'Fake News' Now Means Whatever People Want It To Mean, And Legislating It Away Is A Slippery Slope Toward Censorship

from the truth-is-whatever-I-say-it-is dept

The discussion about "fake news" certainly began with good intentions, with participants earnestly focused on how disinformation, shitty journalism and bullshit clickbait were filling the noggins of a growing segment of the public for whom critical thinking was already a Sisyphean endeavor. The solution for this problem was never as clean and easy as most of the conversations suggested, especially given that Americans -- thanks in large part to our struggles with education quality and funding -- have never been particularly adept at spotting disinformation, much less understanding how you expose, undermine and combat it at scale.

None of these problems are new. Bad journalism and propaganda have plagued publishing and governments for thousands of years. Donald Trump's violently-adversarial relationship with facts and Vladimir Putin's warehouses full of paid internet trolls have simply taken the conversation to an entirely new level in the internet age. But it's becoming increasingly clear that many of the folks who believe they can somehow legislate this problem away may be doing more harm than good.

In fact, much of the moral panic surrounding the initial fake news conversation has quickly degenerated into something that vacillates quickly between comedy and terror. As we've consistently pointed out, a growing number of countries have moved to make fake news illegal -- even before they've taken time to understand what it actually is. Germany's potential plan to make publishing fake news illegal teeters dangerously close to censorship. Letting politicians define "fake news" (with an obvious incentive toward defining it in their favor) should be a fairly obvious slippery slope.

We've already watched as Donald Trump and his supporters have whined endlessly that absolutely any information they don't like should be mindlessly deposited into the "fake news" bin -- without the pesky and annoying effort required to intelligently analyze each piece of data or reporting on its merits. Even over in Syria, Bashar al-Assad has found the term useful when trying to dodge accusations of systemic torture and massive executions:

And while lies and disinformation are the obvious refuge of authoritarians (or worse), Democracies shouldn't believe they're above the fray when it comes to the fight against fake news being bastardized and weaponized. The line between fighting disinformation and depressing dissent is, as the Washington Post recently noted, significantly thinner than many of our supposedly civilized Democracies would like to pretend:

"Of course, Europe’s established democracies have little in common with the Soviet Union or other illiberal regimes. But the legal tools proposed by European politicians to suppress fake news sound alarmingly like those used by authoritarian governments to silence dissent. This is dangerous. Not only are such measures incompatible with the principle of free speech, but also they set precedents that could quickly strengthen the hand of the populist forces that mainstream European politicians feel so threatened by."

And while there's this belief that these legislative assaults on fake news will somehow put the seedier, more truth-averse news outlets in their place, there's a very real threat of the exact opposite happening (something you could argue is already happening in many countries):

"Above all, rather than strengthening established media institutions, banning fake news might very well undermine them in the eyes of the public. If alternative outlets are prosecuted or shut down, mainstream media risk being seen as unofficial propaganda tools of the powers that be. Behind the Iron Curtain, nonofficial media outlets had more credibility than official media in spite of the fact that not everything they published was accurate or fact-checked. The hashtag #fakenews could become a selling point with the public if it were banned rather than rigorously countered and refuted."

Meanwhile, both the United States and Russia continue to lead the world when it comes to showing how having government dictate what media coverage is or isn't true is a losing proposition for all of us. In Russia, while one arm of the government is busy pumping out propaganda twenty-four hours a day (and denying it), another wing of the government has begun more seriously deriding stories and facts Putin doesn't like. This week, Russia launched a new section of the government's website dedicated to highlighting "fake news" with a giant red stamp:

"Just in case anybody missed the point, each article on the Foreign Ministry website carried a big red label reading “FAKE” in English and a line saying that the information in the article “does not correspond to reality." Russia actually announced something of a fake news double whammy, since the defense minister, Sergei K. Shoigu, told Parliament on Wednesday that the military had created a special task force assigned to wage information warfare, although he did not provide any details."

Subtle.

None of this is to say we shouldn't work tirelessly to help truth regain a foothold. Obviously, teaching classroom critical thinking in the new global media age should be a priority, since actually being able to identify propaganda has never been a U.S. forte (especially if it's originating from the States, a well-versed expert on the subject). And many of the efforts by Facebook and others to cull obvious bullshit from news feeds while adding fact-check systems could prove useful. People also need to simply pause and realize that the internet is still relatively new, and it's going to take media -- and the truth -- time to find its footing in the face of oceans of digitized bullshit.

