Almost immediately after the news of the St. Petersburg explosion reached the US, one of the most vocal critics of Donald Trump, ex-US intelligence operative Jon Schindler, offered a hot take in his new role as political expert.
— John Schindler (@20committee) April 3, 2017
It didn’t take long for former UK parliamentarian and current News Corp Vice President, Louise Mensch, to seize on Schindler’s words to advance her explosive allegations.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) April 3, 2017
Mensch followed up Schindler’s tweet with a really juicy scoop: Russian President Vladimir Putin killed Russian Ambassador to the UN, Vitaly Churkin. It’s hard to argue with her evidence. Actually, it is impossible. She has no evidence.
Asked to back up her claim — quite literally the first thing a journalist would expect someone to ask her to do — Mensch said her theory was “the bleeding obvious.”
A correspondent from Radio Free Europe summed the situation up rather succinctly:
— Christopher Miller (@ChristopherJM) April 3, 2017
This is not the first time Mensch has come out with an insane conspiracy theory. She became a laughing stock in Britain after claiming that Putin killed journalist Andrew Breitbart in order to advance Steve Bannon’s career. Mensch also claims to have super powers, allowing her to see things other people are incapable of noticing. The BBC’s Andrew Neil couldn’t resist asking her about some of the wild statements she’s made — and the interview became an internet-sensation.
Among other choice Mensch accusations: Investigative site ProPublica is in cahoots with Bannon and its journalists are "Russian shills."
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) January 29, 2017
Russia is secretly operating public wi-fi networks in her neighborhood.
— Louise Mensch (@LouiseMensch) March 3, 2017
Russia paid the Swedes to riot, and Putin killed Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.
The list goes on.
Despite obvious concerns regarding her mental health, Mensch remains a senior executive at News Corp., owned by Rupert Murdoch. She’s also recently become a much sought-after guest on liberal talk shows, such as Real Time with Bill Maher.
On the eve of Senate hearings on alleged Russian meddling into the US presidential election, the New York Times even published an op-ed she penned, titled, “What to Ask About Russian Hacking.” But the fact that the Grey Lady invited a discredited conspiracy theorist as its guest columnist didn’t sit well with paper’s staff — especially as Mensch mentioned in the op-ed her report, discredited previously by Times’ journalists themselves. Reporter Charlie Savage even took to Twitter to publicly state his position: “Please note that NYT newsroom disagrees.”
— Charlie Savage (@charlie_savage) March 19, 2017
None of this has stopped Democratic operatives from singing the praises of Mensch and her wild stories. Disgraced DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile, who was ousted after being exposed to be rigging the Democratic primary against Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, even went as far as thanking Mensch for “good journalism.”
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) March 18, 2017
Perhaps this shouldn’t be surprising, as Brazile was also fired from CNN for leaking presidential debate questions to Clinton and lying about it — her definition of “good journalism” is questionable at best. But the fact that someone with such a troubling history of reporting as Mensch’s becomes a “truth-teller” in the eyes of mainstream media establishment clearly explains why a majority of Americans across the political spectrum do not to regularly provide trustworthy news.
Update: The most recent polls from Monmouth University show 20 percent of Americans believe online news sites don't publish fake news, while 40 percent said cable TV and newspapers are trustworthy.