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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 16th December 2016 > THE MAESTRO OF MEDIA MANIPULATION


Decades after creating the infamous Willie Horton ad, Floyd Brown has helped build a media empire on largely bogus stories


ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO SPIN: Fake or misleading stories became far more prevalent during the 2016 presidential campaign because of social media.

FLOYD BROWN couldn’t believe what he was watching. It was November 11, 1993, and NBC was doing a story about Whitewater, a failed real-estate venture involving Bill and Hillary Clinton. As one of the leaders of Citizens United, a conservative advocacy group, Brown had provided sources to the network, and his colleague, David Bossie, had even guided a producer on a helicopter fly-by of the Whitewater properties. The conservative activist had been confident the story would make the Clintons look bad. But as he watched the segment, he was shocked and delighted: NBC had linked Whitewater to a larger conspiracy, the death of White House aide Vincent Foster. “It was [Brown and Bossie’s] first success on a national news broadcast,” writes James Stewart in Blood Sport, his book about the Clinton scandals. “A success even beyond their fondest expectations.”

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