That said, it might be a good idea to make sure we're not making things worse as we learn. And it shouldn't require too much pesky critical thinking to realize that the efforts to combat "fake news" can be subverted to aid those trying to rip truth from its very foundation, or that letting politicians define what truth is may only expedite our Orwellian descent toward chilling legitimate expression.


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  • icon
    The Wanderer (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:26am

    There's something wrong with the formatting on this article - the lines extend beyond the width of the allocated center column, meaning they get cut off and can't all be read. The same effect is visible on the front page.

    Not sure what could be causing that, unless it's something about the imgur embed...

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:30am

    Your right hand Follow Teckdirt column is hiding the right 10% of your articles.

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  • icon
    aerinai (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:30am

    Trump is following Putin's Playbook

    I've noticed for the last 5 years that Putin's Russia is condemned by the rest of the world for X and then their immediate response is 'Nuh uh!' and then everyone is so dumbfounded that they would dispute facts, that they end up trying to prove it harder with Russia still saying 'nuh uh'... All plays that have been adopted by Trump as well.

    This is unfortunate, but this playbook works. Deny Deny Deny even when you are backed into a corner. Throw out enough propaganda and astroturf in social media channels to derail debate and wait it out... unfortunately our short attention spans will forget and move onto the next outrage starting the cycle over to play out indefinitely :/

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    • identicon
      andy, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:06am

      Re: Trump is following Putin's Playbook

      When you have someone like Trump that has himself been confused enough to report verifiable fake news it proves that you really do need someone with a clear mind to do as you say Putin has done...Trump is confused about almost everything he says and will repeatedly contradict himself in the same sentence.

      Also although there are those that will eventually accept lies as fact there are way more people that will not be as dumb.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:42am

    So...

    Has the media dug it's own grave?

    Yea, no... they were always biased, the problem is that everyone is becoming more comfortable with the notion that the press should be controlled for "reasons". Not that the "help a specific party" mass media is helping their cause, but that is more besides the point.

    As an independent I have noticed forces on BOTH sides trying to marginalize media sources they "disagree" with as faux news. It's funny how people tend to sabotage their own efforts. But like I have constantly tried to tell the left. You cannot achieve equality by creating rules of Inequality to combat them, and like I tell those on the right that you cannot improve the safety of society or nation by handing your liberty over to the police.

    But... they will not learn. From time to time, the tree of liberty must be refreshed with the blood of patriots and tyrants. The vigilance of "The People" has been weak, biased, or apathetic and rarely has it been virtuous or stalwart!

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:57am

      Re: So...

      I hope you are not attempting to equate infowars with NYT

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Rober, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:24am

        Re: Re: So...

        But of the NYT, Drumflthinskin said, “The Times is a great, great American jewel,” & “A world jewel,” - 11/22/16

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:15am

        Re: Re: So...

        Ya, who can believe any of the crap that comes from the NY Times. A long time leftest Propaganda rag.

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        • icon
          Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:27am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          A simple 'yes' would suffice.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:44am

          Re: Re: Re: So...

          Propaganda rag that broke the Clinton email scandal? I guess that must have been fake too, right?

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          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:37am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

            And don't forget its role in fluffing up Bush's case for the Iraq War.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:16am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

              There was no intention to conflate or equate any news source specifically with another one, I was speaking in general terms. Notice how far you all took that train, without any need or reason to do so?

              I think you all are proof positive of how much you hammers need everything to be a nail to hit.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:31am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                What the fuck are you talking about?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                  He is stating that he does not like to be asked questions.
                  Funny that - in response to questions about his post.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:14pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...

                    No. I am stating that, regardless, you don't care and only desire to subvert and twist what was stated.

                    The question asked has no real bearing on the subject. Kinda like asking, have you stopped beating your wife yet?

