media start treating him fairly,” Mr. Bozell said.

In addition, an earlier Newsbuster analysis also followed claims that Russian interference had compromised the 2016 presidential election.

“If you weren’t paying attention in the past month, you might actually believe that Russian spies infiltrated our voting booths to help Donald Trump win the presidential election. Well, at least that’s the perception the big three news networks are trying to create by repeatedly insisting that Russia ‘hacked the election,’ ” wrote analyst Kristine Marsh.

From Dec. 8 of last year to Jan. 8, journalists on ABC, CBS and NBC repeated this loaded phrase at least 49 times in their morning and evening broadcasts, Ms. Marsh said.

“After blaming the electoral college for Hillary Clinton’s loss didn’t work, the media moved on to blur the release of Democratic e-mails with the idea that Russia hacked the election,” she added.

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