Archive for the ‘Media’ Category

Will recognition of “fake news” be followed by “fake science”

November 3, 2017

Collins Dictionary has chosen “fake news” as its word for 2017.

When a partisan publication exaggerates – even wildly – in favour of its own cause, it causes no great surprise.  It is not even too astonishing when it fabricates news or omits news to further its own agenda. The insidious nature of “fake news” is worst when it is a supposedly objective publication which indulges in fake news to further a hidden agenda. So when Breitbart or the Daily Mail or Huffington Post produce much of their nonsense it causes no great surprise and hardly merits the sobriquet of “fake news”, even if much of the “news” is slanted or exaggerated or skewed or just plain lies. It is when a publication, having a reputation for objectivity, misuses that reputation to push its own agenda, that “fake news” takes on a life of its own.

It is not that this is anything new but certainly the US Presidential Election has brought “fake news” to a head. “Fake News” applies though to much more than just US politics. Of course CNN heads the list of purveyors of “fake news”. CNN has never been objective but they once generally checked their facts and used to separate straight reporting from opinion. I used to find them, at least, fairly reliable for factual reporting. But they have abandoned that approach and I find that they not just unreliable but also intentionally misleading. Their “journalists” have all become lobbyists and “CNN” has become synonymous with “Fake News”.

I once was a regular reader of the Washington Post. They were biased but were not unreliable as to the facts. It was quite easy to just discount for bias and get what I thought was a “true” picture. But they, too, have degenerated swiftly in the last 2 years. Stories are not just distorted, they are even fabricated. But the real disappointments for me in the last 24 months has been the New York Times. Not just in the space of US politics. The NYT has its own definitions of what is politically correct in politics, in science and even in the arts. Somewhere along the way they have made a conscious decision that they are “lobbyists” rather than reporters. They have decided that, for what they have defined as being “politically correct”, pushing that view justifies omission, exaggeration, “spinning” and even fabrication. Straight reporting has become extinct.

Lobby groups such as Huff Post and Daily Kos and Red State are full of blatant falsifications but have no news reputation of any significance at stake. They are not, therefore, included in my take on the top purveyors of fake new.

If 2017 has seen the recognition of the widespread use of fake news, I am looking to 2018 to recognise the proliferation of fake science. There is fake science being disseminated every day in big physics (CERN funding), pharmaceuticals, “climate science”, behavioural studies, sociology, psychology and economics. Much of fake science follows funding. Perhaps there will be greater recognition that “good science” is neither decided by nor subject to a poll.


 

 

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No place to hide for the social media publishers

March 27, 2017

It is time that Facebook and Google and WhatsApp and Snapchat and Twitter accepted that they are just publishers and cannot hide behind the label of being “tech companies”. They cannot function as a hiding place for publications by criminals and terrorists and make ad revenue  on such publications and then claim they are merely couriers like a postal service. They cannot censor some content and then claim they are not responsible for the rest.

It is time to treat them as the publishers they are.

Facebook and Twitter and Google (YouTube) and and WhatsApp and LinkedIn cannot abdicate their responsibility as publishers because they choose not to exercise the quality control they could. They cannot remove (censor) some material and then claim they are nor responsible for the rest.

Facebook and Twitter are “publishers”, not merely “couriers”

Social media like to claim that they merely provide a “platform” or  are just “communication enablers” or only provide “communication media” and therefore that they are not responsible – and should not be held responsible – for the content they disseminate.

But they protest too much.

It is quite wrong to compare Facebook or Twitter or LinkedIn to a telecommunications enterprise or a postal service or a courier service or an e-mail service provider. In all of these a specific identifiable “sender” directs a communique to a specific, identified “receiver”. The carrying of the communique to the specific receiver is the service provided by the communications enterprise and is not in any sense “publishing”. The service provided by the social media is more than just the provision of a soap box in Hyde Park (a platform) or the provision of a Board or a Wall in a town square onto which a newspaper could be appended. Any website could be a platform for comments but the website owner must take ultimate responsibility for the content published on the web-site. ……

Their advertising revenues depend upon the dissemination being as wide and as “indiscriminate” as possible. They are not so different to a radio or a TV broadcast where the broadcaster tries to reach as large an audience as possible. The broadcaster is clearly responsible and accountable for the content of the broadcast. A free newspaper being distributed at all Metro stations but where revenues are dependent upon advertising also has a responsible publisher. Any advertising revenue accrues to the publisher.