                    In other words, a trick question designed to derail the conversation or make someone appear guilty regardless of any actual guilt. Most folks call those a straw-man type argument.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:42am

    and this is something else that governments want desperately, just so as to be able to lock people up, as they did to manning and when possible will do with Snowden, if they dont do something worse! governments are the biggest lying, cheating ass holes on the Planet! we all know that and they will go to extraordinary lengths to stop those they are supposed to represent from finding out exactly what they are up to, and, in my opinion, if that includes executing someone for exposing what the fuckers are doing, they WILL go that far! this has all started because of the ridiculous 'Right to be forgotten' laws that have come in, with government backing, to protect the other sections of the lying, cheating ass holes of the world, the rich and the famous who make total cunts of themselves but again, dont want anyone to know what they have been/are up to. however, when it's an ordinary person who has done something that is, perhaps, frowned on by the 'elite', they expect the world and his wife to be told and whatever needed to be done so that the word is spread wholesale! typical 'rules for one, different rules for the other'!!

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  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:43am

    "Fake news!" decries "Fake President".

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:48am

      Re:

      "Fake President"

      I am pretty certain that the Presidency is not fake. If you truly believe it is, then your duty (if you are a US Citizen) is to go and put it down is it not? Meanwhile, go ahead and run your mouth like a twit! You and the President should be twit buddies at the rate you both like to "run mouth".

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      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:50am

        Re: Re:

        Nope he's fake. He's a fake president, he lies too much. Fake. Sad.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:49am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Odd...

          I have found his lies to be about the same rate as the previous 2 administrations. It seems to me that the only disqualifier for Trump is that he does not have a D behind the name. Bernie might have been the most honest candidate from the D party but he got pushed aside like a chump. I think the D's are a little behind the 8 ball by comparison to the R's in trying to get their party back.

          But, neither side will ever get their party back because they never had them to begin with. A political party's purpose is nothing other than to usurp the will of the people. The lambs are lead to the slaughter where they mistakenly believe that their vote will be sacrificed for the greater good. Once a candidate joins a party, they are beholden to the party, NOT the people. all they need to do is throw enough crumbs to their "voters" to keep being voted back in. Once that baseline has been achieved, then it is bad to the business of corruption as usual.

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          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Wow, wrong. Drump lies 3x as more than anybody. And they are very poor lies at that. Inauguration attendance, having details of replacement to Obamacare, voter fraud, etc. It's pathetic.

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            • icon
              Richard M (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:18am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

              Trump is not lying more than the Democrats or the rest of the politicians.

              However you are correct that he is lying BADLY. Not only badly but just plain about stuff that does not even matter. Most politicians are much better at picking when and how to lie. Probably comes from all the practice they get from being called out on the stupid lies.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:20am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                Agree, Trump is a terrible liar, that is his sin. If we could somehow just have an auto-tuner to make Trump sound like Obama when he spews then we would be golden!

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:29am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                  You are being willfully oblivious. Nobody likes when the president lies. Nobody thinks Obama never lied, or that he was without fault when doing so. The issue with Trump is that he lies constantly, about things that don't matter, as well as things that do, with no particular reason one way or the other.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:31am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                    I saw Obama as a constant liar as well, but based on current information, it looks like Trump will easily overtake Obama's lies handily. Going to the trouble to trying to determine which liar lies more gets to be a little pointless.

                    Suppose we were talking about killers instead, Should we send the less skilled killer to jail because they were not able to hide their kills as well as the skilled killer?

                    A liar is just simply a liar. Why bother with tallying up who was the best or worse or the most or least? Is this a national pastime now? Which president lies the best/most?

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                    • identicon
                      Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:14pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                      Going to the trouble to trying to determine which liar lies more gets to be a little pointless.

                      Not at all. Everybody lies sometimes; some lies are socially acceptable and others aren't. That's even more true for politicians.

                      Suppose we were talking about killers instead, Should we send the less skilled killer to jail because they were not able to hide their kills as well as the skilled killer?

                      We have lots of different laws concerning sentencing different types of killing, Anon. First-degree murderers do get sentenced differently than second-degree murderers, who get sentenced differently from people who commit manslaughter. Motivation and circumstances are relevant. Context is important.

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                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:25pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                        Context does matter, but you are getting into the weeds. The term "killers" was used for a reason and not "someone who has killed".

