Category Archives: The Media’s Preferred Narrative

Spotting fake news in traditional mainstream media

From radio host Derek Hunter at Townhall:

You may not know this, but the people you see on cable news shows who are listed as “contributors” or “talk show hosts” or “strategists” have no more knowledge on the topic they’re discussing in authoritative tones than your dog does most of the time. It’s a problem because when average people watch these shows, they expect to get legitimate news. What they get is nothing of the sort.

Here’s how it works: The people you see on TV who aren’t newsmakers or members of Congress sometimes are booked well in advance, sometimes as much as a week. This is especially true in “debate” segments, when they have someone from the right and left discussing a topic. They don’t actually find out the topic they are “debating” until the morning of their scheduled appearance, and it can change until the moment they’re on the air if something happens in the world.

Here’s another bit of information you won’t get from watching these shows: When someone who appears regularly on a network is listed as a “columnist” or “contributor” for a news site, unless they write for them on a regular basis, they are likely paid by that outlet for the specific purpose of having that organization’s name promoted on the network. It’s product placement, same as a car or prominently featured bag of chips in a movie. You can tell by the way they’re booked to talk on TV because they write, never about anything they’ve written. They’re a warm body who can string a sentence together. More.

Reality check: All that the internet really changed is this: The entry costs for a job just about any fluent person can do are now minimal. We can see much more easily than before what the Bigs were doing when they produced fake news. No wonder these traditional high-end vendors are upset.

See also: Part I: What isfake news? Do we believe it?

Fake News? KKK Members Say They Were Paid to Distort Facts for A&E Series

The “mainstream” media have been accused of being far too interested in promoting the Ku Klux Klan for ratings. The A&E cable network ended up pulling a new series slated for a January debut called Escaping the KKK: A Docuemntary Series Exposing Hate in America after allegations that they paid the Klan members and staged fictional events to add drama. That’s fake episodes of hate.

Fake News, Mass Hysteria, And Induced Insanity

The “fake news” is that we’ve never been healthier, healthcare costs are under control and our economy has fully “recovered.”

We’ve heard a lot about “fake news” from those whose master narratives are threatened by alternative sources and analyses. We’ve heard less about the master narratives being threatened: the fomenting of mass hysteria, which turns the populace into an easily manipulated and managed herd, and induced insanity, a longer-term marketing-based narrative that causes the populace to ignore the self-destructive consequences of accepting the fad/ ideology/ mindset being pushed as “good” and “normal.”

Progressive: Fake news stories significantly outperformed real news stories, US 2016

From Heather Dockray at Mashable:

It’s impossible to overstate the role fake news — or propaganda, as seems increasingly likely — had in this election. A Buzzfeed post-election analysis found that fake news stories significantly outperformed real news stories in the final three months leading to the election. The top 20 best-performing sites generated 8,711,000 shares, likes and reactions, compared to just 7.3 million from reputable news sources.

Facebook’s bogus news detector tools, she insists, won’t work; they don’t go far enough

In order for Facebook’s new tools to properly work, for example, users must first identify suspicious-looking content. But all readers, conservative and progressive alike, are inherently biased towards content that reflects their pre-existing political beliefs and values.

And so?

None of this is to say that these tools won’t be effective, or aren’t deeply important. Not every Facebook user or Trump supporter is an Infowars reader, and there were surely be many users who will trust Facebook’s judgement and subsequently learn how to become better, more critical consumers. (Facebook could also ban some of the more egregious fake news accounts in the first place, or take for more aggressive measures to stop them).

Propaganda works, and as we’ve seen this election, can do lasting, potentially lethal damage. More.

Reality check: One has rarely seen progressives underline so clearly that the voters could not have just looked at Clinton and Trump and decided on Trump.

Curiously, I was talking today to a small town resident where jobs are scarce, who made it clear, jobs were the real issue for the working class this time round. The voters preferred to risk “You’re fired!” than “You’ll never be hired.”

And fake news has nothing to do with that. The depressing news was all too real for all too many Americans this time around.

See also: Progressive site Media Matters demands action on fake news Is the world really as touchingly naive as MM supposes? I used to have all kinds of trouble with Facebook before the human editors were replaced by algorithms. Any time a troll complained falsely that something or other that I had linked was “offensive,” my news posts to Facebook groups were blocked. That was a big har har for the troll at the expense of everyone who wanted news in a specialty area (horizontal gene transfer in amoebas? Or something.)

No, Aspen Institute, the internet is not broken

From Aspen’s CEO Walter Isaacson at Pulse:

This has poisoned civil discourse, enabled hacking, permitted cyberbullying, and made email a risk. Its inherent lack of security has allowed Russian actors to screw with our democratic process.

In Plato’s Republic, we learn the tale of the Ring of Gyges. Put it on, and you’re invisible and anonymous. The question that Plato asks is whether those who put on the ring will be civil and moral. He thinks not. The Internet has proven him correct.

