NYT reporter joins Rachel Maddow to expose Breitbart's role in promoting fake news story pushed by Russian trolls

From the September 27 edition of MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show:

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RACHEL MADDOW (HOST): There was a real incident again, involving a five-year-old and a seven-year-old. It was represented in false news stories about that as if there had been basically a gang rape of a child by adults and that it had been either racially motivated or at least racially inflected assault.

CAITLIN DICKERSON: It was influenced by religion is what the narrative was.


MADDOW: This is something that as you say was promoted heavily by Breitbart. You describe in the piece about how Steve Bannon on his Breitbart radio show talked about this daily for a long time. They dispatched a full time reporter to go to Twin Falls to not necessarily report on this story but at least to hype it.

DICKERSON: Yeah, the reporter's name is Lee Stranahan. Steve Bannon described him as a pitbull on Breitbart Radio and said he was going to “let Stranahan loose” on the town. And the idea, the conceit they said was to reveal the true story because they were writing and saying on the radio that the local police, the prosecutor, even the local newspaper were involved in a cover-up. That they were trying to conceal the crime when actually they were just trying to say, look something did happen, it was very unfortunate and very sad but it doesn't have anything to do with Islam or ISIS or refugee resettlement. It's something sad that happened between two kids.

MADDOW: Mr. Stranahan has now ended up working for Sputnik.

DICKERSON: Yes, he quit his job at Breitbart after Steve Bannon left Breitbart. He said it was being mismanaged and he now hosts a drive time radio show.


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