                        Since you freely admit that you are a dishonest person by finding some lies to be "socially acceptable" then all we have here is that for you, it is okay for Obama to lie, but not Trump. This holds true for Trump supporters that it is okay for Trump to lie, but not Obama.

                        We really should not be in the position of letting these people lie like this... "just because they are on our team". The damage it is doing is evident.

                        When you give Obama a pass, you provide license for others to give Trump a pass without compliant. Or do you not understand how hypocrisy works?

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                        • identicon
                          Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:12pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                          Context does matter, but you are getting into the weeds. The term "killers" was used for a reason and not "someone who has killed".

                          http://www.dictionary.com/browse/killer

                          Since you freely admit that you are a dishonest person by finding some lies to be "socially acceptable" then all we have here is that for you, it is okay for Obama to lie, but not Trump. This holds true for Trump supporters that it is okay for Trump to lie, but not Obama.

                          There's definitely a dishonest person here, but it's not me.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:28pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                  Trump lying, or is he just not a politician saying a bunch of nothing. A lie of omission.

                  Plus a lot of these so called lies is the left saying a lot of B.S. Just saying everything is a lie when it clearly isn't.

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                  • identicon
                    Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:26pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                    Even when it clearly is, that is, most of the time? You got serious issues.

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                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:05am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                      The use of the word "left" is the clue. America doesn't really have a left, it's just that anything not terrifyingly right wing is seen as "leftist."

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                      • identicon
                        Baron von Robber, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:41am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                        Makes sense. When one is a fascist, everything one disagrees with is "on the left."

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                        • identicon
                          Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 7:31am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Trump Lying More

                          And there doesn't seem to be a corresponding trope on t'other side because the "not terrifyingly right wing" bunch is so big and has such a wide range of opinions.

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            • identicon
              Chomb, 6 Mar 2017 @ 8:31am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              No. You are missing the point. It does not matter if Trump lies more than Obama or Obama more than Bush. It does not matter who makes the best lies (that nobody can catch) or who makes the poorest lies (that anyone can call bs). It does not matter, the point is both sides lie A LOT to the people, all the time, on anything, always for profit and power. The whole point is both sides, red and blue, democrats and republicans,are essentially the same: power-and-profit-hungry elite that have nothing to do with the common folk.

              The real problem is both sides are the problem, a real revolution needs to take place: new political system, new law/judicial system, new results.

              The proof that both sides ARE the problem is that no matter who is in charge, red or blue, for the past several decades, things still don't change, USA still in many wars and invading others, politicians still lying all day to people, corporations still abusing people's rights and making huge profits while salaries keep low, inequality increasing, etc, etc, etc. Those are facts.

              So long as people keep fighting over which side is better, democrat or republican, nothing will change. Clearly both sides are the problem.

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          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            This is how you normalize corruption and incompetence. Declare that "everyone else does it."

            Sure, you could declare Obama to be the same as the previous administration. There'd be some truth there, as he kept most of the same policies and didn't prosecute those who turned the country into a torture state. On the other hand he do anything on the scale of the lies and deception used to drag the country into a decade+ long war.

            But declaring Trump to be in the same league? Take Obama's worst lie and put it into a Trump speech. It would go entirely unnoticed, overshadowed by far worse Trump claims.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:19am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Every time Obama opened his mouth he lied. Hey ,you can keep your doctor, LIE, You'll get $2500 is Savings from Obama care. I now pay more then half the cost of my house mortgage on my Health care Premium every month for just ME!!! I still have a $2500 deducible. Thanks OBAMA for completely screwing over my health care.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:29am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Uh-huh.

                I now pay more then half the cost of my house mortgage on my Health care Premium every month for just ME!!!

                That's pretty meaningless without stating how much your mortgage is.

                I still have a $2500 deducible.

                So then you're no worse off than before?

                Just look at the stock market. How can you be hurting? Or are you just whining like a typical Trump bitch?

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                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:43am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  He's a whiney bitch. Interesting they complain about Obamacare but want just about every part of it.

                  Obama did lie (or least got it wrong) about keeping your doctor and keeping your plan. But it's helped 20 million get insurance.

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:25am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    There is a But for everything for people with a corrupt mind.

                    Hey, they killed their kid, but at least those parents don't have to waste money feeding and clothing them now. Wow, nice optimism there! NOT!

