The article is "reported in partnership with The Investigative Fund and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting. based on a joint project with The Investigative Fund and Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting." Reveal has a series of podcasts available, including one on Pizzagate, which provides additional reporting.
The Pizzagate story could never have been taken as seriously as it was or gotten spread to the extent it did if everyone were applying one of the most basic rules of reality-testing: extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof. Claiming the Hillary Clinton was running a pedophile lesbian child prostitution ring out the basement of a pizza parlor qualifies as an extraordinary claim. Alex Jones ranting about it on YouTube or a chain email from your goofy cousin do not count as extraordinary proof.
The "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" is one that the Skeptical Inquirer journal has long promoted in debunking pseudoscience. They generally don't emphasize political topics except when its unavoidable in critiquing some crackpot pseudoscience notion like "creationism" or climate-change denial. But their investigations and takedowns of various ghost and UFO stories and alternative-medicine frauds is both informative and entertaining. Their articles give the reader a sense of how easy it can be to be taken in by a bogus claim and also some basic techniques people can use to judge claims on the news and in popular gossip when they deal with events or subjects with which the reader has no first-hand knowledge or expertise.
One of the social processes that affect the acceptance of all claims, not just "fake news," is confirmation from people around you. As the linguists and philosophers building on their work tell us, the formation and refinement of knowledge is very much a social process. And in practice, that means that for much of what we believe we know in daily life is based on whether people we know and trust believe the claim and how intensely they believe it.
I'm not making an argument that all our knowledge is subjective. Reality has an unpleasant way of imposing itself on us when we ignore it.
One very notable thing about Robb's article and the related podcast it that they focus on how important Breitbart and FOX News are to rightwing fabricated "alternative facts" that get magnified by partisan online dissemination, not all of it from engaged individuals. Yes, there are Russian bots out there.
And they also call attention to how people who have been thinking in tune with the rightwing media environment will take contrary reporting from the mainstream press as confirmation of the claims being refuted. When you let FOX and Breitbart and the like rewire your head, strange things can happen. That's also the topic of Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse's tweet:
Just heard Bill McKibben say: “If you'd been marinating in Rush Limbaugh for thirty years, you'd be impervious to reason too."— Sheldon Whitehouse (@SenWhitehouse) November 20, 2017