An analysis by researches at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan Washington, D.C. think tank, tracked how a fake article made its way from a parody website, doctored up by Russian propaganda television, and then made its way onto the Fox News website.
The story, that a Russian fighter jet had used an “electronic bomb” to disable electronic systems onboard an American warship, was totally fake. It used a real event, a Russian plane buzzing a U.S. ship three years ago, as its basis. The story began on an obviously satirical Russian parody website, then made its way over to Facebook. From there, a Russian TV network, as part of its Electronic Warfare Specialists’ Day coverage, picked up the story, adding a wholly fabricated quote from Frank Gorenc, the former commander of the United States Air Force in Europe. Then, British website The Sun picked up the salacious story, and then Fox News reprinted the story on its website.
When the New York Times reached out for comment, Fox News deleted the article.