The clincher for me is that the placement of advertisements based on circulation is decisive proof of the existence of a publisher. All published material does not contain advertising. Not all advertising is proof of the existence of a publisher. A billboard or sandwich-board owner for example, is not a publisher. But the mere existence of advertising based on circulation numbers or “reach” or any similar parameter is conclusive proof – I think – of the existence of a publisher. And it is the person or organisation responsible for the circulation who takes the advertising revenues and in consequence must be the responsible and accountable publisher.

Freedom of speech does not really enter the argument. The publisher may choose to publish whatever he pleases. He may refrain from “censoring” his users if he so wishes. Or he may – at some cost – ensure that the content he publishes meets criteria that he sets himself. But he remains responsible and accountable for what he publishes. Facebook and Twitter cannot abdicate their responsibility because they choose not to exercise the quality control they could.


 

Suppression of news is also fake news

March 23, 2017

Fake news is created by commission as much as by omission.

Suppressing news which does not support your agenda is common practice by virtually all purveyors of news  – whether newspapers or TV channels or radio broadcasts. In Sweden and Germany (and in most of Europe), it is no secret that the main stream media do not report on stories which are not in line with their perception of  what the public “ought to know”. Extremist media  – whether from the left or the right – suppress or downplay news which is not favourable to their cause. It is therefore that in Germany and Sweden and in most of Europe, barbarous and criminal behaviour by asylum seekers is grossly under-reported. There is a suspicion that such crimes are also under-prosecuted but news reports are sparse.

There are virtually no sources any more of objective, factual reports which are not contaminated by heavy doses of opinion, speculation and even fabrication. There are few subjects left which are not politicised. To get any where close to the facts about any story it becomes necessary to read reports from all the sides of the political divide. You can no longer rely on just one source. If you read Der Spiegel you also need to read Die Welt. If you read Aftonbladet you also need to read Expressen. If you read The Guardian you also need to read the Daily Mail. If you read The Sun you also need to read the Daily Express. (If you read The Independent there is very little hope for you). But to make matters worse, even reading the left/right versions of a story are not enough. They all suppress news if they think the great unwashed public do not need to know.

The latest case of news suppression is in the US. Virtually all of the left-liberal mainstream media , from the Daily Kos and HuffPo on the far left through the WaPo and all the way to the New York Times have ignored or played down this story of illegal immigrants raping a 14 year old in school for obvious political reasons. Only local newspapers in Maryland and Fox News have reported – and Fox News reports have their own political priorities. This story is now getting some coverage, but how many more have been kept hidden?

I think – I cannot be sure – I have the gist of the story. But it has needed that I go from the BBC to local reports to blog posts (even if obviously biased) to reach a point where I think I have the gist of the story.

Suppression of news immediately leads to speculation that much more is being hidden.

BBC:

An alleged rape at a US high school has sparked a row over immigration that has reached all the way to the White House. Two Central American-born students are in custody after a 14-year-old girl was attacked last week at Rockville High School in Maryland, police say. The White House said “tragedies like this” had motivated President Trump’s illegal immigration “crackdown”.

On Tuesday night, protesters gathered outside the school, some expressing concern about undocumented immigrants. Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17, were charged in the alleged assault, which the victim said took place in a boy’s toilet at the beginning of the school day last Thursday.

BethesdaMagazineThe usually civil political discourse in Montgomery County turned aggressive over the weekend as residents who oppose the county’s liberal policy toward undocumented immigrants angrily emerged in reaction to the brutal alleged rape of a Rockville High School freshman girl by 17- and 18-year-old recent Central American immigrants. 

The county and City of Rockville for many years have had a policy in place that directs their police officers not to ask about an individual’s immigration status during interactions. However, the county and city both share information about individuals who are arrested with federal agencies such as the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in case those agencies have pending issues with the individuals.

