The Intercept, an online left-wing news outlet founded by eBay billionaire Pierre Omidyar and edited by, among others, Glenn Greenwald, has announced the firing of reporter Juan Thompson (pictured) for a series of known fabrications reminiscent of Stephen Glass, The New Republic reporter fired in 1998 for serial fabrications. According to the site’s editor-in-chief Betsy Reed, Thompson’s sins include both invented people and quotes.
Fully retracted is a story about Scott Roof, cousin of Dylann Roof, the racist terrorist who murdered nine black churchgoers last year in South Carolina. The story quotes the cousin as ascribing a motive to Dylann Roof involving a girl he liked dating a black man.
Scott Roof does not appear to exist.More.
Reality check: Thompson has caught on to something that eludes many: It doesn’t matter any more.
People who are not needed must get the dispensers of social benefits to pay attention to them. Thus, narratives (especially grievance narratives) trump facts, and the writer who would get ahead manufactures news to suit.
Johnson’s problem is most likely that he hit the shore too soon. Later, I believe, reporters will be hird for the express purpose of creating such stories, editing and trimming as needed.
See also: 2015: In an age of manufactured news, manufactured hate
Now Chappaquiddick to be sanitized via new film
The “Truth” film about Rathergate bombed at box office, but so?
Variety on Truth bomb: “CBS News has since declared “Truth” full of lies, … “which may have hurt the film’s commercial prospects …” (Didn’t hurt the film for its key purpose, which was to normalize lying.)