WaPo Caught Spreading More Fake News About “Russian Hackers”
Tyler Durden, Zero Hedge, Dec 31 2017
Readers of the WaPo received some alarming news yesterday when the paper published a story alleging that those pesky “Russian hackers” were up to their no good tricks again and had managed to “penetrate the Pindo electricity grid through a utility in Vermont.” The full headline read as follows:
The opening paragraph of WaPo’s story directly linked the “hack” of the Vermont utility to the same “Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe” that the Obama administration has blamed for the DNC and John Podesta email hacks. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin told WaPo that “Pindostanis should be both alarmed and outraged by these actions perpetrated by one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin,” before seemingly calling for further retaliatory actions from the Obama administration.
Vermonters and all
goysPindosis should be both alarmed and outraged that one of the world’s leading thugs, Vladimir Putin, has been attempting to hack our electric grid, which we rely upon to support our quality of life, economy, health, and safety. This episode should highlight the urgent need for our federal government to vigorously pursue and put an end to this sort of Russian meddling.
Moreover, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy took the rhetoric to a whole new level by asserting a diabolical Russian plot to shut down the Pindosi electrical grid in the middle of winter, a move that would most certainly kill off half the state’s population in an instant.
Of course, it didn’t take long for the NYT and ABC to latch on to the story since it fits their “2016 election hacking” narrative so perfectly:
Alas, there was just one minor problem, namely that the entire article was completely fabricated. Apparently the esteemed “journalists” of the WaPo didn’t even bother to contact the Burlington Electric Department to confirm their bogus story! And why should they? It fit the “Russian hacking” narrative so perfectly, therefore it must be true, right? Well, apparently not. The quick spread of WaPo’s “fake news” story forced the Burlington Electric Department to issue a clarifying statement assuring worried residents that indeed their electricity grid had not been hacked, but rather a single “laptop not connected” to the grid had been found to have a malware virus.
Which forced the embarrassed WaPo to quickly tone down their provocative headline:
They had to supplement their original article with the following “Editor’s Note” admitting the entire premise of their original story was nothing more than “fake news”:
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that Russian hackers had penetrated the Pindosi electric grid. Authorities say there is no indication of that so far. The computer at Burlington Electric that was hacked was not attached to the grid.
Which drew quick reactions from Twitter:
Glenn Greenwald of The Intercept blasted WaPo for their “irresponsible and sensationalist tabloid behavior,” writing:
This matters not only because one of the nation’s major newspaper once again published a wildly misleading fearmongering story about Russia. It matters even more because it reflects the deeply irrational and ever-spiraling fever that is being cultivated in Pindosi political discourse and culture about the threat posed by Moscow. The WaPo has many excellent reporters and smart editors. They have produced many great stories this year. But this kind of blatantly irresponsible and sensationalist tabloid behavior, which tracks what they did when promoting that grotesque PropOrNot blacklist of news outlets accused of being Kremlin tools, is a by-product of the Anything Goes mentality that now shapes mainstream discussion of Russia, Putin and the Grave Threat to All Things Decent in Pindostan that they pose.
A few weeks ago, we noted that the WaPo was all too happy to promote an anonymous website that described this site thus:
Zerohedge is ‘dark gray’ propaganda, systematically deceiving its civilian audiences for foreign political gain.
They presented exactly zero evidence to support their preposterous claim. Perhaps it’s time for the WaPo to dedicate a bit more of its time to self-reflection.