The two high school students arrested and charged Thursday with rape in the Rockville High case are Henry Sanchez, 18, and Jose Montano, 17. Sanchez, who resided in Aspen Hill and arrived from Guatemala about seven months ago, while Montano, of an unconfirmed address, arrived from El Salvador about eight months ago, according to ABC7.

Matthew Bourke, an ICE spokesman, wrote in an email Monday to Bethesda Beat that ICE issued a detainer for Sanchez on Thursday after he was arrested by county police on the rape charge. Bourke wrote that ICE can’t comment on Montano’s case because he is a minor.

Bourke also noted that a border patrol agent interacted with Sanchez in August 2016 in Rio Valley Grande, Texas, and the agent determined Sanchez unlawfully entered the U.S. from Mexico. Sanchez was issued a notice to appear before an immigration judge for a hearing that has not yet been scheduled, according to Bourke. Bourke said an immigration judge never issued Sanchez a deportation order.

Both students speak limited English and were enrolled in Rockville High School as freshmen, according to The Washington Post. They’re accused of raping the 14-year-old girl inside a boys bathroom on Thursday morning during school hours and were ordered held in jail without bond Friday.

But to get an idea of the anger in the local community against the “powers that be ” who presume to know what is best for them , you need to go to the blogosphere. No doubt the reports here have their own political leanings.

http://www.helpsavemaryland.org/

To Senate President, Mike Miller and Statehouse Members,

If you have not gone out and read the outrage over the rape, you must be blind. Even your favorite news outlet reported on the rape, CNN: http://www.cnn.com/2017/03/21/us/maryland-undocumented-student-rape/ You know things are bad when they report on it.  You can’t get any further left bias reporting than the liberal CNN news to report.

There were many people who went down to Rockville High School last night in protest of the Sanctuary Policies of Montgomery County, and the lack of law enforcement, lack of protection for students. … Listening to Council President, Berliner, liberal deflector or on Sanctuary Policy, he stated, and I quote “This is not on us, he was caught in Texas by ICE and released”, oh, but let us remind everyone of Catch and Release under Obama’s policy.  While the Illegal Alien was given his letter to appear before the court, when his hearing was to come up, he did what they all do, just go somewhere else and blend in with the other Illegal’s.  Governor Hogan put the hammer down, and now it’s up to you, to do the right thing, KILL THE BILL.  Where was Berliner’s support for the 14 year old victim?  Did he call her parents and offer assistance and console them? ……

But the reality today is that if you wish to get the facts and to make up your own mind, you need to consult multiple sources. You need to know the political leanings of the journalist, the news medium and of its publisher. And above all, you need to be the ultimate skeptic.


 

The agenda for the daily news show

January 25, 2017

It is early morning in Europe and the US is still asleep.

Another news cycle has started. (The world news cycle is de facto on US time). But the agenda for this cycle – apart from unforeseen events – is being set by Donald Trump’s late night tweets before going to bed (sent at around 10pm EST). In fact, in my morning sweep of news from around the world, usually starting with New Zealand and Japan and working westwards, I have now started to look first at the Trump tweets.

The tweets this morning:

trump-tweets-20170124

From the New Zealand Herald to The Australian, through the Indian papers and in the European media Trump’s tweet on the immigration wall is picked up universally to make prominent headlines. The gratuitous remark about CNN (though it is well deserved) is not picked up to the same extent. The comments about Chicago (and the wall, of course) are prominently covered by the US media. CNN also covers the wall and Chicago but refrains from adding fuel to the raging feud they currently have with Trump.

The US (and some European media) also cover the current ban on public statements by US State agencies.

But the Trump tweets are driving the news cycle.


 

CNN “hoping” that Trump/Pence get killed before inauguration

January 20, 2017

They can call it a scenario for analysis but what it really is, is wishful thinking at worst, or just the normal CNN perverted view of the world at best.



 

If Trump’s negroes are “mediocre”, CNN’s negroes must lie under the first quartile

January 17, 2017

CNN is plumbing the depths and scraping the barrel!

No further comment needed.

