The fake and the furious are busy today. Update at bottom.
In my Sunday column, I committed a cardinal sin in the post-fact Trump era — calling out a “journalist” who lies for a living on at least three fake news sites. Amanda Shea used a photo stolen from The Times-Tribune to bolster an entirely false story about Hillary Clinton‘s visit to the Society of Irish Women Dinner in Scranton. Read the details here.
When Amanda Shea was exposed, she updated her fake story with another photo and tried to weasel her way out of blame. I reached out to Amanda for her side of the fake story, but she refused to stand by her fake story.
Again: Aside from Hillary being in Scranton for the event, everything in Amanda’s story was false, a deliberate fabrication created to make money attracting haters who prefer their “news” fact-free.
The “backlash,” brought by fewer than 20 mostly anonymous, grammatically challenged adolescents, was nonetheless instructive. Not one addressed the point of the column: That what Amanda Shea wrote is utterly false. Not true. Not news. Not journalism. Instead, her defenders employed the same diversion tactics most of us grow out of in puberty.
Name-calling. Foot-stamping. Profane taunts. A photo-shopped version of my photo with bloodshot eyes, a joint in my mouth and a swastika on my pinky ring. Amanda Shea must be so proud.
I chose not to publish one hater’s photo-shopped version of the stolen photo she used with her fake story. In it, Hillary and those around her are depicted smoking dope and swilling whisky, One reveler is wearing a Make America Great Again cap. The only public figure in the frame is Hillary Clinton, who is famous enough to be considered fair game even for unfair attacks.
The others defamed in the photo are not fair game, and could make a libel case if properly motivated. There were a lot of strong women in the room that night. More than a few of them are lawyers.
I’m just an Old School hack trying to earn a living in a profession constantly under attack by liars like Amanda Shea and those who are just fine with liars as long as they like the lies.
Which is why the haters tried to make it about anything else. My column was not a defense of Hillary Clinton, but of objective fact and the craft in which I earn my living. I wrote the truth, something haters cannot handle if it does not conform to their fantasies.
And that’s why, for all the hue and cry from the haters, I haven’t heard a peep from Amanda Shea.
Update: Amanda Shea’s fake “Crocked Hillary” story is available at the fake news site American Daily Patriot, which also stole our photo and took it down when threatened with legal action. I won’t link to it because it’s probably teeming with viruses.
This version is allegedly written by Kimberly Hays, who may or may not be an actual person. This is how she describes herself on the site: “Kimberly has been a writer and editor for over 10 years. Her mantra is, write, proofread, rewrite, bang head on desk, then edit. If you’ve ever written anything on a deadline, you can relate.”