Top Liberal Media Fake News Stories of the Trump Era

-By Warner Todd Huston

A few years ago I wrote a piece chronicling the “top 50” examples of liberal media bias with examples stretching back some sixty years. But in this hyperfast age of Trump with the media working overtime to destroy our president, examples of bias and “fake news” are coming at us so thick and fast that it is hard to keep up with them all. But in this article, I will present some of the leading examples of fake news perpetrated as real information by the left-wing media in the age of Trump.

In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s the media landscape was without a doubt a more ideologically balanced part of our culture. Each city used to have several newspapers and radio stations; some leaned Democrat, some Republican and others more independent. But starting in the 1960s, the media began to consolidate around liberalism as more and more “journalists” graduated J-schools as liberals and thence began infecting the media landscape with a singular, left-wing ideology. This drift to the left in journalism schools reflected the wider veer leftward of the university scene as a whole.

Then came Watergate which spawned a new wave of “journalists” who felt that their job was to attack the power structure — whatever it might be — as opposed to reporting the why, who, when, and where of any particular story. Instead of normal reporting, these new “journalists” felt that their job was to destroy the right and to use their stories to push leftism. Gone was the just-the-facts-style of journalism, replaced by agenda journalism.

This skewed, fake style of “journalism” became ubiquitous by 2000 when the media worked to cancel George W. Bush’s Electoral College win and then as it attacked Bush daily. It grew apace as it rose to deify Barack Obama, one of the most anti-American presidents in U.S. history, and has since become a fever swamp in its desire to destroy Donald J. Trump today.

Liberals coined the term “fake news” in order to use it as a weapon to undermine any of the few conservative sources of news out there. But the tables were turned when President Trump turned that term back on the liberal media when he first began calling CNN “very fake news” during the 2016 campaign for president.

This will be by no means a comprehensive list — nor will it be in any sort of order by date — but it will suffice to show that in the last decades and specifically since Trump came to office, the media has thrown away any pretext of being interested in the “news” and is now fully the most powerful propaganda arm of the progressive movement.

First a word about Mueller’s investigation: Granted we could spend a thousand pages detailing all the fake news that the media has sold to America over this fake “investigation” into “Russian collusion” being conducted by Robert Mueller. But that story is so convoluted and involved that we will just have to take it as such and delve into the other fake stories about Trump.

But let’s not ignore the Mueller new entirely. Let’s lead with two on the Trump/Russia nonsense:

BuzzFeed Publishes Fake Trump Dossier

In January of 2017, clickbait site BuzzFeed published the full “Trump Dossier” claiming it was serious research that proved Trump worked with the Russians to skew the 2016 election. This dossier, though, had already been around for a full year and even the rest of the left-wing media never reported on it because it was an obvious fraud. The thing was presented as legitimate research into Trump’s actions but it turned out to be a fantasy job paid for mostly by Hillary Clinton and aimed as starting a whisper campaign among the media to undermine Trump.

This “dossier” is the ultimate in fake news and led to the fake “special investigation” headed by Robert Mueller. The whole purpose of Mueller’s investigation has turned out to be not one of looking into Trump’s “ties” to Russia, but a slow-rolled coup attempt aimed at unseating a duly elected president.

Worse, many members of the media reversed course from their earlier reticence to use the fake dossier to suddenly saying the information contained in it was corroborated.

Brian Ross Suspended for Reporting Trump Directed Michael Flynn to Contact Russians

In November of 2017, ABC’s Brian Ross went to air with a “bombshell” story claiming that Donald Trump had personally told former national security adviser Michael Flynn to make contact with the Russians. Ross breathlessly reported that Flynn was about to testify that Trump “directed him to make contact.” The story went wide and was repeated as fact by nearly every liberal media outlet in the nation. But only days later ABC had to admit that the story was based on only one “unnamed source” that they discovered was feeding them lies. Flynn never said any such thing about Trump.

Ross was soon suspended and demoted for his fake report that had all of Washington buzzing about “proof” of “collusion” with Russia.

Charlottesville, Virginia, Riots

The riots on August 11, 2017, in the Virginia college town was the subject of several fake news stories, the worst of which was the media’s claim that Donald Trump said Nazis and white supremacists were “fine people.”

