Confessions of a Fake News Reporter

Column by Douglas Herman.

Exclusive to STR

“A lie can travel half way around the world while truth is still putting on its shoes.”  ~ Mark Twain

I write for those so-called “fake news” websites. You know the ones: the 200 odd deplorable websites, the ones Hillary, the Pope and Michael Moore have attacked as threatening to destroy World Peace, Democracy, Facebook and the Mainstream Media (MSM).

I only write for a handful of them, sad to say, although I’ve been linked to scores more. One of my recent columns went viral and it probably swayed the entire election – for better or worse: Before Trump, Sen Bulworth Spoke Truth To Power .  Seriously, the blatant corruption of the losing team, from Super Delegates to Podesta and PizzaGate to hidden Hillary health issues and secret sums of money funneling through the Clinton Foundation in “Pay to Play” accusations cost them the election, despite the best efforts and endorsements of the entire American media.

I’ve written for Rense, Counterpunch, Antiwar and Zerohedge. Most of my best stuff appears here on Strike The Root first, or STR as we call it, a website where Henry David Thoreau rather than Mark Zuckerberg is our moderator.  Tragically, STR did not appear on ProporNot and we are devastated, absolutely devastated.  Not.

Sometimes I ask my friends: If knowledge is power and ignorance is bliss, which is preferable? I always hope someone will respond, as Socrates or Obi Wan would have: Knowledge of our ignorance is power; bliss in this age is unattainable

So then, as an average American citizen, is it better to be misinformed or uninformed? Because Disinformation is almost a holy sacrament within the mainstream Operation Mockingbird media. Thus we fake news reporters believe we’re channeling our inner Tom Paine, Mark Twain or Henry D. Thoreau when we blog or post or link. When HDT wrote: “There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil, to one who is striking at the root,” he was a spreader of fake news, by today’s tender standards. We like to think of ourselves as worldwide root strikers, following in his footsteps.

Cui Bono: Who Benefits?

Cops and crime scene investigators (CSI) always ask that question: Who benefits? Who had most to gain by the murder? We fake news reporters pride ourselves on getting the facts. Like legendary Joe Friday from that old TV show, Dragnet, we interview eyewitnesses, contact insiders and whistleblowers, sift through the circumstantial evidence (Like John Podesta’s creepy artwork) and attempt to deduce the truth. Unlike the TV talking heads and Op/Ed writers for the elite media news, we want to know exactly Who Benefits?  Even if it pisses off some elites. Or the elite media.

“There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

Sounds like some fake news screed, right, or some wacky conspiracy theory, right? Nope, this was written almost a hundred years ago by the Father of Public Relations and author of a book on propaganda that greatly influenced Adolf Hitler. Edward Bernays was Jewish and teaching in New York in 1923. Hitler’s Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, read his book Crystallizing Public Opinion and learned a lot from him a few years later, adopting Bernays’ masterful propaganda techniques. “There is no means of human communication which may not also be a means of deliberate propaganda,” Bernays wrote and the Nazis adopted. “The American motion picture is the greatest unconscious carrier of propaganda in the world today.”

Maybe the mainstream media should nominate Ed Bernays as the Founding Father of Fake News, for spreading these ludicrous ideas far ahead of his time. But fakery and fudging the facts is best left to those rich and powerful Mockingbirds and their presstitutes of the so-called legacy media. Most of the best and brightest of that media have long since been blacklisted or silenced. Seymour Hersh, Steve Lendman and Paul Craig Roberts rarely appear in the NY/LA Times anymore.  Why? Because their stuff, like most of the stuff written by unknown root strikers like me, is exactly like Senator Bulworth’s. Too tough, too true.

“It must be the money; it turns everything to crap,” said Bulworth to some Hollywood elites in that movie, just before the Oscar-winning actor and director, Warren Beatty, was blacklisted from Hollywood for almost 20 years. But money is rarely a factor for fake news reporters like myself. We do it for patriotism and professional pride. In more than a dozen years of devising “fake news,” I’ve been paid about $2,000 or about TEN BUCKS A COLUMN.

“I guess I really do believe that the good is worth doing because it is good,” said peace activist and co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS), Ray McGovern. “It shouldn’t matter that there is little or no guarantee of success, or even a truthful recounting of what happened.”

