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The face of fake news

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Megyn Kelly took on more than just Alex Jones in her NBC “Sunday Night” interview. She took on fake news. I’m glad she did.

Honestly, I was very worried that Kelly would equivocate and underperform like she did with Russian President Vladimir Putin. I was worried that Jones would get a pass and use the performance to pick up even more viewers–and believers.

It turns out I was wrong, as were others who believed the interview was a bad idea.

It was important to expose the abhorrent conspiracies and ideals that Jones represents.

But motivations are really key here. I have to believe that Jones’ motivations are personal. He suffers from the same need for importance and recognition that the other main topic of Kelly’s piece–President Trump–succumbs to. Jones simply wants the clicks, the influence, and the power.

There are plenty of Twitter, Facebook, and web-based Jones wannabes, and some in the main stream media. The New York Times and the Washington Post are not immune from what Kelly termed “reckless accusation, followed by equivocations and excuses.” The MSM simply couches their version in “bombshell” headlines, unnamed sources and back-of-the-paper retractions.

There’s nothing inherently wrong, or un-American, about people like Jones. They’ve been around since before Erwin Wardman coined the term “yellow journalism” in 1998.

But there’s a more pernicious motive floating out there: foreign governments using people like Jones, and teenagers in Eastern European basements, to float their own anti-U.S. propaganda. The Russians are experts at disinformation–they call it “Dezinformatsiya.”

The Washington Post delved deep into the history of Russian fake news right after the election. In 2015, Adrian Chen published a chilling New York Times Magazine piece titled “The Agency” about Russian efforts to create fake news events and use social media “trolls” to promote their own interests.

Russia’s information war might be thought of as the biggest trolling operation in history, and its target is nothing less than the utility of the Internet as a democratic space. In the midst of such a war, the Runet (as the Russian Internet is often called) can be an unpleasant place for anyone caught in the crossfire. Soon after I met Leonid Volkov, he wrote a post on his Facebook wall about our interview, saying that he had spoken with someone from The New York Times. A former pro-Kremlin blogger later warned me about this. Kremlin allies, he explained, monitored Volkov’s page, and now they would be on guard. “That was not smart,” he said.

The fact that President Trump relies on the very same social media tools that the Russians have thoroughly infiltrated and corrupted in order to make his points and win political power–that translates to actual government power–is more than troubling.

It means that Alex Jones, President Trump, and the Russians are all feeding the same cancer of fake news.

I submit there’s very little difference in Trump claiming he’s the victim of a “Witch Hunt” by “deep state” operatives (or hinting at “tapes” of conversations with James Comey), Alex Jones claims that Sandy Hook was a hoax, and the “Internet Research Agency” creating a fake story about a chemical disaster in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana. They are all set ups not in service of truth, but in service of other motives.

But when we can’t tell the difference between real Russian interference and the president’s tweetstorms and Jones’ conspiracies, in a culture where these events lead to political violence, injury and death, someone’s got to call foul.

Kelly took the opportunity to call foul on Jones. I applaud that she did. If the main stream media, including her employer, NBC, would take the hint and back off from their one-sided attacks on Trump, conservatives, and Republicans, maybe her message would begin to spread.

If the media itself doesn’t take the high road in combatting fake news, not leaping to conclusions, burying stories that offend their own world view, and projecting pure opinion as objective fact, then how can we expect anyone to believe them?

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Culture and Religion

Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as ‘sweetheart,’ prompting zero outrage

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Louis Farrakhan refers to Ilhan Omar as sweetheart prompting zero outrage

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan referred to Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) as “Sweetheart” as he addressed her during a speaking engagement on Sunday. He apparently caught his faux pas and immediately justified the remark, but at that point the moniker which many consider to be sexist or misogynistic had already been noted.

Nevertheless, it didn’t cause the stir one might expect. As a far-left progressive, Omar is known for being a feminist icon on Capitol Hill even though she hasn’t been in office for a full two months yet. As our EIC noted, the lack of a rebuke was because of the source, not because she now feels it’s okay to refer to her as “sweetheart.”

The statement came as Farrakhan was telling Omar she shouldn’t be sorry for the statements she made last week about Israel, AIPAC, and Jewish influence in Washington DC, particularly over Republicans.

In a world where consistency was still considered a virtue, followers of Omar would be wondering why she’s not expressing outrage over the belittling reference from a powerful man. But the world isn’t consistent and Farrakhan always gets a pass.

 


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Culture and Religion

Man fined £1,000 for outdated sense of humor

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Man fined £1000 for outdated sense of humor

Jonathon Van Maren, a contributor for LifeSiteNews, recently stumbled across an article in the UK’s Edinburgh News about a construction worker who was arrested for “pointing and laughing” at a biological male who was dressed as a female (transgender woman).

[Author’s Note: It is impolite and unkind to point and laugh at others. This article is not an endorsement of such behavior.]

As Van Maren explained, a construction worker named Graham Spiers was walking with a group of friends. The group pointed and laughed while passing a transgender individual who, suspecting that his appearance had become the subject of ridicule, telephoned the police.

Spiers was arrested five day later.

