Investigative journalist Sharyl Attkisson talked to FOX News' Shannon Bream about "transactional journalism" and how "well-funded actors" with "fake accounts" on social media try to manipulate news and the way we think. Attkisson's new book, The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote, focuses on reporters and news outlets "suspending the normal rules of journalism" that circulate news to make you think this is what everyone else is thinking.
"Trust your cognitive dissonance. Try to be aware you're being manipulated or at least someone may be trying," Attkisson advised.
"In general the journalists who have decided to take a stand against this president and announced in some instances that they're suspending the normal rules and procedures of journalism because they think this president is such a threat and in many instances they really believe that," Attkisson said Wednesday on FNC. "They are committed in some cases partisans, but just committed people who think they're doing the right thing. So I think you're going to get that sort of feeling from them. Also, they are also being cheered on by the people around them almost like a feeding frenzy with sharks. The people surrounding them are patting themselves on the back and saying, 'good jobs.'"
"If you listen to the players I interviewed in this book that operate in the smear universe they themselves will tell you -- this is kind of scary when you think about it -- virtually very image you run across whether it is in the news or social media or elsewhere and even the comedy shows, it's being put there, they say, for a purpose by somebody who wants you to think something that may not necessarily be a consensus at all or may not even be true. And there are well-funded actors that use fake accounts on social media or powers of persuasion and a ton of money to try to manipulate what you think. So when you see the common narratives circulating on news outlet after news outlet and social media that everybody thinks this or that and you're thinking, 'Really, because I don't think that.' Trust your cognitive dissonance. Try to be aware you're being manipulated or at least someone may be trying," Attkisson said.