With all the recent kerfuffle about "fake news" contributing to Trump's election I found this story about the old "Mockingbird" / Watergate days of official fake news entertaining - The CIA and the Press: When the Washington Post Ran the CIA’s Propaganda Network.
Last week, the Washington Post published a scurrilous piece by a heretofore obscure technology reporter named Craig Timberg, alleging without the faintest evidence that Russian intelligence was using more than 200 independent news sites to pump out pro-Putin and anti-Clinton propaganda during the election campaign.
Under the breathless headline, “Russian propaganda effort helped spread ‘fake news’ during election, experts say,” Timberg concocted his story based on allegations from a vaporous group called ProporNot, run by nameless individuals of unknown origin, whom Timberg (cribbing from the Bob Woodward stylesheet) agreed to quote as anonymous sources. ...
In the meantime, here is a brief historical note on how at the height of the Cold War the CIA developed it’s very own stable of writers, editors and publishers (swelling to as many as 3000 individuals) that it paid to scribble Agency propaganda under a program called Operation Mockingbird. The disinformation network was supervised by the late Philip Graham, former publisher of Timberg’s very own paper, the Washington Post.
2003: Rifle-toting Americans barge into Iraq after reading viral Fake News story about weapons of mass destruction.— Murtaza Hussain (@MazMHussain) December 5, 2016