EppsNet Archive: Fake News

Vaping-Related Deaths Are BS. You Heard it Here First.

Trump administration readies ban on flavored e-cigarettes amid outbreak of vaping-related deaths CNBC Condolences to the victims but do six deaths in a country of 320 million people really represent an “outbreak”? Also, “vaping-related deaths” is bullshit as the article itself says in the first paragraph: The Trump administration is preparing to ban flavored e-cigarettes as federal health officials call for restrictions to combat an outbreak of a mysterious lung disease . . . “Mysterious lung disease.” In the headline, vaping is flat-out killing people; in the article it’s a mystery disease. I’ve read specifically about three of the deaths. One was here in Southern California, in Los Angeles County. The deceased was described as an older adult male, at least 55 years old, with chronic health conditions. A woman who died in Kansas was older than 50 and had a history of health problems.  In Minnesota, the state’s “first… Read more →

Fact Check: Trump Said One Thing While His Critics Said Another!

From an Associated Press “fact check”: Trump distorted science in seeking to assign blame on video games for the deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio, rather than on his own words that critics say contributed to a combustible racial climate spawning violence. Trump said one thing while his critics said another? That’s a fact check?! First of all, “I blame video games” is a ridiculous simplification of what he actually said but okay, let’s talk about video games . . . I’m not aware of a “scientific link” between video games and mass shootings. Nor am I aware of a “scientific link” between Trump talking about immigration and mass shootings, but notice that doesn’t stop the AP from throwing it out there. (“Critics say” does not establish a scientific link.) How is the video game research done? Do researchers look at the percentage of video game players who commit mass… Read more →

Mass Shootings, Thwarted and Unthwarted

Arresting some knucklehead on a weapons charge and saying you “thwarted a mass shooting” is a speculative fantasy. Meanwhile, since El Paso there have been 25 actual unthwarted mass shootings (per Mass Shooting Tracker), which don’t make the news because they don’t fit the preferred narrative. For example, four of the shootings occurred in Chicago, where in each case the shooters fired into a crowd of people. By my count, about half the victims were women. I can’t find any reporting on this in Mother Jones, which is pretty shocking given their obvious interest in mass shootings. They’d rather report on imaginary mass shootings by white males than on the actual mass shootings of Chicago residents . Read more →

The New York Times vs. Trump

Slate has published a transcript of what it calls the New York Times “crisis town-hall meeting.” The transcript shows that Times executive editor Dean Baquet seems to fault readers for their failure to understand the Times and its duties in the era of Trump. “They sometimes want us to pretend that he was not elected president, but he was elected president,” Baquet said. “And our job is to figure out why, and how, and to hold the administration to account. If you’re independent, that’s what you do.” This was followed by 75 minutes of Q&A with staffers in which, by my count, every question except one could be summarized as “Why can’t we call Donald Trump a racist more often?” In terms of figuring out why and how Trump was elected, I feel sure that “Can you believe what stupid racists Republican voters are?” moves us further from rather than… Read more →

Media Using the C-Word (“Crisis”)

White House requests $3.7 billion in emergency funds for border crisis Washington Post  Daniel’s journey: How thousands of children are creating a crisis in America  CNN Shocking Photos Of Humanitarian Crisis On U.S. Border Emerge Huffington Post “$3.7 billion [requested] to cope with the humanitarian crisis on the border and the spike in illegal crossings by unaccompanied minors from Central America.” ABC News Caveat: Those media quotes are from 2014 when President Obama was requesting emergency funds to deal with the border crisis. My go-to question for Democratic politicians would be “How do you respond to the president’s statement that we have a humanitarian crisis at the border?” And when they’re done with their predictably withering response, I’d say, “No, I was referring to President Obama’s statement.” President Obama, thank you for your great support – I have been saying this all along! pic.twitter.com/L506g9Aq4z — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 10, 2019 Read more →

5 Questions on the Covington Story

A group of black men taunted a group of white kids as faggots, incest babies and niggers (one kid was black). Would the story have been reported differently if the men were white and the kids were black? Would the story have been reported differently if a white guy was banging a drum in an Indian kid’s face? Would the story have been reported differently if no one was wearing a MAGA hat? Would the story have been reported differently if the kids were girls instead of boys? (Again, assume no MAGA hats.) Should morality of action be calculated based on race, sex and hats? (I’m going to say no to this one.) Read more →

CNN Runs “Breaking News” From BuzzFeed

On Thursday, BuzzFeed reported that President Trump “directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow, according to two federal law enforcement officials involved in an investigation of the matter.” Robert Mueller’s office, which in 20 months has never issued a comment on a media report, then released this statement: “BuzzFeed’s description of specific statements to the Special Counsel’s Office, and characterization of documents and testimony obtained by this office, regarding Michael Cohen’s Congressional testimony are not accurate.” It’s hard to know who to believe! CNN actually ran with the BuzzFeed report as Breaking News: For some reason, CNN objects to being called “fake news,” but a real news organization (I can’t think of one offhand) doesn’t broadcast an unconfirmed report from a clickbait site, no matter how bad it makes Donald Trump look, and no matter how much they… Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Students Call For USC Professor To Be Fired

