Let’s Play Journalism, and Make Fake News

This journalism thingie has gotten so easy, anyone can do it. Let’s play make the fake news funtime!

The elderly may remember the Old Journalism. Back in BT (Before Trump) journalists in mainstream outlets had to gather facts (i.e., true things) from sources (people with names who knew true things) that would withstand fact-checking (looking stuff up, or having a second source confirm stuff.) If you quoted something already established as a fact, you were obligated to link to it.

There were notably exceptions. For example, in 2003, the New York Times simply “believed” everything it was told about Iraq having massive destructive weapons and typed it into the paper. FYI: The Times assisted in generating enthusiasm for the Iraq invasion, helping kill 5,000 Americans and perhaps one million Iraqis! Media such as the National Enquirer and gossip blogs would just make things up, aliens and Bigfoot and all that, but it was with a wink and everyone knew it was fake and for fun.

Then Shazaam! Every media in America miscalled the election for Clinton while Trump won. Media collectively got a sad. They did not know what to do. Certainly admitting they screwed up was not in the cards, nor was accepting that Trump won and moving on. So, they invented Newer Journalism.

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US Customs To Solve Terrorism by Asking Tourists for Their Social Media Accounts

Image Courtesy of Edward Snowden

The United States government seems to have a real thing for social media and terrorism, stoutly believing if only they could “take out” Twitter the global jihadi movement would collapse. Or something like that. Maybe it’s Instagram?

Social Media vs. Jihad

But while Trump talks the talk, Obama walked the walk.

You may not know it, but since December the United States quietly changed the standard online entry form (ESTA) used by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a part of your neighborhood Department of Homeland Security.

The question added is “Please enter information associated with your online presence – Provider/Platform – Social media identifier.” The question is for all foreign travelers’ who use the visa waiver (visa-free) system for admission into the US The form is not used for American citizens.

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Peter Van Buren: Can’t Judge Fake News in the Dark

This isn’t about Trump. It’s about judging the media, whoever and whatever they report on. It is about reading critically when so much out there is just simply inaccurate. Not maybe inaccurate, pure dead solid perfect stupid. So don’t call me a nazi.

Step One is to note if the story you’re reading/seeing is all or mostly unsourced, or anonymously sourced. Red flag.

Step Two is to see if the story is bombastic, dramatic, something that really makes you angry. Something that adds to or dovetails with something you already believe is true. If it sounds like gossip, that’s probably all it is. Red flag.

Step Three is to check if the story is a negative one about a person or subject from a media outlet that celebrates its partisan position. Red flag.

Congratulations! You’ve got a sample target, and are ready to apply a basic test.

Continue reading “Peter Van Buren: Can’t Judge Fake News in the Dark”

‘Extreme Vetting’: Homeland Security’s Attack On Liberty?

Gen. John Kelly, Director of the Department of Homeland Security, told Congress yesterday that the Administration is considering even more “extreme” vetting measures, to possibly include demands for passwords and information about web browsing habits. For now, these measures would only apply to those coming from the seven countries included in the temporary visa ban, but does anyone believe these requirements will not be expanded to include others…possibly even including Americans? More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

Elliott Abrams To State Dept? You Can’t Be Serious, says Ron Paul

Hardline neocon Elliott Abrams is rumored to be under consideration for Deputy Secretary of State in the Trump Administration. He is meeting President Trump today. Abrams has never seen a war, intervention, or regime change that he hasn’t enthusiastically endorsed. Each of the policies he has endorsed has ended up in disaster. Libya? Afghanistan? Iraq? Syria? Ukraine? How could anyone so wrong be so right for a senior position? More in today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

STOP ELLIOTT ABRAMS!

TO: ALL PEACE ADVOCATES
FROM: THE STAFF OF ANTIWAR.COM
RE: STOP ELLIOTT ABRAMS!

Dear friend of Antiwar.com,

The news that President Trump is seriously considering neoconservative Elliott Abrams for the key position of Deputy Secretary of State should alarm all Americans who want to "avoid the mistakes of the past," as Trump put it in his major foreign policy speech. Abrams stands for everything the President said he opposes: regime change, globalism, hostility to Russia, endless wars on behalf of ungrateful "allies."

No matter what you think of Trump, Abrams in a key State Department position represents a grave threat to peace.

In addition, Abrams was indicted and convicted in the infamous "Contra-gate" scandal of the 1980s, when he collaborated in a plot to cover up paying ransom to Iran for the hostages they had taken.

Although he was pardoned by George HW Bush, this hardly alters his criminal status – and that’s the least of his crimes. During that same period he was instrumental in supporting not only the Nicaraguan contras, but also the terrorist "death squads" that wreaked devastation on El Salvador – a horrific phenomenon that led directly to the chaos that has turned that country into a killing field ruled by criminals.

Tens of thousands of Salvadorans are today showing up at our southern border due to Abrams’ activities in the Reagan era.

Abrams is a prominent member of a faction that has been responsible for most of the devastation that the United States has wrought throughout the Middle East and the world since 9/11. He supported the Iraq war: he supports regime change in Syria. His entire career exemplifies all that is wrong with the conduct of US foreign policy in recent times.

In short, Abrams must be stopped.

The post of Deputy Secretary of State is subject to confirmation by the Senate. Although as of this writing Abrams’ appointment is by no means certain, now is the time to act.

No matter what you think of Trump, this must be stopped. Contact the White House and call your Senators. Tell them: No on Abrams!