A couple years ago, McGovern was manhandled out of a Hillary Clinton speech she gave at George Washington University.  The topic of her speech? The need for respect of dissent. Naturally NONE of the so-called legacy media present there covered his dissent, except in a dismissive way. “America’s Fawning Corporate Media is the embodiment of a Fourth Estate that is dead in the water,” McGovern added.

By contrast to my TEN BUCKS a column, Hillary Clinton received a reported $500,000 for an appearance and speech she gave at ASU. The transcript never appeared in public, as far as I know, so it must have been absolutely priceless.

“Hillary Clinton, the woman who voted for a war that was sold on a diet of fake news, a war that killed hundreds of thousands, is now lecturing Americans about fake news putting ‘lives at risk’,” wrote Paul Joseph Watson, on the alleged fake news website Infowars. Watson is like Sherlock Holmes’ sidekick on steroids. “Being lectured by Hillary Clinton about fake news is like being lectured by Ted Bundy about not raping and killing women. It’s a joke, but a particularly sick joke given that Hillary’s role in pushing fake news had actually led to the deaths of countless innocent lives.”

We fake news reporters feed on the efforts and insights of others. We wish them well, Godspeed, Kudos, Bravos, Hurrahs, Links and Likes. Because we know that Pulitzer Prizes for reporting are now reserved for the con artists connected to the crony crime media. True Crime reporters rarely win Pulitzers anymore.

Consider Matthew Allen. He penned a column called: NYT Mocks PizzaGate as Impossible, But Its CEO Covered up Jimmy Savile Scandal. Now if this news reporter Allen is wrong, a malicious spreader of so-called fake news, then why doesn’t the NYT sue him for slander or libel?  Most of us would simply Google this fellow Jimmy Savile and then we would try to weigh the facts in PizzaGate objectively.

Allen writes, “It’s important to remember that the CEO of the fabled newspaper is none other than Mark Thompson, the former BBC director who ‘lied’ during the Jimmy Savile investigation, and is at least partly to blame for allowing a monster like Savile (So evil?) to operate within the BBC for so long ‘undetected’.”

As I said, if so many of us fake news reporters are slandering people, why aren’t they suing us? Shouldn’t The New York Times, instead of trying to sublet office space in their diminishing empire, sue writers like Matthew Allen? Why doesn’t the New York Times sue him for malicious slander or libel? “Mark Thompson’s newspaper is a crime against the written word,” Allen added, as a parting shot.  

To those of us who seek the truth, guys like Allen and Assange and Anonymous are allies in the fight against the toxic lies of the wealthy, well-connected and woefully corrupt power elites.

Props or Snopes?

Over the holidays, when a huge scandal shocked the cringing mainstream media world, WE CELEBRATED. We celebrated the deliciously karmic news that Facebook 'fact checker' was accused of embezzling company funds. The so-called debunker of “fake news,” deified by the mainstream media without any fact-checking at all, suddenly was a steaming pile of backstabbers, porn stars and alleged con artists and embezzlers.  Not that there’s anything wrong with porn stars.  Most mainstream media personalities are highly paid porn performers. They just earn MILLIONS more than porn star Jenna Jameson ever dreamed of earning.

Many brilliant fake news reporters remain anonymous while posting as fictional characters in the alt media. Cognitive Dissonance, Miffed Microbiologist and Hedgeless Horseman are funny and always provocative at Zerohedge.  Jack Burton, at the same website, offers some astute, thought-provoking insight on an especially timely subject, terrorism.

“ISIS never touches an Israeli head,” Jack opined recently. “They are sworn allies of the Israeli Government. Seeing great benefits to be had from the Middle East Super Power, backed by the USA. The main ISIS allies are: Turkey, Israel, the USA and NATO. All this Obama crying on TV about ISIS threats is bullshit fucking lies. Obama is behind backing ISIS on to final victory in Syria. When Russia began to kill ISIS in earnest, the following governments demanded they cease bombing ISIS at once:  Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Jordan, Turkey, USA, UK, Germany and others.”