                    Any gain achieved through dishonest means, might not be a gain in the final analysis. Doing the right thing but for the wrong reasons, can still doom you!

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                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:29pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Ya, help 20 million, and screwed many others like myself which must be paying for other people's insurance also. More of that spread the wealth. To bad it's screwing over the lower middle class.

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                    • identicon
                      Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:08am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Then I think it's time to consider single payer. However, this will cause every health insurer to freak the hell out crying "Socialism!" on every street corner. Needless to say, the hard of thinking will go along with it because they're afraid of the boogeyman, not because they've carefully researched it and come to their conclusions based on the evidence.

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                    • identicon
                      Baron von Robber, 1 Mar 2017 @ 12:19pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It's 'screwing' me too, but I'm not complaining. Living > money. You think money > living. Now who's corrupt?

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                    • icon
                      Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:10am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      More of that spread the wealth. Well yeah. You would rather have it more concentrated? If they are charging you more but they themselves (the rich) are not, is because, again, as always, due to their own corruption and people not doing anything about it.

                      You want more "spread the wealth" (although you may not know you want it)...look at what has happened when wealth is concentrated: they can impose you more charges on your medical plan but they (they elite) pay less and keep amassing more.

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              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:47am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Excellent example! A half-truth in that while there was nothing about ObamaCare that would prevent you from keeping your doctor, it wouldn't guarantee that you could keep your doctor any more than the old system did.

                Healthcare costs were skyrocketing long before ObamaCare. The most it could do is slow the rise in costs and get more people covered. And it did.

                None of which would even be noticed next to the lies in the average Trump speech. (Remember "I have a plan, a very secret plan, to defeat ISIS in 30 days"? It's now Day 38.)

                BTW, as John Oliver pointed out last night, Trump has already repeated the "you can keep your doctor" claim about his own ACA "replacement."

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:18am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Hey, hey. It's "THANKS, Obama.", not "Thanks OBAMA."

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            • identicon
              Anonymouse, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              "On the other hand he do anything on the scale of the lies and deception used to drag the country into a decade+ long war."

              Gee, I hope that no terrorist groups got started in Iraq because of premature withdrawal of troups, nor that such things will happen in other places like Syria or Libya!

              But I'm sure "The Most Transparent Administration EVER!" wasn't a lie itself. Or ask all the leakers who found out the hard way the real truth.

              Politicians lie. Trump lies. Obama lied and Gruber brags about having had Obama do it knowingly as a well to sell bad policy. What's funny is that the press has become nearly a monoculture politically so that they only seem to be outraged when someone of a different ideology than theirs lies. The (tiny) right wing press is defending Trump's "alternative facts", while the Obama-loving MSM tied themselves in knots trying to avoid calling Obama's whoppers lies (Bengazi movie anyone?).

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Gee, I hope that no terrorist groups got started in Iraq because of premature withdrawal of troups, nor that such things will happen in other places like Syria or Libya!

                a) Those terrorist groups existed before Obama took power, excepting the occasional Life of Brian-style splintering and renaming. The conditions that created them - including Bush II disbanding the Iraqi army - existed before Obama took power.

                b) The "premature withdrawal" was done on a timetable agreed to by Bush II. The new Iraqi government he set up refused to budge on it.

                Nor can it be said that Republicans disagreed, since they took to declaring the Iraq occupation "Obama's War" the moment he was elected. Even Trump had gone from supporting the war to opposing it. Heck, by 2012 Republicans were barking and clapping like trained seals when a senile old git ranted at an empty chair about Obama (!) having invaded Afghanistan.

                Benghazi? What lie? (Real-life lie that is. As opposed myths made up by the right.)

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "myths made up by the right."

                  Because the left never lies? Hypocrisy only buries you, not your enemy.

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                  • icon
                    Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:05pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I never called the left perfectly honest. But if you're going to ask "Bengazi movie anyone?" as an example, then one SHOULD ask "What lie?"

                    Being an issue where there's undeniably been a lot of myths from the right - including from dozens of appearances on Fox News by their Benghazi Expert former CIA operative Wayne Simmons - who turned out to be no such thing and a complete fraud - then specifying real lies rather than myths is appropriate.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:17pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Because the left never lies?

                    Because the right never uses strawman arguments?