PJmedia:

CNN’s Resident Racist Called Steve Harvey and MLK III ‘Mediocre Negroes’

CNN contributor Marc Lamont Hill has had a record of racial divisiveness and partisanship, but nothing compares to what he said today. He actually uttered these words about Steve Harvey and Martin Luther King III: “It was a bunch of mediocre negroes being dragged in front of TV as a photo-op for Donald Trump’s exploitative campaign.”

Can you even imagine if a conservative had said that?!? The outcry would be so extreme. CNN needs to fire this man for the outlandish racism that he has demonstrated! Marc Lamont Hill is a disgrace!!

trumps-mediocre-negroes

Did Jeb Bush commission the Trump fake report? and was it “laundered” by John McCain?

January 12, 2017

Fake news needs “laundering” for it to gain legs.

The Obama birther story was first started by Hillary Clinton’s supporters when she was standing against him in the Democratic primaries in 2008. It then took on a life of its own.

Now it seems the fake and scurrilous report about Donald Trump may have been commissioned from a former British intelligence officer as part of Jeb Bush’s efforts during the Republican primaries. To make it even more intriguing it may be that the fake report was passed through John McCain to the FBI – a sort of “laundering” of fake news to give it a semblance of authority. Whether McCain did it knowingly or was duped into the laundering exercise is unknown.

Of course CNN then played their part in “laundering” the fake news though that involvement is very likely intentional.

Reuters:

Christopher Steele, who wrote reports on compromising material Russian operatives allegedly had collected on U.S. President-elect Donald Trump, is a former officer in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service, according to people familiar with his career.

Former British intelligence officials said Steele spent years under diplomatic cover working for the agency, also known as MI-6, in Russia and Paris and at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. After he left the spy service, Steele supplied the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) with information on corruption at FIFA, international soccer’s governing body. It was his work on corruption in international soccer that lent credence to his reporting on Trump’s entanglements in Russia, U.S. officials said on Wednesday. ……

……. Steele was initially hired by FusionGPS, a Washington, DC-based political research firm, to investigate Trump on behalf of unidentified Republicans who wanted to stop Trump’s bid for the GOP nomination. The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) reported that Steele was initially hired by Jeb Bush, one of Trump’s 16 opponents in the 2016 Republican primary. It was not immediately possible to verify the BBC’s report. ……

He was kept on assignment by FusionGPS after Trump won the nomination and his information was circulated to Democratic Party figures and members of the media. 

Steele’s dealings with the FBI on Trump, initially with the senior agent who had started the FIFA probe and then moved to a post in Europe, began in July. However, Steele cut off contact with the FBI about a month before the Nov. 8 election because he was frustrated by the bureau’s slow progress.  

And then we have McCain’s involvement.

Breitbart: 

Wednesday on CNN addressing media reports that he had turned over a dossier containing unverified claims about Russia and President-elect Donald Trump, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said, “I don’t know if it’s credible or not but I thought the information deserved to be delivered to the FBI, the appropriate agency of government.”

Partial transcript as follows:

MCCAIN: After looking at that information I took it to the FBI and have had no further involvement with it at issue. By the way, according to some media reports they already had that information, but I didn’t know that at the time. I did what any citizen would do, received sensitive information and then handed it over to the proper government agency and had nothing else to do with it.

Very commendable on the face of it but unlikely to be as innocent as all that.


 

CNN and Buzzfeed (fake news and garbage) have just shot themselves

January 12, 2017

“CNN and Buzzfeed” go together like “fake news and garbage”.

Buzzfeed provides the raw, unsorted garbage and CNN gives it the fake “news” label. But in their eagerness to attack Trump (CNN well deserves the label of being the “Clinton News Network”) they may have just provided Trump with all the justification he needs to sanction them. As lobby groups they really can no longer be considered “News Media”. They have dissipated and no longer deserve the protection that is due to journalistic activity since they have are engaged, now, primarily in advocacy rather than journalism. There are many other advocacy groups masquerading as purveyors of objective news. But most others provide a mix of advocacy and journalism. CNN sticks out as being particularly far removed from genuine journalism. CNN, from my own observations, has been consistently guilty of “politically correct” propaganda at least since the first Gulf War with the elder Bush. To my mind Blitzer (especially) and Amanpour and Tapper and their like are fatally tainted as journalists. At least Zakaria is openly a leftist advocate and does not pretend to be a journalist. CNN lost its objectivity and the skepticism necessary for quality journalism a long time ago.

