You may have noticed a bizarre tweet about a scandal bigger than “Watergate,” that President Trump shat out of his phone this morning. Fox News noticed:
This Fox News headline is citing the Donald Trump tweet:
Wow, word seems to be coming out that the Obama FBI “SPIED ON THE TRUMP CAMPAIGN WITH AN EMBEDDED INFORMANT.” Andrew McCarthy says, “There’s probably no doubt that they had at least one confidential informant in the campaign.” If so, this is bigger than Watergate!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2018
Wait? Where did Donald Trump learn that there was an “embedded informant”? (The original tweet spelled it, “Imbedded.”) From Fox News, of course:
The National Review’s [Andrew] McCarthy had discussed on “Fox & Friends” Thursday how the FBI probably had “at least one confidential informant” with the campaign.
And how did Andrew McCarthy surmise this? He basically made it up! He applied his own interpretation to a paragraph deep in a NYTimes article:
The F.B.I. obtained phone records and other documents using national security letters — a secret type of subpoena — officials said. And at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials said. That has become a politically contentious point, with Mr. Trump’s allies questioning whether the F.B.I. was spying on the Trump campaign or trying to entrap campaign officials.
In other words, on Fox News, McCarthy extrapolated — without any evidence — “embedded Obama Spy” from “government informant,” which was quoted by Donald Trump, which was reported on by … Fox News.
It’s a fucking fake news factory. One looney quotes another looney on Fox News and then Fox News reports it as news.
But the only headline that matters is this one, from The Independent: