By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 Republican strategist Angie Horn Stalnaker told the Alabama Federation of Republican Women that conservatives lose credibility when they share fake news in their social media, speeches and conversations.
“Fake news is not a story you do not like. It is not an op ed you don’t like. The uncomfortable news is that we, as southern women, we created fake news. We call it gossip. Fake news is simply something that is not true. In the word of social media fake news has taken off. It was conservatives who created, popularized and spread fake news on the internet,” Stalnaker said.
“President Barack H. Obama used social media to reach out and he got elected President,” Stalnaker said. “We started a social media effort in the South. Conservatives created the false news that: Barack Obama has mobilized the National Guard to go door to door to take our weapons. You could look out your window and see this was not true. There were no tanks in the streets and soldiers going door to door. None of your friends could either. That made us all look crazy. Instead of learning our lesson, we kept doing it. Common Core is terrible. I hate it. Common Core is bad enough without creating fake stories. Conservatives said that they were installing retina scanning systems in our schools. That got spread and shared thousands of time here in Alabama. It wasn’t true. There was an anti-Common Core rally in Montgomery and two speakers at the rally referenced that story.”
“There are death panels killing old people in Nebraska is another story that was blatantly not true that many of us shared,” Stalnaker said. “During the last election the other side picked it up and started using it and unlike us they did a better job with it; because their stories had a kernel of truth behind them.”
“Stop sharing news from sources that are not credible. Before you share something call two friends and not political friends and ask them what they think. Stop defending everything Republican. For those who don’t know. I was Bentley’s campaign manager. I am the one who first hired Rebekah Caldwell Mason. When that story first became public, Conservatives jumped on social media and said fake news. It was not. There was a story recently where President Trump said that he spoke with the President of Puerto Rico. That was true. The President misspoke. No one is perfect. We have got to be real with ourselves. We created this monster. I read stories shared by people that I know and love and they are sharing absolute nonsense,” Stalnaker said.
“Stop giving our money to people who perpetuate fake news,” she stated.
Stalnaker said that anytime you click on a link just to read what it says, that click generated advertising revenue for the writers of the fake news.
“Don’t comment on it,” Stalnaker said. “Don’t get into a flame war. All you are doing is bringing more eyeballs to the story. Nobody has ever changed their mind based on what somebody said in a comment war on social media.”
“Stop incorporating fake news in your speches and conversations,” Stalnaker said. “Stop sharing it, stop talking about it. Don’t always defend Republicans no matter what. We are not a cult. It is not normal to stand up and defend people at all costs all the time. We do have to accept that our candidates, even President Donald Trump, are not infallible.”
“Battling fake news is about maintaining our credibility as Republican women and as Americans,” Stalnaker said. “If you are not 100 percent sure that something is true don’t share it. You will be doing yourself a favor and you will be doing the Republican Party a favor.”
The Alabama Federation of Republican Women is composed of chapters all across the state. Congresswoman Karen Handel, R-Ga., gave the keynote address to the group that night. Secretary of State John Merrill, journalist Terry LaPoint and Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore spoke to the group.