Fact-Checkers Are Used to Confuse the Public: Sharyl Attkisson

Five-time Emmy award-winning journalist Sharyl Attkisson said she has seen an increased effort to manipulate the public to appreciate censorship and disapprove of journalism. One of the strategies that has been employed is the use of third-party fact-checkers, she said.

“Nearly every mode of information has been co-opted, if it can be co-opted by some group, [and] fact-checkers are no different,” Attkisson told EpochTV’s “American Thought Leaders.”

“Either they’ve been co-opted, in many instances, or created for the purpose of distributing narratives and propaganda,” said Attkisson. “This is all part of a very well-funded, well-organized landscape that dictates and slants the information they want us to have.”

Attkisson said she first started to notice news being controlled in the early 2000s when the media company she was working for was actively trying to suppress certain stories.

“The pushback came to be more about keeping a story from airing or keeping a study from being reported on the news, not just giving the other side, not just making sure it was accurately reported,” she said of pharmaceutical company stories she was covering at the time.

Obama: News needs to be curated

In 2016, Attkisson heard former President Barack Obama say news needed to be curated, after which mainstream media outlets started to consistently use the term fake news to describe mostly conservative news stories that they deemed untrue.

“And I remember thinking that was such a strange thing to say, because there was no big movement among the public, that people needed to have their information curated, that someone needed to step in and tell us what to think, curate what was online. But … after that, if you look at the media, day after day, there were headlines about fake news and curation of what should and shouldn’t be reported.”

Attkisson was referring to Obama’s comment at the White House Frontiers Conference in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in October 2016.

“It’s relevant to our democracy, citizenship. We’re going to have to rebuild, within this wild, wild west of information flow, some sort of curating function that people agree to,” Obama said.

Because Attkisson was curious about this idea of curating news, she researched the topic of misinformation, which led her to a non-profit called First Draft, which was funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Epoch Times Photo
President Barack Obama and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton wave to delegates after Obama’s speech during the third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, on July 27, 2016. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo) 

“And if you looked at the nonprofit’s website when they said fake news, they meant entirely conservative-base fake news and their viewpoint; there was no liberal version of fake news. And then within a matter of weeks, President Obama gives the speech, the media takes off and runs with it.”

Attkisson said the fake news phrase was actually started by the left but was effectively turned on its head by former President Donald Trump and now most people think he coined the phrase.

“But it’s actually well documented as an invention of political activists on the left during the time period I described,” Attkisson said.

For her book “Smear” she interviewed people who work to spread misinformation and propaganda with the goal of confusing the public. “And they explained to me that, if they do nothing more than confuse the information landscape, maybe you don’t totally buy what they say, but they’ve done enough to make you not sure of anything.”

Censorship During the Pandemic

Attkisson criticized large news outlets for being a “mouthpiece” of the government or other special interest groups instead of challenging them or holding them accountable, particularly as it relates to the pandemic.

She said that soon after the pandemic began, she spoke to many scientists, government as well as private, about the virus and the course it was taking before she formed an opinion. She asked some of the scientists to speak out but they were afraid.

“They said they dare not speak out for fear of being controversial, and for fear of being called coronavirus deniers, because that phrase was starting to be used in the media. And secondly, they feared contradicting Dr. Fauci, who they said had been kind of lionized or canonized in the press for reasons that they couldn’t understand.”

Epoch Times Photo
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases testifies during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on Jan. 11, 2022. (Shawn Thew/Getty Images) 

Dr. Anthony Fauci has been the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) since 1984, which allowed him to advise seven presidents on public health issues, including COVID-19. He has been accused of misleading the public about funding gain of function research in China.

Attkisson said the National Institutes of Health used taxpayer money to fund gain of function research in partnership with China but media reports were to the contrary.

“And then the narrative is being managed another way I remember after reviewing the grants themselves to my satisfaction, because I didn’t know what was true till I found the documentation and then still hearing, not just public health figures, but reporters claim as if they know the truth, that none of this had happened.”

She said that another way to confuse the public about the truth is to label something a conspiracy, like the lab leak theory connected to the novel coronavirus.

“And yet when you hear people say ‘conspiracy theory’ that’s designed to pluck this little part of your brain that says, well, that thing’s not true,” said Attkisson. “And I always keep an open mind and say, that crazy thing that they say is a conspiracy theory may well have some truth in it.”

Attkisson believes the reason some people can be manipulated into believing the narrative put out by corporate media is that they live in “a box,” meaning the Internet is their only source of information.

