- Maddie McGarvey/Getty Images
A top Hillary Clinton aide’s email was grossly misrepresented on Tuesday morning and twisted to suggest the Democratic nominee had “begun to hate everyday Americans.”
The false narrative was born when WikiLeaks published another batch of emails from John Podesta, the chairman of the Clinton campaign.
In one message to Jennifer Palmieri, the communications director for the Clinton campaign, Podesta wrote: “I know she has begun to hate everyday Americans, but I think we should use it once the first time she says I’m running for president because you and everyday Americans need a champion.”
It was clear from the context of the email that Podesta was referring only to the phrase “everyday Americans,” as he was discussing language for a speech Clinton was set to deliver in New Hampshire.
But that’s not how it was reported on the conspiracy website InfoWars. Here is how the site covered it:
“New Wikileaks emails released just moments ago include a shocking admission by Clinton campaign manager John Podesta that Hillary Clinton ‘has begun to hate everyday Americans’.”
“The whistleblower organization dumped part 3 of its Podesta email release today and this has to be the most jaw-dropping revelation yet.”
Never to miss a negative story on Clinton, conservative news mogul Matt Drudge pounced on the report.
Drudge, whose website is one of the most visited news destinations on the internet, promoted the misleading story as the banner story on his website.
- Screen grab
“ASSANGE DRONES HILLARY,” his first headline said, in reference to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
His second headline said: “SEASON OF THE WITCH: HATES ‘EVERYDAY AMERICANS.'”
InfoWars eventually deleted the story from its website. No editor’s note was left behind, and readers were instead sent to a 404 page.
Drudge simply scrubbed the headline from his page.
- Screen grab