While everyone has been focused on Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election to support Donald Trump, the Franken takedown originated in—and was propelled by—a strategic online campaign with digital tentacles reaching to, of all places, Japan. Analysts have now mapped out how Hooters pinup girl and lad-mag model Leeann Tweeden's initial accusation against Franken became effective propaganda after right-wing black ops master Roger Stone first hinted at the allegation.
In an age of #MeToo, the victim is painted as a "Hooters pinup girl and lad-mag model" so matter-of-factly before making Al Franken scandal out to be no more than a "bot" campaign perpetrated by foreigners, like the Russians, of course.
The article sounded as if Newsweek did something the resembled research, but their retraction says it all:
The initial report was based on research conducted by Unhack The Vote, a group examining outside influence in U.S. elections and politics. It alleged that a "decidedly alt-right" botnet "weaponized" anti-Franken stories and amplified pressure on Franken to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct. Newsweek was unable to independently verify their claims after a further review of their work.
Newsweek regrets the error.
The tag "Keep Up With This Story And More By Subscribing Now" is a cute touch.
Why are US journalists obsessed with Russians and bots?
Because they still cannot believe they could convince all of America to vote for Hillary Clinton.
They drooled all over her. They drew big dots for people to connect. They made fun of Trump repeatedly.
And then he got elected.
This spelled the end of an era. It marked the death of journalism in many ways. They lost their influence. That is the obvious one, but there was another.
They completely forgot what was their mandate as a profession.
It was to inform, not persuade, and certainly not to dictate.
This went beyond forgoing telling for selling. They went to dictating.
You will do what we tell you to do!
And that didn't work. The press has been having an escalating war with the public who began to walk away. They no longer saw audiences as anything else but people to recapture and place back under their spell.
They forgot they are just supposed to give facts and information. That's it.
They could not blame themselves. They had to find an "other" to villainize.
It had to be the Russians! It had to be the Nazis! It had to be the bots! It had to be social media!
The paranoia has gotten out of control to the point that their propaganda campaigns have gone from discrediting them to make them global laughingstocks.
No one wants to listen to the rantings of arrogant and misinformed loons who are control freaks. It's not happening.
But we still have a void. We need information, and we need it delivered by those who tell, and don't dictate.
Because gaffes like this serve no purpose, as it explains precisely why the profession collapsed in the first place.