"I think Donald Trump is in the White House because of me"
That's a quote from Paul Horner, the leader of a fake news empire interviewed today in a must-read piece by the Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey (9,555 shares). Nick Lucchesi of Inverse calls it, "'I don't know whether to laugh or sob,' moment 693, of 2016." The Washington Post's Philip Bump is even less charitable toward Horner: "The guy behind ABC.com.co tries to take the high ground on his garbage." CNN's Jake Tapper points to the reason Horner believes his stories performed so well: "Guy behind misinformation website on why it's succeeding: 'Honestly, people are definitely dumber.'"
But it's Katie Rogers of the New York Times who twists the knife most painfully here: "Man who writes fake news makes $10,000 a month. Meanwhile, newsroom layoffs announced weekly."
Meet the Theranos whistleblower
One of the most compelling non-election stories of the past two years surrounded doctored research and ignored quality control checks at the once mega-hot bio-tech startup Theranos, as reported by the Wall Street Journal's John Carreyrou. But if behind every great story there's a great writer, then behind every earth-shaking story there's a brave whistleblower—and in this case, it's Tyler Shultz, who Carreyrou profiles in a great new piece (12,000 shares). "The inside story of the Theranos scandal is more personal, intense, and emotional than you could possibly imagine," tweets Carreyrou's WSJ colleague, Dennis K. Berman.
And it wasn't just Shultz who faced intense trials an scrutiny at the hands of Theranos and its CEO Elizabeth Holmes, but Carreyrou himself: "What the co., lawyers, & former Sec'y of State did to intimidate a whistleblower & @johncarreyrou," tweets another Journal colleague, Jenny Strasberg. "Cracking good, incisive read. Just fantastic work from @JohnCarreyrou," tweets the Southern Investigative Reporting Foundation. "Forget fake news," says the Journal's Steven Russolillo. "This is the real deal: Theranos whistleblower shook the company—and his family."
And finally, The Intercept's Sam Biddle has the hottest take of them all: "Elizabeth Holmes is a Bad Person."
But, I mean, don't forget about fake news completely...
According to BuzzFeed's Craig Silverman, Viral Fake Election News Outperformed Real News On Facebook In Final Months Of The US Election" (23,000 shares).
".@craigsilverman has been doing some outstanding work about the journalistic hellscape of fake news on the web," tweeted Ben Collins of The Daily Beast. New York Times columnist Justin Wolfers has a brutal, economic take on the matter: "The market for news is broken." MSNBC's Chris Hayes says, "There is so so much to pour over in this."
KFMB's Carlo Cecchetto has a not-so-nefarious but enormously convincing reason for the spike in fake news engagement: "Is it because people wanted to believe the headlines?"
And finally, here's PopSugar's Ann-Marie Alcantara on the issue: "lol I can't wait to see how mark zuckerberg responds to this."