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:29pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      It is my observation that all sides use straw-man arguments, some intentionally, some not.

                      Would you care to detail how stating that the left is just as complicit in lies as the right to be a straw-man argument? If one liar desires to call another liar out, then we must first resole the liar problem.

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                      • identicon
                        Phalen, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Would you care to detail how stating that the left is just as complicit in lies as the right to be a straw-man argument?

                        Well I'm not the person you asked, but your strawman is pretty obvious to even a passer-by like myself.

                        The initial claim: Obama's lie about something related to "the Benghazi movie, anyone?"

                        The challenge: What lie with regard to "The Benghazi Movie" is being alluded to here? Addendum: actual lies, not Fox News talking-myths that have been debunked numerous times.

                        Your strawman: "So the left never lies?"

                        Assuming you understand what a strawman argument is, you see how you have just illustrated the concept like a text book example?

                        No one claimed the left never lies. No one believes that. It's a strawman you created to knock down.

                        The argument you're avoiding with the strawman is: What real-life lie from the Benghazi movie is being spoken of?

                        Your argument style in this thread is textbook strawman arguing.

                        This is TD man. Do you drive-bys really think assertions can go uncheked around here?

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                      • identicon
                        Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:11pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        Red Herring....BINGO!!!

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:08pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          You guys don't get it and you never will. Keep spinning and more Trumps will come along to ruin your day. What you don't realize is that Obama is not so different. Both were obtuse liars full of hubris. The problem is that one is on your team and the other is not.

                          Every time you avoid the issue, my hypocritical claims and act like your shit does not stink while theirs does you give license to the opposition to do the same in return to you.

                          I clearly see people gleefully pushing a person like Trump in your face for you having pushed Obama in theirs. Do not underestimate people's exasperation to go scorched earth just to wipe deal with you.

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:34pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            Remember Code Pink camping out as Bushes house. All the protesting done because of the bombs Bush dropped. Where where they with Obama? No where to be seen yet Obama dropped 20 times more Bombs and killed a number of innocent people and all I heard is crickets.

                            Where was Code Pink? Bush Bad, Obama, perfectly fine. Up in arms and protesting what trump is doing, even before sworn in and Obama did many of the same things and NOTHING!!!!

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                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 8:00am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            "stink while theirs does you give license to the opposition to do the same in return to you."

                            Agreed. You see the name calling, Drumph and such coming from quite a few of the commenters here. All it does is further the divide between the parties. The non-Trump supporters, left or slightly left, whatever you want to call them, are just as heavy handed with the partisanship and name calling as the Trump supporters. They are just as guilty as what they accuse the "other side" of being.

                            Your comment was very insightful, but expect it to fall on mostly deaf ears here.

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                      • identicon
                        Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:13pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        whoosh

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                • icon
                  Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:16am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  USA created and funded most of those terrorists groups back in the 80s. Same for subversive extremist groups in LatinAmerica and Africa.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:34am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              There's another difference as well.

              Obama, like Bush, like Clinton, like the rest, lied -- and none of us should be happy about that. Sometimes they were small lies, sometimes they were large, sometimes they were lies of omission, sometimes they were lies of commission.

              Trump lies and DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE'S LYING. It's pathological. He will say anything that occurs to him, or repeat anything he's heard, or fabricate anything he wishes, without hesitation, guilt, or apology.

              Not even Nixon did this. For all of his faults -- and I despised that man until the day he died -- at least he knew when he was lying, and he did so because he had his reasons, whether they were personal or political or otherwise. Trump just lies constantly and randomly because he really, truly, sincerely has no idea what the truth is...other than "what Trump says it is".

              So it's not the lying that bothers me the most -- although it certainly does. It's the psychosis.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:18pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Trump lies and DOES NOT KNOW THAT HE'S LYING.

                Then it's not a lie. Lying requires intent. If it's unintentional, it could be a falsehood, or it could be bullshit (ie a statement without regard to its truth or falsity), but it's not a lie.

                I would argue that Trump does all of the above: lies, bullshit, and accidental falsehoods.

                It's pathological.

                I don't know about that. A pathological liar is someone who lies even when there's no benefit to doing so. I think Trump usually lies because he thinks there is a benefit to doing so.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:39pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Is that not "buying ones own con"?

