Fake news isn’t always about politics.
The primary function of fake news is media profitability. A major source of media profitability these days is pushing anti-Trump hit pieces while tapping in to the lucrative audience of lefties. But the ‘Storm Area 51’ story is a reminder that the media will push assorted fake news that is apolitical on a national level purely to tap into audiences, maximize eyeballs, clicks and all the other stuff.
The ‘Storm Area 51’ story is typical of a particular kind of media fake news that has become extremely prevalent. It involves the media taking a social media trend, removing common sense context and blowing it up for the clicks.
There was no story here. It was never going to amount to anything more than ad dollars for the media outlets pushing it.
Unlike much of the media fake news, the story did no actual harm beyond worrying some of the locals. But it’s a reminder that the media is is institutionally a system for making money by pushing fake news.