The Web is no longer a place of community, no longer an agora. Every day more sites are eliminating comments sections. More.

Reality check:  The Russians took advantage of American carelessness. That was all. Anyone could have. Be glad they’re not insane. The internet is no more dangerous than life generally, except that it requires different interpretation skills from person-to-person contact, the same way books and TV do.

At one time, people like Isaacson said that a free press means literacy is broken. Such people mainly mean, then and now, that free access to media is a bad idea.

One can see why. Arrogant media boffins were knocked flat by Brexit and Trumpmageddon. A key reason for their failure is that the internet distributes communication patterns in a complex worldwide entanglement never before possible in real time.

Yet it is still possible to predict. Our American friend got it right by listening to uncool people and seeing uncool things. But the old methods and the attitudes that accompanied them are dead losses. However, there is still time, perhaps, for the dying to get their revenge.

See also: Americans mostly blame selves for believing fake news The fact that Americans blame themselves when they are stung by fake news means that fully progressivizing the country will probably take two or three eight-year stretches like 2008-2016.

Progressive site Media Matters demands action on fake news

From Media Matters:

According to a recent Pew poll, 62% of Americans now get news on social media, with Facebook overwhelmingly being the most popular platform. And yet too often it was not news that Americans found on Facebook, but rather fake stories dressed up as the news.

Evidence shows that Facebook is riddled with lies. One report even found that teenagers in Macedonia were able to game Facebook and get their Trump propaganda posts shared into the news feeds of millions.

Earlier this year, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg sat down with conservatives who complained that right-wing news was suppressed on Facebook. It was after that meeting that Facebook fired their human editors and replaced them all with algorithms. This decision further unleashed fake news on Facebook. More.

Reality check: Did you know? Elvis was an extra in a movie thirteen years after his death?:

Elvis Presley has been spotted alive many times since he died on August 16, 1977. In 1984, he was photographed leaving a hospital with his friend Muhammad Ali in New York City, allegedly. In 1991, he was seen dining at a restaurant in Clyde, Ohio, supposedly. And just this May, he was found in a t-shirt and jeans, cleaning the grounds at Graceland, his Memphis, Tennessee, estate where he died of a heart attack almost 40 years prior, purportedly. But one of the oddest post-mortem sightings by those who believe The King to still be walking the earth is an appearance in the 1990 holiday classic Home Alone.

We urgently need Facebook, YouTube, and the government to prevent us from believing in and acting on this type of information.

Is the world really as touchingly naive as MM supposes? I used to have all kinds of trouble with Facebook before the human editors were replaced by algorithms. Any time a troll complained falsely that something or other that I had linked was “offensive,” my news posts to Facebook groups were blocked and that was a big har har for the troll at the expense of everyone who wanted news in a specialty area.

Now, with algorithms in charge, my posts would actually have to be offensive to an honest reader. But then the mod himself would probably block my posts, which is how it should work. Wonder how long this free flow of information will last.

See also: Americans mostly blame selves for believing fake news The fact that Americans blame themselves when they are stung by fake news means that fully progressivizing the country will probably take two or three eight-year stretches like 2008-2016. Americans must be reduced to the sort of people shrieking that the Enemy is lying to them and making them feel bad, and that merciful Big Government must crack down hard, to stop the Enemy and fix everyone’s feelings.

Fake news furore seen as astroturf

From Sharyl Atkisson at Breitbart:

Attkisson said, “Before about September 13, if you searched the news you won’t find many or any mentions of fake news. But as soon as there was, in my view, a propaganda campaign to put this on the plate of the American public, the news media and politicians including President Obama went hog wild with the term and it started making headlines every day. It wasn’t a new invention.”

“And yes, fake news exists but the idea that there is this huge campaign behind it to controversialize certain reports and censor, in my view, certain views is a propaganda campaign,” she continued. “And I think when David Brock, Hillary Clinton’s ally from Media Matters, announced that he would be the arbitrator, or help be the arbitrator, of so called fake news, that sort of sealed the deal that the whole thing is a propaganda effort and a political effort, not really an honest effort to seek out facts, but more to determine for other people what truth they should hear.” More.

Reality check: Anyone here remember the e-mails from that Nigerian general’s widow? The economy still in ruins over the damage done, right? And how awful that government never did anything about it! People will believe anything! A crackdown on news is needed!

See also: Why the desperate media obsession about Russian interference in the US election? The denizens of a withering media culture need to believe in mysterious forces. The reasonable explanation, that they were ridiculing U.S. demographics that they should have paid attention to, is just not acceptable.

and

Astroturf: Fake social media consensus harms politics A surge of popularity or concern may in reality be manufactured at a few terminals for pay or promotion.

Americans are not buying the claim about Russia’s tipping the 2016 election

It sounds too much like fake news. From Katie Pavlich at Townhall:

According to a new Fox News poll, the vast majority of voters do not believe Russian hacking made a difference in swaying the election. … Essentially, voters are rejecting the politically charged accusation Russian hacking would have changed the outcome of the 2016 presidential election while also being concerned about Trump’s openness and seemingly trusting attitude toward the Kremlin. More.

