You have the garden variety retractions, of course. The anonymously sourced tales disproven over time. The false narratives that always seem to tilt a certain way.And sometimes an outlet simply lets a source share false statements without even attempting to correct them.
Case in point: This Vanity Fair profile of Full Frontal with Samantha Bee executive producer Jo Miller. The silliness starts with the headline: "Don't Call Full Frontal With Samantha Bee Liberal."
My oh my. What else would you call it? Conservative? Non-partisan? Libertarian? Week after week the show excoriates GOP plans and politicians, leaving precious little room for anything else. Host Bee practically waved pom poms cheering on Hillary Clinton last year. Bee even blasted her own network, TBS, for sharing a joke comparing Clinton's laugh to that of a hyena.
The differences between a Clinton campaign official and Bee were indistinguishable in 2016.
No matter. The story has a farcical angle to push, and it gets straight to business.
The story's sub head doubles down on the dumb: "Executive producer Jo Miller says the term [liberal] is not only ‘lazy’-it's an inaccurate assumption of partisanship."
"We are passionate about feminism, and civil rights, and justice, and black lives, and women's lives-but we're radical centrists. And we're not party affiliated. I think you'll find a lot of our values reflect left of center rather than right of center, but to characterize us as partisan or liberal is lazy and it's just something that people do who don't watch the show. And I think it's also galvanized by the right wing trolls who do hate us, and want a clickbait narrative."
It's all the right wing trolls fault that Bee held an alternative White House Correspondents Dinner that spent 99 percent of its energy attacking the GOP. Oh, and when that event name checked Clinton it was to depict an alternate universe where Madame President was in charge. (That bit mocked Team Trump, too… and played the Gender Card. Hard).
Miller then got serious. Like Dan Rather serious:
"We have an office full of trained journalists here, and academics, who are very serious about following the truth wherever it leads us."
Funny how rarely that search leads to Democrats behaving badly. How many segments have been dedicated to Rep. Maxine Waters, a virtual fountain of comical declarations? Miller continued:
"So I think the fact that we are left of center just reflects where center has moved to these days. . . 'Black people shouldn't be shot for sitting in their cars' should not be a partisan position."
Oh, so your show IS left of center. Darn those self-applied labels!
Still, the show isn't automatically liberal. Why? Miller says when Bee and co. take a stance on an issue "we never check to see who else espouses them."
And, since Bee mocked Bernie Sanders' throng a few times it's totally balanced.
So why this sad attempt to paint Bee's show as nonpartisan? All the better to weaponize it against the right, naturally. A hard-left show attacking President Trump lacks the might of a genuinely fair outlet doing the same.
It's the kind of Fake News that's more laughable than anything else. Yet like too many false accounts, some folks might actually believe it.
For more on just how partisan Samantha Bee is, see NewsBusters.