A failed attempt by Project Veritas to expose the Washington Post for media bias has the U.S. once again cooing about fake news and the dishonest and corrupt media.

According to the organization’s website, the mission of Project Veritas is to “investigate and expose corruption, dishonesty, self-dealing, waste, fraud, and other misconduct in both public and private institutions in order to achieve a more ethical and transparent society.” The organization launches investigations by using undercover journalists so that “corruption is exposed, leaders resign and organizations are shut down,” according to its website.  

Unfortunately for Project Veritas, its formula didn’t work with the Post when it planted a woman who falsely claimed Roy Moore, the Republican U.S. Senate candidate in Alabama, impregnated her as a teenager. The goal of the false interview was for the Post to publish an article that would be revealed as false and to record a Post reporter expressing an opinion on the story.

The Post recognized inconsistencies from the interviews and decided not to publish it. Reporters also found an Internet post that gave doubts about the woman’s motivations, although she claimed she wasn’t working with organizations that target journalists. Post reporters then saw the woman walking into the New York office of Project Veritas, and her cover was blown.

Rather than discrediting a major news source like the Washington Post, we at the Alligator hope the Project Veritas’ failed sneak attack on the paper has left the public with more faith in the media. The Post showed its dedication to accurate and trustworthy news and the importance of impartiality.

We aren’t going to say fake news doesn’t exist. We know there are numerous websites and organizations out there with little journalistic integrity that are publishing inaccurate fluff pieces with sparse evidence. But we need to start using common sense when it comes to identifying who is providing us with fake news.

The Washington Post, for example, has been printing since 1877, so why would the publication decide nearly 150 years into its existence ethics and morals are no longer a necessity? The New York Times has been printing for even longer, since 1851. We pose to you the same question.

News outlets like these are the ones being demonized and  labled fake news. They’ve been pegged as liberal news sources and thus dubbed invalid and biased. But for professional reporters with any ethics, how they feel about an issue is irrelevant to their reporting.

At the Alligator, most of us are journalism students. The classes we take drill into our heads the severity of accuracy and being unbiased. We are required to take several classes revolving around media ethics and the laws of mass communications. Trust us, by the time we make it to working at prestigious publications like the Times or the Post, journalists aren’t any more willing to relinquish the integrity that has become as much a part of them as their love for writing itself.

Avoiding fake news is simple. Really, we are stupefied that people are still having issues identifying it. Please, dear readers, use your brains and come to terms with the fact fake news isn’t coming from respected publications like the ones being targeting. It’s more likely coming from the pop-up ad on your Facebook timeline or politicians on Twitter. At least a hypothetical scenario where the Commander in Chief is purposefully deceiving the public through fake news would be unheard of, right?