True Pundit

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  • Politico Magazine Highlights Fox’s Megyn Kelly's “Bad Practice” Of Reporting Conspiracy Theories  

    A “Chunky Stream Of Likely Hokum Flowing Like An Open Sewer On Her Show”

    Blog ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

    Politico Magazine highlighted Fox News' Megyn Kelly peddling anti-Clinton conspiracy theories and disinformation on Fox News’ The Kelly File, and the “bad practice” that has infected the 2016 presidential campaign.

    On the October 3 edition of Fox News’ The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly and correspondent Trace Gallagher covered debunked Clinton conspiracy theories including Hillary Clinton’s supposed plans to carry out a drone strike on WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Politico Magazine described these stories as a “chunky stream of likely hokum flowing like an open sewer on her show,” and described the air time she gave the stories as “bad practice.” From Politico Magazine:

    Earlier this week, Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly provided a prime-time example of how to inject unsubstantiated rumors into the news flow. In a brief segment on her show, she allowed Fox News correspondent Trace Gallagher to promote three spurious Clinton rumors. One was about Hillary Clinton’s health, picked up from a story in the always dubious Daily Mail online, which was an excerpt from Ed Klein’s new book Guilty as Sin. The second was a two decades-old-plus supermarket tabloid allegation, resurfacing in a Drudge Report headline, that Bill Clinton had a son by an Arkansas prostitute. And the third cited a report from the super-dubious True Pundit website citing “sources at the State Department” alleging that while serving as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton asked of Julian Assange, “Can’t we just drone this guy?”

    “OMG,” Kelly said twice after Gallagher’s segment, making little effort to arrest the chunky stream of likely hokum flowing like an open sewer through her show. Now, all three of these tales may be eventually confirmed. The smart journalist never says never. But until there’s more to go on than hearsay, it’s bad practice to repeat somebody else’s tips as if they’re news.

  • Conservatives Run With Sketchy Conspiracy Website’s Utterly Baseless Claim Clinton Wanted To "Drone" Assange

    Blog ››› ››› OLIVER WILLIS

    Assange

    Wikileaks and some conservative outlets are running with a claim that Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton openly speculated about targeting Wikileaks founder Julian Assange with a drone strike. But the report in question comes from an anonymously-sourced article from “True Pundit,” a fringe conspiracy website that even conservatives have criticized.

    On October 2, True Pundit posted an article claiming that during a meeting of “State’s top brass” in 2010 to discuss how to deal with Wikileaks, Clinton asked of Assange, “Can’t we just drone this guy?” The site only attributes the comment to anonymous “State Department sources. ”The fact-checking website Snopes looked into the True Pundit article and found their claim “unproven,” pointing out that the source of their purported Clinton quote was “a vague and anonymous reference that does not yield to verification.” (It’s also unclear why multiple sources with knowledge of this supposed incident that took place in a meeting of senior State Department staff would choose to leak them to a minor conspiracy blogger rather than a credible news outlet. )

    RT, the international news network owned by the Russian government, picked up the True Pundit story. Wikileaks’ official Twitter account also promoted the story, as did Trump allies Alex Jones and Roger Stone. FoxNews.com cited the Wikileaks tweet in its report on Assange rescheduling the time of a proposed address this week.

    True Pundit’s supposed scoop comes on the heels of months of laughable articles forwarding conspiracies about Clinton.

    The site wrote that anonymous “NYPD sources” had told them that during the recent Commander-In-Chief Forum, Clinton was “sporting a mini earbud wired to receive stealth communications from her campaign handlers.” (That conspiracy was picked up by the Trump campaign, along with Alex Jones, the Drudge Report, and Fox’s Sean Hannity)

    The site also promoted a YouTube video claiming to show Clinton “using hand signals to trigger Lester Holt” during the presidential debate. (This claim was held up by Fox News as an example of conspiracy theories that came out of the debate.)

    True Pundit claimed that during the debate there was a “medical episode played off by Hillary Clinton’s frozen smile, shaking head and upper torso with her eyes closed” during which “a concerned Donald Trump can be seen mouthing the word ‘seizure’ to his family and campaign advisors.”

    In August, True Pundit offered “an unprecedented reward of $1 Million (One Million Dollars US) for Clinton’s true medical records” and said Clinton was rumored “to be suffering from a plethora of medical ailments” including dementia, post-concussion syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, a brain tumor, brain injury, and complex partial seizures.

    Conservative blogger Jim Hoft of Gateway Pundit, no stranger to oddball conspiracy content, noted, “TruePundit may be a hoax website” (though he still devoted an article to promoting the claim about the Assange drone strike).

    Heat Street, a conservative website run by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., also described the Assange drone story as a “conspiracy theory.”

    Conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson of Alex Jones’ Infowars initially described the True Pundit story as “iffy,” but after Wikileaks posted it said, “thought this was a fake story, until Wikileaks tweeted it out.”