By Kali Holloway / AlterNet, November 17, 2016
Conservative Republicans are easy marks, apparently.
Gullibility and ignorance, along with racism and misogyny, went a long way on Donald Trump’s behalf this election. Fake news was passed around, not just by voters, but by Trump’s campaign, giving people who are uninterested in facts more misinformation with which to base (and justify) their voting habits. One of the people creating those ludicrous stories is Paul Horner, a writer who has spent the last six years making up news items, getting them up on Facebook and Google, and then collecting the checks that roll in when they go viral. Trump aides Kellyanne Conway, Corey Lewandowski, and son Eric all sent tweets including links to Horner stories; they never checked to find out if they were true and very likely didn’t care. After all, spreading lies was a key element of what turned out to be a winning campaign strategy.
In a new Washington Post interview, Horner, who said he’s staunchly anti-Trump, admitted to feelings of guilt about how things went. The man behind sites with misleading URLs like ABCNews was apparently surprised to find his stories not only gained so much traction in recent months, but very likely had an impact on the U.S. election. He blamed a pervasive willingness among Trump supporters to believe and pass along anything they were told. Obviously, this wasn’t just true with news they found on social media. Trump voters believed transparent lies that came from their candidate as well.
“Nobody fact-checks anything anymore—I mean, that’s how Trump got elected,” Horner told the Post. “He just said whatever he wanted, and people believed everything, and when the things he said turned out not to be true, people didn’t care because they’d already accepted it. It’s real scary. I’ve never seen anything like it.”…
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