This time they may have shot themselves in a much more vital area than the foot.

“CNN is fake news”

has a ring of truth about it.

This from Politico which is not particularly friendly to Trump though it has not been quite as rabid and shameless in its “politically correct” propaganda as CNN and WaPo and HuffPo

Politico: 

The best thing that happened to Donald Trump all week is that BuzzFeed published the raw Russia dossier about him.

It can’t be pleasant for anyone to see his name associated with prostitutes and a bizarre sex act in print, not even Donald Trump, who presumably has a higher tolerance for this kind of thing than the average human being, since he has lived and thrived knee-deep in tabloid muck for decades. But in the media’s ongoing fight with Donald Trump, BuzzFeed’s incredible act of journalistic irresponsibility represented the press leading with its chin. ……… 

……. BuzzFeed played right into his hands. There are legitimate questions raised about how determined Trump has been to ignore evidence of Russia’s hacking operations prior to the election. But BuzzFeed did more to obscure and discredit these questions than Trump Tower could ever hope to. By publishing the uncorroborated dossier, BuzzFeed has associated the Russia issue with fantastical rumors and hearsay.

Its decision to post the document has to be considered another chapter in the ongoing saga of the media and Democrats losing their collective minds. If the election had gone the other way, it is hard to see BuzzFeed publishing a 35-page document containing unverified, lurid allegations about President-elect Hillary Clinton that it didn’t consider credible. This was an anti-Trump decision, pure and simple.

It created a media firestorm, but everyone should realize by now that media firestorms are Trump’s thing. They have been literally since the day he got into the presidential race. They suck the oxygen away from everything except the transfixing melodrama surrounding Donald Trump. The question is always, “How can he possibly escape this?” And at the center of attention, vindicating his own honor and that of his supporters by proxy, he always does.

cnn-fake


 

Toyota will need to revise their Mexico plans as Trump tweets drive news

January 5, 2017

Trump’s tweets are driving the news.

And now he sets his sights on Toyota’s plans to build in Mexico and export to the US.

He tweeted this a few minutes ago:

20170105 -- 1910CET

20170105 — 1910CET

The Hill: 

Incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said President-elect Donald Trump’s tweets direct the news cycle.

“[It’s] because that’s what’s going to drive the news,” he said Wednesday during a panel at the University of Chicago, speaking with former President Obama adviser David Axelrod. “Whatever he tweets, he is going to drive the news.”

When Axelrod asked if Spicer feels “a certain sense of dread” about Trump’s posts on Twitter, the former Republican National Committee strategist responded: “No, but I do look there first.”

Spicer cited Trump’s tweet criticizing House Republicans Tuesday as evidence of the president-elect’s power.

“You saw the House vote the other day,” he told Axelrod, who served as chief strategist for Obama’s two presidential campaigns and a senior adviser in his White House.

“[Trump] sends a single tweet out, you know, that the House was not focused on tax reform and healthcare and instead was focused on the Office of [Congressional] Ethics,” Spicer said of the OCE. “Immediately, it’s withdrawn.”

The president-elect on Tuesday criticized House Republicans for prioritizing a plan to weaken the independent ethics panel over other major issues.

“Focus on tax reform, healthcare and so many other things of far greater importance,” he tweeted.

I expect Toyota will modify their plans.


 

“Putin personally hacked Clinton” – US unintelligence agencies in a post-truth world

December 15, 2016

This is the post-truth world.

Now we have unintelligence agencies. In their world, Saddam had WMD, ISIS does not exist, the US won the Vietnam war and Saudi Arabia is a democratic paradise.

And Putin personally hacked Hillary Clinton and DNC.

They lost the election, they lost the recount and now, the plan is to subvert the Electoral College. It seems the Clinton campaign and the Democratic party and media surrogates are still in denial.

putin-huffpo

Of course this is based on hard evidence from the unintelligence agencies. (How come all this evidence has come only after a lost election).

Oh Dear!

The evidence

putin-hacking

Putin hacking personally

I like this from the American Thinker

image American Thinker

image American Thinker


 


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