A professor at the University of Southern California has come under fire after sending a reply-all email last week to the student body stating “accusers sometimes lie.” “If the day comes you are accused of some crime or tort of which you are not guilty, and you find your peers automatically believing your accuser, I expect you find yourself a stronger proponent of due process than you are now,” Professor James Moore wrote in the email. “Accusers sometimes lie.” Nearly 100 students reportedly attended a rally called “Times Up for James Moore” on Monday in protest of Moore — who is tenured — demanding that he be fired. — Students Call For USC Professor To Be Fired For Saying ‘Accusers Sometimes Lie’ | Daily Wire Nearly 100 students! Not mentioned: USC has 44,000 students. A more accurate way to frame this would be “Out of 44,000 USC students, 43,900 understand… Read more →

“Why Do I Believe What I Believe?”

My fellow Americans – About 20 people showed up for Unite the Right last weekend. That would be a disappointing turnout for a pancake breakfast sponsored by the local softball league, let alone a national rally in Washington, DC. White supremacy is like the Flat Earth Society, not non-existent, but extremely marginal. It’s a boogeyman to scare people about things that are not real. A good question to ask is “Why do I believe what I believe?” For example, “Why do I believe in a resurgence of white supremacy when only 20 people in a nation of 300 million can be persuaded to show up at a rally?” Possible answers include “I saw it on the internet” or “I heard it on TV.” These are perhaps not good answers, in that they open us up to manipulation for political gain, financial gain, and increased readership and viewership. Read more →

You Are Very Fake News

Click to order! Update 5 Aug 2018: Newseum has decided to stop selling these shirts and apologized for selling them in the first place. 🙁 Fortunately I ordered mine yesterday. 🙂 Read more →

See You in Hell: Fake News Edition

[See You in Hell is a feature by our guest blogger, Satan — PE] Greetings from the Underworld, my friends and foes! I’m reading about a hostage situation, including a fatal shooting of one of the hostages, at a Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles over the weekend. It was covered nationally and even internationally. Here’s a photo from a British news site of the suspect being taken away: I looked at the major US news sites — CNN, NBC, CBS, ABC — and about a dozen smaller sites . . . no one mentioned the race of the suspect, no one gave the suspect’s name, and no one ran a photo. I could understand a media policy where, in reporting shootings, we consider race to always be relevant, or we consider race to never be relevant, but not a policy where race is only considered relevant when the victim is… Read more →

Fake News Awards

I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR on Monday at 5:00 o’clock. Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018 I’m looking forward to this! I find news media on both the left and right too smug and simplistic and agenda-driven. Read more →

Spot the Fake News: Obamacare Subsidies

I read four news stories on the same topic — the end of Obamacare subsidies to insurance companies. The Wall Street Journal plays it straight down the middle: President Donald Trump’s executive order on health care issued Thursday marks the first major salvo in what the White House promises will be an extensive, targeted campaign to unravel the Affordable Care Act administratively. As does Bloomberg: President Donald Trump said he is moving “step by step” on his own to remake the U.S. health care system because Congress won’t act on his demand to repeal Obamacare. The Trump administration took its most drastic measure yet to roll back the Affordable Care Act Thursday evening, announcing it would cut off a subsidy to insurers hours after issuing an executive order designed to draw people away from the health law’s markets. See if you can spot the fake news in the Politico version:… Read more →

A Fake News Taxonomy: 7 Types of Mis- and Disinformation

First Draft makes an interesting effort to classify different types of misinformation (the inadvertent sharing of false information) and disinformation (the deliberate creation and sharing of information known to be false), based on the type of content, the motivations of those who create the content and the ways that content is disseminated Here are the categories they came up with, in descending order of intent to deceive: Fabricated Content: New content that is 100% false Manipulated Content: Genuine information or imagery is manipulated Imposter Content: Impersonation of genuine sources False Context: Genuine content is shared with false contextual information Misleading Content: Misleading use of information to frame an issue/individual False Connection: Headlines, visuals or captions don’t support the content Satire or Parody: No intention to cause harm but potential to fool We used to have the Five W’s: who, what, when, where and why. Now we have the Eight P’s:… Read more →

Fake News?

According to the Encyclopaedia Brittanica, Herod the Great died in the year 4 BCE. According to the Gospel of Matthew, Herod was the ruler of Judea who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents at the time of the birth of Jesus. Which would mean that Jesus was born at least four years before the birth of Christ . . . Read more →