MSNBC host Rachel Maddow is sending out a clear warning to media outlets: Beware of forgeries that seem designed to trick you into reporting fake news about Russia.
Introducing her story as "one of the few times we have ever had a scoop on this show where I feel I need to send this up like a flare for other news organizations in particular," Maddow described how she had received a forged document at a website she created so that viewers could send her tips.
From her description, the document in question, if true, was "red hot," both in the sense that its classification level made it extremely difficult to authenticate and in the sense that its political implications would have been momentous.
"We believe now that the story we have stumbled upon here is that somebody out there is shopping carefully forged documents to try to discredit news agencies reporting on the Russian attack on our election and, specifically, on the possibility that the Trump campaign coordinated with the Russians in mounting that attack," Maddow concluded.
In the words of Amy Siskind, the President and Co-Founder of The New Agenda, "this is a very well orchestrated effort to hurt our media and dull their voice." She added that "I've seen videos from past years of my tv appearance doctored — and/or storylines manufactured to weaken me as a voice for the Resistance."
Siskind ends with a warning that could have come from Maddow herself:
"If you see something that strikes you odd or out of character, be woke — this is happening."