It’s the disingenuous propaganda game the right plays. Right wing sites, along with amoral click bait opportunists, create entire attacks of just made up nonsense in order to hack political debate. In response, responsible media and individuals point out the credibility issues inherent in these attempts. The term “fake news” starts circulating to put a name on the phenomena. Then the right does their bullshit jiu jitsu and starts using that term everywhere, against legit media, to further their effort to throw doubt on everything. Just like with ineffective dysfunctional government feeding their anti-government dogma, it works for them to throw shade on all media. It’s a perversion of the entire concept of knowable reality, of truth.
When a butcher like Bashar al-Assad takes the American right wing lead and calls an Amnesty International torture report “fake news” we are completely through the looking glass. The Nazis might as well have called Nuremberg “fake news”.
This is a symptom of the disease that became epidemic when the right created the myth of liberal media and saw that rhetoric successfully cow neutral media into bending over backwards for them. Media outlets became de facto right wing media by naively spreading right wing memes against liberals, progressives, Democrats, to inoculate themselves against the torches and pitchforks brigades lead by Brent Bozell and the Media Research Center.