Manufactured Fake News

I like Gordon Lightfoot. Sometimes I listen to him when I write. My favorite song is “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” which is a ballad about an iron ore ship that sinks in a Lake Michigan gale. The ballad ends with a dead ship resting in deep water.

The FAKE NEWS industry routinely issues stories that end up dead — like the Edmund Fitzgerald — and we fail to mourn them. It is really outrageous.

Let’s dissect one of my recent favorites.

Yesterday morning (Wednesday) early, ABC News breathlessly reported as follows:

“U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting. Two officials familiar with the document’s contents” reportedly told ABC News that those concerns “were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI).”

That same day, the Director of the National Center for Medical Intelligence refuted that statement in the following manner:

“As a matter of practice the National Center for Medical Intelligence does not comment publicly on specific intelligence matters. However, in the interest of transparency during this current public health crisis, we can confirm that media reporting about the existence/release of a National Center for Medical Intelligence Coronavirus-related product/assessment in November of 2019 is not correct. No such NCMI product exists.”

When prodded, ABC News said that their report, as noted above, was attributed to “four sources briefed on the secret report” and “two officials familiar with the report’s contents.” Of course all six of these “sources” are anonymous, no written or audio record exists of these conversations.

The ABC News story doubles down and says the report was circulated at the Pentagon (Joint Staff level), the White House, and the Defense Intelligence Agency. Unfortunately NONE of those entities has a briefing from the National Center for Medical Intelligence on their agenda/schedule for the last six months and they, the NIMC, are not routinely briefers for those entities.

The Director of the National Center for Medical Intelligence, Dr. R Shane Day, went to the unusual step of issuing the statement above. The NCMI has never issued such a statement in the last ten years.

Further it is worth noting that the National Center for Medical Intelligence is a part of the Defense Intelligence Agency and is subordinate to them. They are in constant contact and any reports pertinent to medical intelligence would routinely be issued by the Defense Intelligence Agency, not a subordinate entity.

So, dear reader, where does that leave us? It leaves us with the dead Edmund Fitzgerald, buried beneath a sea of fake, manufactured news of the type intended to make the current admin look poorly in the face of the public.

Does anybody at ABC News have any ethics? Any intellectual curiosity? NO.

But, hey, what the Hell do I really know anyway? I’m just a Big Red Car. Got to run, call coming in from ABC News. Fake