Texas Ag Commissioner On Pushing Fake News: ‘I Report, You Decide’ (AUDIO)

Michael Donhauser/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images

The Texas agricultural commissioner defended his practice of posting untrue stories on his Facebook page, where he has more than 320,000 followers, by saying he was “not a news organization.”

Responding to a Texas Tribune analysis published Saturday that found a pattern of plainly false stories on Miller’s public social media presence, Sid Miller called into the Austin-based KUT News on Wednesday to discuss the story.

“I’m not a news organization,” Miller told reporter Nathan Bernier. “Y’all are holding me to the same standards as you would a news organization, and it’s just Facebook.”

On his Facebook page, according to the Tribune article, Miller has warned that terrorists are preparing “for their jihad against the state and our nation” in a compound outside Houston. Another post claimed President Obama had held up a T-shirt printed with a likeness of the Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara during a trip to Cuba.

He said much of what he posted on Facebook was “satire, or comedy” and that his Facebook page wasn’t a reliable source for “factual news.”

“I shouldn’t be held to that standard,” he said. “It’s like Fox News: I report, you decide if it’s true or not.”

After the interview was published online, Miller, who actively supported President-elect Donald Trump, posted a link to it on his Facebook page, writing: “I’ve got news for the Texas Tribune and their liberal elite media friends–I have never been politically correct and I am not about to start now, and I am glad that we will soon have a President in the White House who feels the same way!”

Listen below via KUT:

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Matt Shuham is a news writer for TPM. He was previously assistant editor of The National Memo and managing editor of the Harvard Political Review. He is available by email at mshuham@talkingpointsmemo.com and on Twitter @mattshuham.
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