Mr. Harris started by crafting the headline: “BREAKING: ‘Tens of thousands’ of fraudulent Clinton votes found in Ohio warehouse.” It made sense, he figured, to locate this shocking discovery in the very city and state where Mr. Trump had highlighted his “rigged” meme.
Mr. Harris and his ersatz-news website, ChristianTimesNewspaper.com, make for an illuminating tale.
Contacted by a reporter who had discovered an electronic clue that revealed his secret authorship of ChristianTimesNewspaper.com, he was wary at first, chagrined to be unmasked.
“This topic is rather sensitive,” Mr. Harris said, noting that he was trying to build a political consulting business and needed to protect his reputation. But eventually he agreed to tell the story of his foray into fake news, a very part-time gig that he calculated paid him about $1,000 an hour in web advertising revenue. He seemed to regard his experience with a combination of guilt about having spread falsehoods and pride at doing it so skillfully.