WikiLeaks exposes Democratic smear campaign against Jeff Sessions
It’s easy to spot a political hit job when you know what to look for. The telltale signs might include a steady trickle of negative information, an echo chamber focusing on the same story at the same time, or even a seemingly coordinated move from one “breaking” story to the next. Those of us who pay attention to politics have seen it whether we know it or not.
The most effective smear includes a smattering of facts, spotty allegations, and doctored quotes that fit a predetermined narrative. The “breaking” story usually comes from the biggest sympathetic media outlet that won’t ask too many questions. The hook doesn’t have to prove anything; it just needs to be salacious enough to gain traction. The narrative carries with other reporters and media types politically interested in affirming it. If successful, the story makes its way to our social media feeds and water cooler conversations.
This isn’t anything new. Conducting opposition research and “defining” opponents is as much a part of American politics as shaking hands and kissing babies.