Journalism is dead. Fake news has fluttered the internet, yet it’s being blamed on the Right. Democrats are using this idea of fake news as an excuse for why Donald Trump won the election.
However, it never started only from the Right. Many fake news stories started from Leftist activists trying to push a narrative, and that narrative gets picked up by the mainstream media. From there, the narrative is reported as fact.
Take Shaun King for example.
The New York Daily News senior justice writer lists himself as a journalist, but he’s really an activist.
King is the king of posting fake news on his Facebook and Twitter. His combined following between the two platforms is 1.7 million (of course, there’s probably some overlap between the two). Yet, his posts get shared hundreds and thousands of times, garnering visceral reactions from his followers, who more often than not are being duped.
After Donald Trump was elected president, King was on a warpath to push a narrative that thousands of Trump supporters were going out of their way to harass people of color, Muslims, Hispanics, and women because of his victory. He posted photos and personal accounts from other individuals to social media that deceitfully told a false narrative.
On November 10th, King posted this account from July Thompson at Towson University in Maryland on Twitter.
The biggest issue with this post is not the fact that it didn’t occur — it’s that the incident happened in April 2016. King is looking to create a narrative that isn’t completely accurate.
Another fake hate crime committed by Trump supporters after the election and shared by King involved a University of Minnesota student Kathy Mirah Tu.
"Go back to Asia," said the white man, emboldened by Trump, to the American citizen. I have 3,000+ emails in my inbox of these nationwide. pic.twitter.com/Ypx6rtMkzH— Shaun King (@ShaunKing) November 10, 2016
Tu was allegedly harassed by a Trump supporter and told to “go back to Asia.” She described that the man threatened to hit her, but she punched him first. Then, according to Tu’s account, the U of M police arrived and put her in handcuffs. They then let her off with a warning. Campus police deny ever responding to or receiving a report about any such incident.
Hate crimes exist, don’t get me wrong. People of color, Hispanics, and Muslims get harassed, abused, or even assaulted and killed. But if you only follow King’s activity on social media, he’s making people believe it’s happening all the time. Racial and religious minorities claim to be scared to even go out anymore.
This is just a small sample of fake hate crimes that King has posted that went viral. However, when they turned out to be fake, King never recanted his stories, tweets, or posts. He never offered an apology for getting the facts wrong or pushing a hoax to his followers. He just keeps posting stories without taking a step back and looking at all the facts. He appears to be just post these accounts for likes, shares, and retweets. That’s reckless for journalists like King.
Yes, journalism is dead. And Shaun King helped kill it.