Firstly, the media misreported the cause of the riots. Initially, it was a group of local citizens who gathered to prevent a Confederate statue from being destroyed b the city of Charlottesville. But soon several white nationalist groups jumped in to join the protests. Still, no riots would have occurred if liberal groups — most especially the violent Antifa group called Black Bloc — had not shown up to spark violence. Indeed, it was the leftists who started the violence in Charlottesville, not the white separatist groups. Unfortunately, the media reported the violence as sponsored solely by the white power groups and never reported that it was all started by the liberals in their masks facing off against the white groups. If the liberals never showed up to Charlottesville, there never would have been any violence at all. It would have just been the white power groups parading around pushing their repugnant ideas, but with no one getting hurt or killed. The liberals went to Charlottesville looking for blood. And they got it. But the media never reported this truth.

Secondly came Trump’s “fine people” comment.

When the president first remarked about Charlottesville, he said that there were “fine people” who had come out to oppose the destruction of the Robert E. Lee statue in a Charlottesville public park. And he was right. Of the protesters gathered in the town, Trump said, “You also had some very fine people on both sides.”

Trump was right. The first group that arranged the rally at the statue was a local group only looking to save the city’s historic monument that had stood for nearly 100 years. They were not “white nationalists” or looking to start any violence. They were just local history preservationists.

But that isn’t how the fake news media reported the president’s comment. They reported that Trump was calling the Nazi groups “fine people” when he was not. Take The New York Times for instance. The so-called “paper of record” published a lie-filled story headlined, “Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost.”

This was a lie. Trump never praised white supremacists.

Indeed, Trump later made it explicit when he said, “I think there is blame on both sides.”

“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at, as you say, the ‘alt-right,’ do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump told the media. “What about the fact they came charging with clubs in hands, swinging clubs, do they have any problem? I think they do.”

Clearly, Donald Trump was not calling Nazis and white nationalists “fine people.” But the “news” media aren’t interested in facts.

Time Reports Trump Removed Statue of Martin Luther King, Jr., From Oval Office

As soon as Donald Trump took over the White House, Time magazine reported that Trump removed the bust of Martin Luther King, Jr., that President Obama put in the Oval Office. The “news” was fake. Trump only moved the bust to a different spot to make room for a bust of British WWII hero, Prime Minister Winston Churchill that Obama had actually removed from the room when he first became president. Time later recanted the story.

CNN Edits Video to Make it Look Like Trump Overfed Japanese Fish

In November 2017, CNN was outraged that President Trump overfed some Japanese Koi fish during a state visit with Japan’s leader, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. CNN aired a video that showed Trump holding a box of fish food at a Japanese Koi pond only to show him dumping the whole box all at once into the water.

The infuriated CNN headlined its report, “Trump feeds fish, winds up pouring entire box of food into Koi pond.” An edited video of the incident was appended to the report.

While it was true that Trump did dump the rest of his box of fish food into the water, he didn’t do so on his own volition. In fact, the full video of the incident shows Shinzo Abe dumping his own full box of food into the water first. The full video shows Abe dumping his food, then Trump throwing a small handful out before he followed that Japanese leader’s example and upended his box into the water.

But in order to smear Trump, CNN edited out the images showing Abe dumping his own box into the water first and made it look like Trump was acting rudely and irresponsibly during the visit.

Paul Krugman Reports That Trump Election Would Tank the Economy

Paul Krugman has one of the worst records for predictions in all of economics but because he is an extreme liberal, The New York Times still employs him. In 2016 he made one of his worst, most biased predictions of all when he “reported” that the U.S. economy would tank once Trump got elected. But since Trump’s election, the Dow has hit multiple highs, and the unemployment rate is lower than it has ever been in history. It is quite the opposite of Krugman’s claims, the economy is booming because of Donald Trump.

Book Author Produces Fake Trump Biography, Media Celebrates

The book Fire and Fury, by Michael Wolff, was supposed to be the definitive record of Donald Trump’s first year in office. The media hailed the book as gospel and invited Wolff on TV for a month to hawk the thing. Ultimately, though, it was discovered that much of the characterizations of the president and his administration — all of which were wildly negative — were just rhetorical flourish and not facts. It turned out that Wolff just made most of the stuff up and the book was filled with mistakes of facts (including misspelled names), misattributed quotes, fictitious incidents, and flat-out lies.

But even after the book was outed as fantasy, MSNBC’s Katy Tur insisted that the book was still good because “it all feels true.” So, her “feelings” of hate for Trump was more important than actual facts.

The entire book and all the breathless coverage was nothing but fake news.

The 2016 Election Was ‘Hacked’

Many in the media continue to this day to tell viewers and readers that the 2016 presidential election was “hacked.” This claim, though, is not now and never has been true. No state had its 2016 election systems hacked. Foreign actors also did not succeed in changing the outcome of the election by fooling voters into voting in any certain way.

Further, even if some nefarious actors out there did try to influence the election, no votes were changed, and few people were fooled into voting for Trump (or Hillary, for that matter) by foreign actors.

