Two days ago, Newsweek published an article that claimed alt-right bots forced former Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign…not, you know, him grabbing women’s butts or breasts.
Newsweek has retracted its story about a conservative botnet effort to force the resignation of Senator Al Franken.
The initial report was based on research conducted by Unhack The Vote, a group examining outside influence in U.S. elections and politics. It alleged that a “decidedly alt-right” botnet “weaponized” anti-Franken stories and amplified pressure on Franken to resign after allegations of sexual misconduct. Newsweek was unable to independently verify their claims after a further review of their work.
For the love of everything holy in this world. We have PHOTOGRAPHIC evidence of his actions. Not just one woman accused it, but seven women accused Franken of inappropriate behavior, including a military veteran.
It seems that Medium has taken down the article Newsweek used as the basis for the article. This article claimed that alt-right bots “weaponized” an article by Ijeoma Oluo to push forward Franken’s resignation.
IMPORTANT FACT: Oluo published her article on the day that Franken resigned!
Snopes actually reached out to Oluo and noted how Newsweek got important details wrong:
Oluo pointed out the reports flipped the timeline of events. She had written the piece after it was already known that Franken planned to resign. Her article was a response to the news and an expression of grief and disappointment in Franken’s actions, as demonstrated by a sentence in which she noted that “As the reports surfaced last night that you were planning to resign, I was trying to explain to my 10-year-old son why I was so sad about this.”
By the time Oluo’s piece was published on 7 December 2017, Franken had already made his announcement, she told us:
In no way did my article have anything to do with it. The timeline makes no sense. The article didn’t even go up until he announced he would resign. I was hoping that the piece would give people context and help people grow from all of this into a better place.
Oluo expressed frustration, saying that the stories belittled victims who came forward with accusations of abuse and assault, and that no one took the “Journalism 101” step of reaching out to her before publishing:
Basically one dude wrote a Medium article and they turned that into a whole piece in Newsweek with no verification. It really undermines the MeToo movement and makes it seem like all these brave women who talked about the abuse they suffered are just tools. These are actual women who risked a lot and took a lot of abuse to come forward.
Your article has been debunked by TWO credible fact checking sites & multiple people you cited have asked you to not misrepresent their work and yet your trash piece is still up.
— Ijeoma Oluo (@IjeomaOluo) February 20, 2018
The Medium post blames Japanese websites for spreading Oluo’s story, but she said that “the site appears to be nothing more than a clickbait farm that doesn’t actually link to her story – the post is just a screenshot of the headline and a featured image to generate clicks and collect ad revenue from doing so.”
AGAIN: Oluo published her piece on the day that Franken resigned. How can anyone use that to hasten his resignation?!
This is just the latest case that shows that Newsweek is simply a rag and has no journalistic integrity at all. Sickening.
Those at Newsweek have basically done what they accuse these alt-right bots and those on the right of doing: demeaning the victims. NONE of this takes away the fact that Franken sexually harassed or assaulted the women. It wasn’t bots or Russia that forced Franken to resign. Franken’s disgusting behavior towards women forced his resignation.
Or does Newsweek hate Russia and the right so much that the testimonies of these women don’t matter?DONATE
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