“And the people that want to control the information understand that if they can only control really a few basic sources—we’re talking about Google and Twitter and Facebook and Wikipedia—they’ve got a lock on information, because we’ve all been funneled to those few sources.”

She said their goal is to make you believe you are in the minority and make you afraid to raise objections to the narrative. “You can be made to believe that if you live in the box, so I’m constantly telling people, live outside the box. Yes, you can get information there and do what you do online. But certainly, trust your cognitive dissonance. Talk to the people around you.”


Jan Jekielek is a senior editor with The Epoch Times and host of the show, “American Thought Leaders.” Jan’s career has spanned academia, media, and international human rights work. In 2009 he joined The Epoch Times full time and has served in a variety of roles, including as website chief editor. He is the producer of the award-winning Holocaust documentary film “Finding Manny.”
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30 thoughts on “Fact-Checkers Are Used to Confuse the Public: Sharyl Attkisson”

  1. Matt Lee…Wow…is this guy a REAL reporter? Good for him. …asking REAL questions. Whomever this guy is from the State Department, he is more than obviously spewing the “Russians bad” (China OK) narrative and has no evidence of what he is saying. The ‘vid hoax is falling apart and they need some new diversion to keep us in fear and on the defensive. Matt held his ground. He (wrong pronoun, sorry…”it”) is what reporters were like many, many years ago.


  2. Pingback: Fact-Checkers Are Used to Confuse the Public: Sharyl Attkisson - Light On Conspiracies - Revealing the Agenda
  3. On behalf of Toni:

    In this C-SPAN video, Trump walks on and off the stage at Conroe. I
    don’t see any deception.

    The thing is, the technical skill and money needed to pull off a live
    shot composite is so great that it would be easier and cheaper just to
    hire extras to stand in for the one shot. The resources for this kind of
    production would only be extended to blockbuster feature films and only
    for a compelling reason (like all the extras were dead from the vax…j/k).

    Can you think of one reason that Trump, who can muster giant crowds
    wherever he goes, would need to fake a rally?

    1. Toni, maybe you misunderstood. I did not say he faked it. I tried to convey that he used techniques to construct something that was not actually there. They ALL do it. If I can find that vid in which I believe it was Corbett that exposed it previously, I will. if not, no big deal…I have no problem. For me, it’s not a big issue and just something I mentioned in passing. I am more interested in things he did that are more provable…like Jerusalem, the Golan Heights and his continued support of a deadly injection.

    2. I’m going to stand by my assessment. I doubt very much they would allow all those spectators BEHIND him if only for security purposes. I say again, it’s a technique, not necessarily a deception. Blue screens are used everywhere and in every movie we watch.

      …and if am wrong, so what? I never claimed to be perfect and never want to be in everything I post.

    3. Also, Toni….”faking a rally” is a bit of an exaggeration, considering all I said was “Once you watch it carefully, you get those folks in the background are really not there. It’s some kind of projection.
      I did not say the rally was fake. Maybe I could have said the folks BEHIND Trump etc.

    4. I was just asking what evidence led you to believe that techniques, as you put it, were used to project the image of a crowd behind Trump.

      Look at these two photographs of the same event. In both, the crowd is there behind the stage and match the livestream that went out from the rally.


      1. Toni, I would rather not take it further…In my mind, it’s just not worth it. I’ll leave it up to you. But I think you will concede that video from Corbett does indicate Trump is not beyond typical political deception.

  4. A great compilation from Jim’s Bitchute….TRUCKERS GONE WILD:


    As it catches on in Australia:


    And even the Netherlands:


    Who’s going to be next? Germany? NZ? Austria? How about the US?

    It’s not going to stop. Critical mass has been reached!

    How about bikers…bus drivers….firemen….and keep your vehicle gassed up. The rest of us may be called upon!

    Hey, Fauci, Gates, Schwab, Pelosi, Brandon, Psaki, Kamala……..Where ya gonna run to?


  5. LIVE: President Donald J. Trump in Conroe, Texas


    It starts out with Trump Jr. warming up the crowd. Once you watch it carefully, you get those folks in the background are really not there. It’s some kind of projection. That’s OK…it’s advertising and politics. And, after all, Brandon is NEVER there, eh? Trump exudes his usual charismatic energy. More power to him. he may have not been a politician when he started, but he sure as hell is one now. AND, a showman and a salesman…which he always was. Don’t get me wrong….IF Trump admitted his vax policy was direly bad, I might accept his apology. Although, that would not dismiss the Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the assassination of Soleimani. Regardless, until the voting system is “unrigged”, personally I see no sense in voting. I am sure many here would argue that decision. Bring it on. I enjoy fair and intelligent debate. And I will happily concede to any logic that convinces me otherwise. That said, there was a victory yesterday (or Friday):

    Pennsylvania Judge BANS Mail-In Ballots! Declares “No-Excuse Mail-In Ballots” ILLEGAL!!



