Big media news for Hillary Clinton Tuesday night as the Arizona Republic ― which had never in its history endorsed a Democrat for president ― has thrown its endorsement to the former secretary of state, citing her lifetime of never coming across like an impulsive man-baby: “The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.”
But not so fast! Donald Trump has a media coup of his own to brag about. Seems that some eagle-eyed investigative reporters at the Baltimore Gazette have brought home a dilly of a scoop: “Multiple reports and leaked information from inside the Clinton camp claim that the Clinton campaign was given the entire set of debate questions an entire week before the actual debate.”
Earlier last week an NBC intern was seen hand delivering a package to Clinton’s campaign headquarters, according to sources. The package was not given to secretarial staff, as would normally happen, but the intern was instead ushered into the personal office of Clinton campaign manager Robert Mook. Members of the Clinton press corps from several media organizations were in attendance at the time, and a reporter from Fox News recognized the intern, but said he was initially confused because the NBC intern was dressed like a Fed Ex employee.
That’s some serious shoe-leather! Unfortunately there was un problema. As the Baltimore City Paper’s Brandon Weigel reported last week:
The Baltimore Gazette, a newspaper that existed very briefly just after the Civil War, has returned online as a site to spread fake news stories and other nonsense.
One article in particular, “ATLANTA OFFICER KILLS BLACK WOMAN, INJURES CHILD, FOLLOWING BREASTFEEDING ARGUMENT,” caught the attention of the online sleuths at Snopes.com after it apparently went viral. Search “Baltimore Gazette” on Facebook and you’ll find a number of people who have been deceived by the breastfeeding story or are trying to prevent others from doing the same.
Yes, turns out the Baltimore Gazette is just one more in an increasingly baffling array of “parody” news sites that swap the humor of The Onion with the crackpottery of your great-uncle’s emails, all while dressing up their wares with as close an approximation to real news as they can muster. (Weigel reports that the “Gazette” does salt its bogus offerings with occasional stories that are on the level ― and stolen from other sources.)
Nevertheless, a story about Clinton getting the debate questions ahead of time? Fake news site or no, you’d have to be a complete idiot to believe ―
Ah, yeah, good old Bill Mitchell, the self-styled pro-Trump radio host whose deeper thoughts included this gem:
Imagine the non-existent polls in imaginary newspapers if you like! In the meantime, remember: The Baltimore Gazette is bogus.
Jason Linkins edits “Eat The Press” for The Huffington Post and co-hosts the HuffPost Politics podcast “So, That Happened.” Subscribe here, and listen to the latest episode below.