Can Fake News Still Be News?

Can “fake news” still be news?

Granted, the question is more inciting than insightful, but it is occasioned by today's AP news brief on how Putin is being ”misled” by Russia's top brass, which contains this rather odd paragraph:

The administration is hopeful that divulging the finding could help prod Putin to reconsider his options in Ukraine, according to a U.S. official. The official was not authorized to comment and spoke on the condition of anonymity. The war has ground to a bloody stalemate in much of the country, with heavy casualties and Russian troop morale sinking as Ukrainian forces and volunteers put up an unexpectedly stout defense.

Chew on that first sentence.

The White House is putting this intelligence “finding” (an ironic use of the word if ever there was one) specifically to send Putin a message. That first sentence is all but an outright admission of this.

What message is the White House sending? Is it intended to be a peace opening, a way to let Putin take the “off ramp” from the war? Is it a warning to Putin, that NATO is preparing to engage militarily, and kick a little Russian ass?

If the latter, one has to also ponder the question of to what extent the Biden administration is being misled by Ukraine.

Thus we have a news blurb that on its face is at best problematic, and at worst propaganda. We have within the news blurb an admission by the administration that it put out this propaganda “news” specifically to send Putin a message.

Setting aside the ethical question regarding the propriety of media outlets being used as conduits of communication in this fashion, it would appear this arguably “fake news” item is still “news”--that the administration is using outside channels to perhaps speak directly to Putin, and certainly to someone in the Kremlin.

Which begs another question: “What in the everloving Hell is going on in the White House?”