    1. Will, you say, “It starts out with Trump Jr. warming up the crowd. Once you watch it carefully, you get those folks in the background are really not there. It’s some kind of projection. ”
      What makes you think that?

      1. From what I noticed is they may be there, but not right behind him as it looks. When Jr. and Trump finish their speeches and go off stage, you can see what’s behind them…it’s not a crowd…just some staging and equipment or whatever. Unless the camera is at an angle I cannot figger out. I had also seen something similar done in the 2020 selection in a fairly recent video…..someone exposed that (possibly Corbett…not sure).

  6. It may be that the holidays have left you with a few extra pounds. If you choose to watch the entire video below, I would almost guarantee you’ll shed that weight almost instantly. But, to save you that trauma, first go to 31:00 and listen for a bit. Shortly, Brandon will whisper and let you know how wonderful he is, having won ALL the precincts. Once you are over the rage and frustration that particular statement caused, go to around 55 minutes, listen to his anger that appears out of nowhere and remember and ponder the fact this is the leader of the free world that has his hand on the switch of total obliteration.


    Then, pray.

  7. Strangely enough I remember when this interview first aired. I agreed then and I agree now. This is simple wisdom. Only POLITICS and fools interrupt what nature intended. Ali was a brilliant and courageous guy and one hell of an athlete. He walked the talk. He had an office in Charlottesville and when he was out on the mall, all the children would gather around him….and he loved every minute of it.


  8. THIS COULD BE HUGE! We’ll just have to see where this goes.

    Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court has found voting Act 77, the universal mail-in-voting act that many believe is the reason Joe Biden won the state, is unconstitutional.


    ((Friday’s decision by a five-judge Commonwealth Court panel could be put on hold immediately by an appeal from Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration to the state Supreme Court.))

    The decision throws the state’s voting laws into doubt in a big election year.

  9. Great article…..simple, short and positive. Thank you for the hope.

    Unfortunately, it seems this world has changed forever….Even here in Florida, take a look at that hell hole Disney World’s dystopian policy. I despise the place, but my grandson has asked I meet him there in March, so I may finally meet one of my great grandsons. Apologies, son….we will have to meet outside that crap hole. This is what these bastardz are doing to families. They even want us to wear a mask going through the gate.


    Then, I have discovered the following…. Has anyone here attempted to go to any concert? Dylan is back on tour, but a huge percentage of the venues require mask and vaxxes or both….here’s an example:

    (and this is Tennessee…what happened to those country boys?) Now, they have provided a list of performers who will require masks et al….but, Dylan is not on that list, BUT THEY TELL YOU IT COULD CHANGE ..and no refund will be given)

    This is all about power over the individual. It has zip to do with any fake damn disease. If we do not claim our power as REAL MEN AND WOMEN, it will be lost forever and this HELL will persist.





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    1. OK….this is my post that disappeared and now re-appeared. This is the first time this happened. As I said in the re-post, I saw the “waiting for moderation” come up. When I went back a few minutes later, It was gone (as into thin air) and, yes, I was still signed in. I even went back to see if for some reason I had not pushed the “post’ button, but it was just not there.. Beats the hell outta me. Apologies for the abbreviated re-post. Jim, if you care not to post this, fine with me. I just wanted to offer an explanation.
      Enough said.

  10. C’mon, man…Is this possible?? Could it be that “Let’s Go Brandon” is morphing to “Brandon Let Go”?

    Jim Stone

    1. Get Supreme Court Justice Breyer to step down.
    2. Use the Supreme Court as a trash bin to throw Kamala into
    3. Appoint Hillary vice president.
    4. Remove Biden for medical reasons.
    That’s the plan, HERE IT IS. MSM source too. In this case, they won’t lie.


  11. It’s a huge mistake for Brandon’s handlers to allow him to go off script. Why? He’s incompetent and has no idea of what he speaks unless he hears it in his ear or brain implanted device or sees it off a teleprompter (unless, of course he read the PROMPTS on the teleprompter). In this clip ..at the end…AND, as quoted in the following ZeroHedge article, he clearly states, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would be “…. ‘largest since WWII… it would change the world’. Did he conveniently forget our invasion of Vietnam (500,000 some odd US troops)…..how about Korea…no one seems to know the real US figure there….How about Iraq and the Gulf War (something like 470,000 US troops). Selective memory or dementia…take your choice.