In addition, many liberal media outlets continue to claim that the Russians skewed the 2016 vote by using Internet bots or misleading advertising online to affect the outcome of the election. This claim has also been debunked. Indeed, the money Russia spent on Internet advertising was minuscule and could not have caused any major changes in voting patterns.

Finally, the media also claims that tens of thousands of documents from Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democrat National Committee were also “hacked” and released to the public during the election. This is also a lie. In fact, these documents were discovered by a phishing expedition and obtained because Democrat officials didn’t use proper cybersecurity allowing their actual passwords to be used to gain access to the info. There was no “hacking” involved. Just bad security procedures by Hillary’s own people. But everywhere you look in the media this event was called a “hacking” when it wasn’t any such thing. Phishing isn’t the same thing as hacking. It just isn’t.

Gun News Goes Awry

As usual, the media also got wrong nearly every gun story it has “reported” since Trump came to office. The worst case was when multiple media outlets led with the fake fact that there were 1,552 mass shootings since the Sandy Hook crime occurred in 2012.

CNN’s Jim Acosta led with this false claim in a December 2017 report where he made the absurd claim that there have been approximately 310 mass shootings a year since 2012.

Later, after the shooting Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida, multiple media outlets claimed that there had already been 18 mass shootings as early as February in 2018. This is also a lie.

There have been many major non-Trump fake news over the last ten years, too.

Hands Up, Don’t Shoot

Take the claim that a police officer killed a teenager from Ferguson, Missouri, even though he had his hands up and was yelling “hands up, don’t shoot.” The phrase became a major protest slogan for the Black Lives Matter movement and has since become an article of faith by the media and liberals across the nation.

But the truth is, the claim is a lie. Teenager Michael Brown never uttered any such phrase. Indeed, Brown was shot and killed not in the act of surrender with his hands up in the air, but in the act of trying to wrestle away a police officer’s gun.

‘Rolling Stone’ Fake Campus Rape Tale

While the fake story of a frat gang-raping a student at a Virginia college wasn’t about Trump and occurred before his campaign and election, it is certainly a standout fake news story from the last decade, one that destroyed a magazine’s reputation and cost it big money in lawsuits.

The ostensible music magazine published a story in November of 2014 entitled, “A Rape On Campus.” This tale told of a woman who claimed that an entire fraternity raped her and that the University of Virginia did nothing about it.

The story was hailed as a major piece of investigative journalism and shopped around by every media outlet as a cautionary tale that proved how evil white college fraternity members could be. But after a few months the story began to fall apart and its author, Sabrina Rubin Erdely, soon admitted that she didn’t try to corroborate any of the claims her secret source told her. In the end, the whole story proved to be built on lies. Nothing alleged in the article was true.

The story ended up costing Rolling Stone at least $1.65 million in damages. And probably much more than that.

NBC and CNN Selectively Edits 911 Call to Make George Zimmerman Out to Be a Racist

In 2012 a Hispanic man named George Zimmerman shot and killed a black teen named Trayvon Martin who Zimmerman suspected of acting suspiciously. Zimmerman called the police to report that Martin was skulking around the neighborhood. Eventually, Martin began beating Zimmerman causing the latter to draw his legally carried pistol with which he shot and killed Martin.

When NBC and CNN reported on the story, the two outlets aired a recording of Zimmerman’s 911 call on which he said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.”

The media excoriated Zimmerman as a racist and began to call him a “white Hispanic” to slyly suggest he was a racist, because, you know, only white people can be racist.

But it was soon found out that the 911 recordings NBC and CNN were airing had been selectively edited to make Zimmerman sound like a racist.

The actual transcript of the call showed that Zimmerman said, “This guy looks like he’s up to no good. Or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining, and he’s just walking around, looking about.” The dispatcher then asked Zimmerman if the suspect was white or black to which he replies, “He looks black.”

Unlike the way the call was first reported, Zimmerman did not offer the suspect’s race until the dispatcher asked for that information.

There are many more, and I am sure that you, dear reader, have already yelled at me for not including your favorite fake news story of the last decade. But suffice to say, they are many and varied. Sadly, the fake news won’t stop until the national media goes back to being a profession instead of a place for the left to spew its propaganda.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Follow Warner Todd Huston on:

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing news, opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that wrote articles on U.S. history for several American history magazines. Huston is a featured writer for Andrew Breitbart’s Breitbart News, and he appears on such sites as,,, and many, many others. Huston has also appeared on Fox News, Fox Business Network, CNN, and many local TV shows as well as numerous talk radio shows throughout the country.

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