As it turns out, the armada was 3,500 miles away from Korea and heading in the exact opposite direction when the MSM started flipping its lid...
Given how tense things have been on the Korean peninsula lately, it would be hard to imagine how the perilous North Korean/American military standoff could get any more dangerous. And then a headline like this comes along: "U.S. Reroutes Warships Toward Korean Peninsula in Show of Force."
Just to get everyone up to speed, here's the story so far (in Star Wars opening scroll form, no less!):
The Korean peninsula is in crisis! The evil General Jong-un, angered by the Empire's Foal Eagle, has threatened a "super mighty pre-emptive strike" against the forces of Emperor Trump. Grieving for his fallen grandfather, Jong-un displays his most fearsome papier-mâché weapons. Emperor Trump consorts with Grand Leader Xi of Planet ChiCom, plying him with enchanted Mar-a-Lago cake and enticing him to join the Empire with a truce in the currency war. Then, word comes that the Emperor's armada is bearing down on Korea...
That's right, after a decade of disquiet over North Korea's nuclear program (thanks, Donald Rumsfeld!), years of fear over rising defence budgets and military exercises and armament upgrades, months of melodrama over North Korea's missile launches, and weeks of worry over North Korea's annual military parade and South Korea's political turmoil, the US decides to ratchet the mayhem up to eleven by sending a freaking armada into Korean waters!...
...Or at least that's what we were told. By the New York Times, no less, and they're the infallible, unimpeachable, venerable paper of record, so it must be true! As always they were first out of the gates with their crack reporting on the fearsome armada: "The commander of American forces in the Pacific has ordered an aircraft carrier and several other warships toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force by the Trump administration just days after North Korea tested another intermediate-range missile."
There's only one problem with that story: It was totally false. Completely wrong. Fake news. As it turns out, the armada was 3,500 miles away from Korea and heading in the exact opposite direction when the MSM started flipping its lid over this "incredible escalation."
As the Times now reports: "White House officials said Tuesday that they had been relying on guidance from the Defense Department. Officials there described a glitch-ridden sequence of events, from an ill-timed announcement of the deployment by the military’s Pacific Command to a partially erroneous explanation by the defense secretary, Jim Mattis — all of which perpetuated the false narrative that a flotilla was racing toward the waters off North Korea."
So of course the upstanding and truth-telling editors of the trusty and honorable New York Times admitted that they had run a bogus report without even a cursory attempt to verify any of its particulars, right?
Nah, they're just making fun of the Trump administration. "Paging the Trump Armada" they joke in their latest op-ed, enjoying a good laugh at the expense of that goofy Sean Spicer, forced into defending another "official fantasy" with another failed attempt to square the circle of Trump's lies.
The rest of the always-honest, never-wrong MSM followed suit in both cases, reporting on the armada after the Times' first headline and blaming the administration for the mistake after the Times issued its non-retraction retraction.
To be fair, they're not wrong. The fact is that the Emperor of the United States poured gasoline on this fake story by telling Fox News flat out: "We are sending an armada. Very powerful. We have submarines. Very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier, that I can tell you."
Now that we know the story was a flat out lie, the implications of this quotation is stunning. Did the "leader of the free world" deliberately fan the flames of potential nuclear war by playing along with a story about a military deployment that he knew was not taking place? Or, even more chillingly, was he caught blindsided by the story and made comments about a deployment that he falsely assumed to be happening? Either way, those of us who benefit from not being caught in the middle of nuclear Armageddon might want to question the teleprompter-in-chief's 12D chess strategy.
But think about how much scarier this situation is when we consider the fact that the MSM dutifully reported on this non-deployment as if it were real. We're in the midst of a months-long campaign attempting to indoctrinate the public to believe that there are a bunch of wild-eyed lying conspiracy mongers trying to fool the public with fake news. One of the key defining characteristics of this "fake news" brigade, we are told, is that they don't attempt to verify stories before passing them along and they don't retract them or even admit their mistakes when they're caught out.
But here we have the entire MSM acting as the dutiful stenographers for the White House that they so obviously are and then blaming the White House when they're caught passing along lies. You would think even one reporter in those well-staffed newsrooms of the MSM dinosaurs would have bothered to check where this "armada" was actually heading before filing the report, wouldn't you? Well, you would've thought wrong, apparently.
Meanwhile, the leaders of this Star Wars space opera continue their games and enjoy watching the rest of us dance the nuclear cha-cha-cha. Because even if all of these "tensions" are an elaborate scam that's just meant to scare up some money for the military-industrial cancer, it's incidents like this one that could start a very real incident. All it takes is the wrong military hothead on the wrong day getting the wrong signal from the wrong direction and a completely fabricated story about a completely fictional armada could very well lead to a real war. And, as always, it's the little people down here at the bottom of the power pyramid who bear the brunt of these power games.
Well, if the MSM are right about anything, they're right about this: We're living in an era of fake news, and it has to end now.