The Washington Post ran a story last night continuing the media effort to brand everyone in the Trump administration to be incompetent at best, and creepy to boot.

This time the target was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In the article, based entirely on supposed anonymous sources, WaPo asserted that Tillerson is so weird he doesn’t even let career diplomats make eye contact with him, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spends his first weeks isolated from an anxious bureaucracy (emphasis added):

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes a private elevator to his palatial office on the seventh floor of the State Department building, where sightings of him are rare on the floors below.

On many days, he blocks out several hours on his schedule as “reading time,” when he is cloistered in his office poring over the memos he prefers ahead of in-person meetings.

Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.

While there were many people who immediately called bullshit on that claim, WaPo weaponized the remainder of the media and social media to create the impression of Tillerson as having a defective personality.

 

Huffington Post noted that Twitter went wild with the claim:

But that little tidbit caused Tillerson’s name to trend on Twitter late Thursday with more than 20,000 tweets weighing in, and many were wondering just what was up with America’s top diplomat.

 

Not addressed, of course, is how Tillerson managed to rise to run one of the largest multinational corporations in the world if he is so insulated from those who work for him.

One of the most important voices disputing this account was the Associated Press diplomatic correspondent, who tweeted not only that it was not true, but that he knew it was not true because he knows people at State who were hired prior to 2009. Get it — the AP diplomatic correspondent suggested that Obama hires were behind the rumors spread to WaPo.

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter/status/847656567180636160

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter/status/847659873101676545

https://twitter.com/APDiploWriter/status/847664639089426432

None of this has stopped the spread of the original false story. As of two hours ago The Hill was still tweeting the headline:

https://twitter.com/thehill/status/847829870294052868

Compare how viral tweets repeating the WaPo claim have gone, compared with the push back by the AP diplomatic correspondent.

https://twitter.com/JasonKander/status/847634997318107136

 

For WaPo, which makes no bones about its hatred of the Trump administration, it’s mission accomplished. They have created a meme that will live on.

It also explains why trust in the media is at an all-time low.