Now that Aleppo has fallen, the mainstream media is in mourning. Not for all the wars they encouraged these past 15 years, or for the millions of refugees those wars caused, or the tremendous pressure now on European countries to house and feed those refugees.  No, not at all.  To them, that evil dictator Putin has almost prevailed, and only freedom of the press will keep democracy safe. And you know what? They are right. Only freedom of the press and the Constitution will keep citizens safe. That’s why I guess I’ll log onto George Washington’s Blog, Zerohedge, Infowars, Brietbart, STR, Rense and Natural News to stay informed.  Because we fake news reporters must keep informed.  Without us, America will certainly fall.

Addendum: While we fake news reporters love to be proven right, quite often we’re proven prescient. When I penned JFK and Obama--Profiles in Courage and Cowardice, I hoped to have been proven wrong. Sadly, ALL of the fake news reporters I quoted in that column EXACTLY eight years ago were proven correct.

Addendum 2.0   No fake news reporter can claim Trump will succeed overwhelmingly. More likely he will sell out his huge core of hopeful believers to the money/power elites, just as almost all presidents have done in the past. If not, Trump will die in some tragic accident or from some lone gunman. We would love to be proven wrong.

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Douglas Herman's picture
Columns on STR: 149

Award winning artist, photographer and freelance journalist, Douglas Herman can be found wandering the back roads of America. Doug authored the political crime thriller, The Guns of Dallas  and wrote and directed the Independent feature film,Throwing Caution to the Windnaturally a "road movie," and credits STR for giving him the impetus to write well, both provocatively and entertainingly. A longtime gypsy, Doug completed a 10,000 mile circumnavigation of North America, by bicycle, at the age of 35, and still wanders between Bullhead City, Arizona and Kodiak, Alaska with forays frequently into the so-called civilized world of Greater LA. Write him at Roadmovie2 @


KenK's picture

WTF is "fake news"?
It's devolved meaning as of now is as a generic pejoritive for any news reporting that the reader doesnt agree with or like. Like the term "propaganda" applied to any article based on who wrote or published it, not on what's actually written or its logical coherence, or its use or citation of verifiable info or data.
Some time ago, out of curiosity, I would click on links at the bottom of some websites that made sensational claims and just click through the various pages to see what it amounted to, and I quickly concluded that it was just clickbait using contrived or misleading statements to suck you in. That's one kind of fake news. Misleading nonsense for page views. The tabloid press like National Enquirer and grocery store check out gossip mags have perfected this form of "fake news".
Another kind of fake news is the Daily Show & Colbert Report where the host riffs on current events as if was a straight news report but actually as satirical humor. If Jon Stewart ever got called out on it, he just shrugs and says that he's not a "real" journalist and of course it's fake news! He's a fake newsman! What was surprising though was large amount of viewers who believed and passed it on even knowing that it was written by comedy writers. Comedy writers with a sharp partisan edge although.
Rush Limbaugh and Conservative talk radio hosts have their own style of deconstruction that can constitute fakery. Rush did a riff on mainstream media headlines and the disconect that they showed. "Prison Population Increasing Even as Crime Rates Fall" is one deconstruct i recall from memory. Without going in to the meat of the story's reporting, (from the NYT if I remember) Limbaugh pointed out that the crime rate was lower, likely because more violent criminals were being incarcerated and for longer amounts of time, and so that's why the jails were full up. So the reporters theme, as expressed in the headline, was "fake" as he saw it, but it still put the false notion out there as news and so Limbaugh was doing a call out. So there's that kind of "fake news".
The worst current example of fake news is the "Russians Hacked the Election" theme where anonymous intelligence sources are quoted as saying this. Citing anonymous sources from unnamed agencies as proof for an unexpected election loss doesn't explain why one side outpolled the other side but it doesn't stop the partisan media echo chamber from discussing, repeting, and cementing in place events that likely never happened. That too, is fake news. Probably the most unsettling kind. The Obama State Department saying the Bengazhi embassy massacre was caused by a YouTube video is perhaps the most sinsister example of fake news to deflect incompetence and was totally effective at doing so, even after it was debunked, because few remember it, even a scant four years later.
Come to think of it, about everything except sports scores is fake news anymore. That's the approach I take FWIW to you.