A Daily Beast reporter has dashed the illusions of Western journalists everywhere by revealing on Twitter the shocking and grim reality that disinformation and fake news are not exclusively Russian concepts.
Reporter Sam Stein tweeted about the reaction to a Daily Beast effort to dox and harass a private citizen for the crime of posting a doctored video of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when he decided to philosophize on the nature of propaganda, concluding that “disinformation isn’t the purview of Russia alone.”
Who could ever have guessed?
Stein was “shocked” by the fact that readers weren’t totally delighted by his colleague Kevin Poulsen’s fearless report exposing the political misdeeds of a day laborer and sports blogger from the Bronx, who dared to make fun of Pelosi — and who actually denies posting the viral video at all.
On Twitter, reaction to Stein’s tweet was split between those wondering why he thought attempting to ruin the man’s life was a solid editorial decision — and those stunned that Stein had, until now, apparently believed disinformation was something uniquely Russian.
The only people who ever believed disinformation was “the purview of Russia alone” are “self-aggrandizing, sleazy, click-chasing Daily Beast journalists,” tweeted journalist Michael Tracey.
“Thank you for showing us that moronic Russophobia is very much the purview of Daily Beast journalists,” wrote reporter Aaron Mate.
Many felt a tad uncomfortable with the idea of major media outlets using their resources to attack and harass citizens for posting political content that they don’t agree with on social media.