    ((The unrest outside the parliament building comes as President Biden and western corporate media drum up the threat of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. Biden said it would be the “largest invasion since World War II.” ))


    1. Best news I’ve heard since they decided to commit Brandon to a mental institution (whoops….apologies…that was a dream I had last night). IF you reside in Wisconsin, don’t miss that info at the end and do it NOW!

      How can you help? Contact the rules committee members and tell them to put the resolution through.
      You can reach your legislator by calling the Legislative Hotline. In Madison, dial 266-9960. Toll-free, call 1-800-362-9472.

  12. I’ve had a lot of respect for Sharyl for years, especially when she gave Dr. Andy Wakefield a chance to tell his side of his story. This is a true investigative journalist. When this madness of the attempted takeover of the world by the NWO crowd is over, I hope that she is involved in training a whole new generation of journalists in the art. You go, girl.

  13. “Fact Checking” catapults the propaganda.
    Mark Twain said something to the effect that’s it’s easier to deceive someone than to convince them they have been deceived. Fact Checkers have become an essential part of the deception game, as they cement the thought that the deception of the lie is in fact the truth. Obama whose biological father is actually Frank Marshall Davis is one of the greatest deceivers of all times. His second term was an endless series of staged false events that were purported to be true by the mainstream media. Joe Brandon is now a continuation of that legacy. The MSM goes to great lengths to convince the public that an incoherent demented fool who is was of the biggest congressional crooks of all time won a very obviously fraudulent election. The amount support Brandon has now is probably in reality greater then the number of legal voters who actually voted for him on election day.

  14. Dispatch from the Kung Flu Trenches:
    I have a few casual friends I have made over the last few years of skiing. They are total Covidiots. They believe every pronouncement belched forth by Doc Falsie. My pal Powder Mark was the first to double mask mere nanoseconds after the little rat said so. Kent and Ken were all aboard the train to Covid crazy town. They wanted me to put my mask on 20 feet away from them. Because of their insanity and that of the Skico, I wasn’t coming back to Vail this winter. I was convinced by our limp fisting Governor’s dire weekly email updates that a total shutdown of commerce was not just likely but coming any given day. What changed that feeling?

    I cruised through here for a one off gig at the Brush Creel Saloon. It was once voted the most likely place to get stabbed in a bar brawl. It got a bit gentrified over the last decade with a new golf course community built nearby. I had a fantastic turnout. While here, I talked to quite a few businessmen and they were convinced Polis was keeping our state open no matter what. So I decided to tentatively stay and see what happened. There were positive signs. The mask mandate was over with and night life had assumed normalcy. Kent, Ken and Powder had calmed the fuck down after getting their euthanasia shots; all of whom are seniors. They were 1,2 and 3 in line you can betcha.

    Three days before Christmas, the sky was falling again. The Moronic Strain was slicing through our population like a hot knife through butter. And yet there was absolutely no sign this was happening. Isn’ that an amazing phenomenon? Without the radio, TV and newspaper singing the same tired tune in unison, there would be no Earthy evidence of the dire straits we were in. The County called their emergency meeting and decided to go full retard with another face diaper order. I was lit for blast off. I came a few minutes to midnight from packing the RV and heading for the last free state 2,000 miles away. I was a volcano ready to erupt any second. I read the riot act to my boss. And with the solidarity of my compatriots we defeated our company’s lockstep reaction. I was amazed it went down as it did. It was the only reason I’m still here.

    My girl friend took the Pfizer shots behind my back. And when she told me six months afterwards, I felt betrayed beyond repair. Has any of you experienced this? Knowing their entire family and circle of friends could be dead within a few years is a lonely feeling.

    1. What blows my mind is long time hard core Republicons are the most likely to become fully 3 jab victims of the warp speed, no long term data, mRNA GMO injections. These same Republicons were the first to throw in the towel on the very obvious election fraud.

      1. GRB, You may have unraveled your own consternation by stating “long time hard core Republicons are the most likely to become fully 3 jab victims”. THAT is precisely WHY they get the jab to satisfy their long time corporate sponsors lest they lose their Benz and town House in DC. Further, do you really think they are getting the jab the peasants are receiving? Have you heard of any adverse reactions within the elitist political realm? I have not. Ever wonder why there is no requirement in the US Senate to wear masks? I don’t. They KNOW it’s all bullshite.

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