Congratulations to Ezra Klein, founder and editor-at-large of Vox.com, for managing to sneak in the last bit of anti-Trump fake news of 2019 just under the wire on New Year’s Eve. Klein tweeted a study claiming that counties that hosted Trump rallies in 2016 saw a 226% increase in hate crimes. He didn’t mention that researchers at (yes!) Harvard debunked it long ago, pointing out that when you controlled for changes in population, the effect of Trump rallies on hate crime reports was (like Vox’s credibility level) “statistically indistinguishable from zero.”
In fact, using the same flawed model, Reason magazine found an even bigger spike in hate crimes after Hillary Clinton rallies.
Maybe if Vox hadn’t shilled for a California law aimed at forcing union-style benefits to be given to contract workers, and then fired hundreds of California-based freelance writers they could no longer afford ("You're welcome!"), someone would’ve been around at Vox to point out to their founder that he was distributing long-debunked horse hockey. But then, considering how many people have performed that service on Twitter, and Klein still hasn’t apologized, corrected or deleted the tweet, maybe that wouldn’t have mattered.
Who needs to pay hundreds of writers to make up fake news when you can just retweet old, already-debunked fake news, and your true believers don’t even care?