Sherriff Robert Fife scolded Mr. Spiers’s sense of humor and actions:

Transgender insanity: Police now jailing people for laughing at men in women’s clothes

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/transgender-insanity-police-now-jailing-people-for-laughing-at-men-in-womenSheriff Robert Fife also piled on, informing Spiers that, “Your offensive comments were not funny at the time and are not funny now. Your children should grow up understanding gender differences and would be ashamed at your behavior that comes from a different era has no place in today’s society.” Fife then told Spiers that in addition to the cash he had to pay to the biological man for laughing at him, he also had to pay an additional fine of another five hundred pounds.

Graham Spiers was ordered to pay a total of £1,000 for his actions “from a different era,” 500 of which was paid to the complainant.

Of the actions by police and the court in this instance, Van Maren opined:

It is disgusting enough that law enforcement would arrest and charge someone for this triviality. That alone indicates that freedom in Scotland is truly dead. But the fact that law enforcement then lectured Spiers on being a throwback from a different age (that different era being about a decade ago, for the record) and telling him his children should be ashamed of him? And that Spiers was expected to cower and listen to this tongue-lashing from his betters so he could get re-educated and realize that men could now become women and that laughing at their attempts was forbidden by law? That should absolutely repulse any liberty-loving person and terrify everyone who values freedom.

My Take

Pointing and laughing at others is unquestionably unkind. I am repulsed at the thought of such outward meanness. However, that this behavior so would be considered illegal and result in one’s arrest is punitive at best, and is undoubtedly a waste a valuable time and resources. Furthermore, the punishment in this case is brazenly excessive.

This is yet another instance of big government run amok. The Founders knew the dangers of big government. It would be prudent of us to heed the Founders’ advice, lest we find ourselves in the position of Mr. Spiers: subjugated beneath the arbitrary boot of “benevolent” governmental authority.

 


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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

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The anti-MAGA hoax epidemic

There’s a trend that’s been quietly, consistently rearing its ugly head against the President of the United States and his supporters since before the 2016 election. We’ve seen it among unhinged journalists, virtue-signaling celebrities, and Democratic politicians. We’ve seen it manifest in the ugliest form of hatred – the common hate-hoax – and it’s doing more to divide America than the source of the perpetrators’ anger.

They hate President Trump. They hate the people who got him elected. The hate the idea of making America great again because as much of the MAGA agenda comes to pass, they’re learning they’ve been wrong the whole time. I know first hand. I’ve been proven wrong myself.

No, I’m not a hate-hoaxer, but I’ve been against the President to varying degrees for over three years now. Before he officially won the GOP nomination in 2016, I opposed him because I felt he would do too much damage while delivering only a moderate amount of good policies. He wasn’t as bad as John Kasich or Jeb Bush, but we had Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Rand Paul as better candidates. Nevertheless, he won the nomination, prompting me to spend the final leg of the 2016 election without a horse in the race. I didn’t like the idea of Trump being President, but under no circumstances did I want Hillary Clinton to be President, either.

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After he won, I became a cautious but hopeful watcher. While we worked on alternatives to bring limited-government federalism to the forefront of local, state, and national politics, I took a case-by-case stance on the President himself. When he did well, I praised him. When he did poorly, I criticized him. This stance has remained until this day, though there have been times when I was more supportive or more critical, depending on the policy discussion of the day. Tax and bureaucratic cuts – good. Tariffs and bump stock bans – bad. The recent cave on the border omnibus – very bad. Most foreign policy moves (leaving Iran deal, leaving Paris accords, moving embassy to Jerusalem) – very good.

Unfortunately, it seems many on the left have been unwilling to recognize even the remotest possibility anything the President is doing is good. What’s worse is that some have been so aggressive in their desire to prove their point that they’ve pretended to be victims for the sake of getting their “victims’ perks” of love and affection from their peers while painting anyone wearing a MAGA hat as bigoted and hateful.

Thus, the anti-MAGA hate hoax was born and it’s been so prominent over the last two-and-a-half years, one must wonder how mainstream media and Democrats became so gullible that they fall for it every single time.

Andy Ngo at Quillette put together a comprehensive list of hate hoaxes that leftists have perpetrated to paint the President and his supporters as racists. It’s absolutely stunning when you see the magnitude of the hatred – THEIR hatred – that makes them willing to tell bald-faced lies just to prove the movement they oppose is as bad as they think it is.

I’ve had ideological disagreements with nearly every presidential candidate (let alone every President) since I became an adult. There’s nothing wrong with disagreement as long as one is willing to not be blinded in one direction or the other. There are plenty who blindly follow President Trump to approximately the same degree that supporters blindly followed President Obama. The herd mentality seems to have become the way of the political world in America for our last two presidents. But that blind devotion is simply an annoyance. The blind hatred that drives people to commit these hoaxes is far more dangerous.

It’s likely when the details are fully revealed regarding Jussie Smollett’s hate-hoax, it was driven more by a narcissistic desire to advance his career rather than pure hatred for the MAGA crowd or the President, but obviously the latter hatred played a role in his decision-making process. This type of action is never acceptable. We have enough outrage in America. There’s no need to manufacture even more for false reasons.

It’s time for the unhinged left to stop assuming every MAGA supporter is racist and start asking how the actions of those on their side of the political aisle drove massive amounts of people to support President Trump. Perhaps then, they’ll realize the hatred is coming mostly from them.

 


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