WHETHER THE POST’S false stories here can be distinguished from what is commonly called “Fake News” is, at this point, a semantic dispute, particularly since “Fake News” has no cogent definition. Defenders of Fake News as a distinct category typically emphasize intent in order to differentiate it from bad journalism. That’s really just a way of defining Fake News so as to make it definitionally impossible for mainstream media outlets like the Post ever to be guilty of it (much the way terrorism is defined to ensure that the U.S. government and its allies cannot, by definition, ever commit it).
I’ve been saying this since the beginning. The creation of the term was never meant to, in any way, be applicable to the mainstream media. Once it was, the arguments started from many outlets, including the Washington Post, to say it was time to retire the term only months after they created it and did so as the biggest threat to our country.