2016 was nothing short of a horrible year for many with the deaths of beloved celebrities and musicians, unfathomable election results and the apparent proliferation of “fake news” from even the most prestigious sources including The Washington Post.

Fake News
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“Fake News” knows no bounds

With the majority of people using the internet to get the lion’s share of their news, it was a simple matter of time before the rise of “fake news” as an actually news source.

Fake news used to be something you could count on as you waited in line at the grocery store check out and we’re treated to fantastic stories of Elvis sightings and alien abductions from “The National Enquirer” and other tabloids. But, it’s tough for many (apparently) to distinguish news from fake news when coming from a website rather than something printed in tabloid format.

This last weekend The Washington Post falsely reported that “Russian Hackers” had attempted to gain control of a Vermont Utility and the electrical grid controlled by the Burlington (Vermont) Electric Department. Specifically, The Washington Post suggested that a laptop was infected with malware created by the Russian hacking collective Grizzly Steppe and was connected to the electrical grid. The Obama administration has blamed Grizzly Steppe for the hacking of the Democratic National Committee as well as Clinton campaign director John Podesta. As it turns out, none of this was true leaving the Washington Post with a bit of explaining to do as well as egg on its face.

Washington Post blames “murkiness of the information” for its fake news story

Yes, cybersecurity is quite difficult to report on as it is, by definition, murky but that’s hardly an excuse for a prestigious publication, which along with the New York Times reported the Watergate conspiracy and subsequent coverup by the Nixon administration to publish misleading information. Publications as venerated as the Washington Post need to make sure its information is sound or simply not report it.

There is little doubt that there was Russian interference in the U.S. election, but reporting like this takes away from the story. It has an ability to produce skeptics when there shouldn’t be skeptics. It takes away from the investigations of both the FBI and the CIA and adds to the division of this nation shown in the 2016 election.

Shame on you Washington Post.