Reality check: Rumours, and we can include fake news in that category, tend to follow cultural obsessions: Witchcraft, shrinking penises, birth control pills in the water supply…

If Americans are skeptical that the Russkies tipped the election, the likeliest reason is that they are not surprised by or obsessed with the results. They do not consider the results as surprising as formerly mainstream media do.

That fact in itself illustrates the extent to which those media are now the “former” mainstream. Even more telling, they show little interest in understanding what really happened, choosing instead to console themselves and reassure each other with talk of conspiracies.

See also: Why the desperate media obsession about Russian interference in the US election? The denizens of a withering media culture need to believe in mysterious forces. The reasonable explanation, that they were ridiculing U.S. demographics that they should have paid attention to, is just not acceptable.

Top ten fake news stories from formerly mainstream media

From Debra Heine at PJ Media:

This happens every time the mainstream media’s favored party suffes a massive defeat at the polls, by the way. In 1994, they blamed their losses on the “angry white male.” After the 2010 “shellacking,” they attributed it to a menacing “climate of hate,” as personified by Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

But, when not griping about how unfair their growing irrelevance is, the former mainstreamers are not above dabbling in the fake news business themselves:

2. The Tucson Massacre Was Inspired by a “Climate of Hate”

On January 8, 2011, Jared Lee Loughner opened fire on a Safeway parking lot in Casas Adobes, Arizona, shooting U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head, and eighteen others. Six people died, including a federal judge, one of Rep. Giffords’ staffers, and a nine-year-old girl.

Numerous news outlets, starting with Matthew Yglesias of Think Progress and soon followed by Paul Krugman of the New York Times and others in the MSM, assigned blame to Sarah Palin and a right-wing “climate of hate” for the slaughter.

It was soon discovered that Jared Loughner was a lunatic who was described by a former classmate as a “left-wing pothead” who had only a tangential relationship with reality. Sarah Palin and her 2010 congressional district “targeting” map had nothing to do with Loughner’s calculus that day. He was just a sick individual who had spiraled into psychosis, and sadly no one had intervened.

The original story stuck in some liberal minds, however. As recently as this week, a Washington Post reporter (in a column about the dangers of “fake news,”) cited the Tucson massacre as an example of “a careless use of words” that helped incite a “terrible burst of violence:” More.

Reality check: Wouldn’t those people just love to go back to being the only purveyors of fake news? It actually sounds like the heart and soul of their mission today.

See also: Stuff you didn’t hear about the horrors of fake news Reader, when was the last time you responded to an e-mail rumour? If not, why not?

German, EU politicians talk tough punishments for fake news

EU Parliament President Martin Schulz and Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas both came out swinging against fake news on Sunday.

In separate press interviews, the two German politicians discussed concrete plans to create laws banning platforms like Facebook from spreading fabricated stories presented as real news, something both men saw as harmful to democracy.

“We need a systematic legal framework,” Maas told the “Bild am Sonntag” newspaper. His ruling Christian Democrats (CDU) and coalition partners the Social Democrats (SPD) have already announced their intention to craft new legislation to stop the dissemination of fake news in January.

Pretty rich hearing DW reporting on “fake news”

Stuff you didn’t hear about the horrors of fake news

From Tyler O’Neil at Townhall:

When asked “Who should be most responsible for ensuring people are not exposed to fake news?” 24 percent of Americans pointed to “the person reading the news,” according to the Morning Consult poll. Twenty percent said they “don’t know” who should be most responsible, while 17 percent pointed to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Fourteen percent said the government should be responsible, while 10 percent said web service providers and 9 percent pointed to search engines like Google.

More than half (55 percent) said that on more than one occasion they started reading a story only to realize it wasn’t true. Thirty-one percent reported seeing fake news more than once a day on the Internet. More.

Reality check: Reader, when was the last time you responded to an e-mail rumour? If not, why not?

See also: Reddit is “tearing itself apart” over fake Trump news? Well, these days, real Trump news should be easy to find.

Half of Swedes Avoid Mainstream Media, Get Most of Their News from Alternative Sites

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A fifth of Swedes have no confidence in the mainstream media, and half the country now gets their news primarily from alternative sources, a new study has found.

This is hardly surprising to anyone who has attempted to sift through the PC Dreck promoted by Sweden’s MSM.

The Birth of a Narrative: ‘Fake news’ didn’t become a problem until Nov. 11

President Barack Obama used his final press conference as president to slam partisan news sites as “domestic propagandists” that allowed fake news to flourish and bring about Hillary Clinton’s shocking election loss to Donald Trump.

“If fake news that’s being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it’s not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect,” he said echoing his warning in the closing days of the campaign that the internet had become a “dust cloud of nonsense.” The press conference came a day after Facebook announced it would team with fact checking sites to police its news feeds.