                  Yes, that would be a pathological issue, one which many of you share WITH Trump, which likely pisses many of you off but no one really cares.

                  There are a lot of posters here at TD that are buying their own cons.

                  And yes, Trump does lie because there IS a benefit to doing so. The Benefits of lying is well established, it works, and it works damn good. Even when the lies are obvious, they work. The tale of "The Emperors New Clothes" is a fine example of what I speak.

                  I find that while all people in both parties are guilty of this, just in different ways, many of the Anti-Trumpers have specifically fallen under the spell that anyone not bashing Trump is "unfit for their positions, stupid, or incompetent". Unfortunately, there are not children on your side willing to even dare say... "But he isn't wearing anything at all!" so that you can be broken out of your delusions.

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              • icon
                Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:32am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Real pyschosis is seeing that no matter who is in charge, red or blue, things still not change, inequality as worse than ever, and still thinking that engaging in the red vs blue argument will change anything.

                The american people live clearly in a state of complete crazyness, ie doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. They keep arguing over red vs blue, democrats better than republicans, Obama better than Trump, while they don't see nothing has changed. That is complete state of crazyness. Shopping more thinking they will somehow get happy.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:23am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              -This is how you normalize corruption and incompetence. Declare that "everyone else does it."-

              I notice this line is only used by the losing side.

              -But declaring Trump to be in the same league? Take Obama's worst lie and put it into a Trump speech. It would go entirely unnoticed, overshadowed by far worse Trump claims.-

              Lies are a bit like beauty, it is all in the eye of the beholder. Some people can live with a cheating lying spouse, others cannot. Some people can live with a lying cheating President... if they are on their side.

              Kinda like how mothers can call their raping and murdering sons misunderstood Angels.

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              • icon
                orbitalinsertion (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:54am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Except many of the same people who mercilessly criticized Obama and are not "on his side" still see Trump as worse. Funny, that.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I do see Trump as worse than Obama, so I might be guilty of what you say, but I hardly see how that is funny.

                  Each person have their own moral compass and may arrive at a different conclusion. That said, I am making the point that those saying nothing when Obama did is are just as guilty of those that said nothing when Bush did it, and how that Trump did it... well you get the idea.

                  We must first step away from the political bias. The democrats need to chillax and come down to conversation levels and stop demonizing the republicans. The republicans needs to stop demonizing the democrats and keep an open mind when they point out the negatives. I know just exactly that this has zero fucking chance of happening, but at least I can go down having tried. Hell, maybe it will work!

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                  • identicon
                    Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:14am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I agree that tribal see-saw politics is counter-productive. Most of us don't play the team game here, so don't misunderstand us when we call Trump out for bad behaviour. Heck, we were even appreciative of his releasing the torture report to the court a few weeks ago. I don't care what his rationale was, he did a good thing.

                    Now it's back to business as usual.

                    For the record the TDers have issues with Obama over IPR, Dotcom, mass surveillance, Manning, Snowden, TPP, TTIP... the list is endless. It's just that Obama is over and Hillary, as right-wingers keep reminding us (why, I'll never know!) lost, so Trump is in charge doing things we don't like. We'd have given Hillary the same kind of drubbing for the same reasons. Capiche?

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              • icon
                Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Corruption has long been "normalized", especially in the USA, if not check the fake evidence on WMDs who took them to the Iraq Invasion. And thw Watergate scandals in the 70s with no jail repercussion to Nixon?

                Everytime an american person happily goes shopping knowingly that other parts of the world are rotting in war, hunger, migration, violence, etc, corruption is being normalized. And this has been happening for decades in USA.

                Everytime you acknowledge there is lots of poor, miserable people in the world, but you don't change your ways and keep consuming as you, corruption is normalized, and this has been happening in the USA for decades.

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            • icon
              Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:04am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Yes, they are in the same league, they lie to the people for money and control (does not matter who "does it more" or who "does it worse" or whatever, the result is the same, war, inequality, YOUR rights abused, etc etc etc.)

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          • icon
            DannyB (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:02am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            The things Trump lies about are so incredibly petty compared to the things his predecessor lied about.

            His press secretary's first official appearance was to lie about the crowd size. That's a good start to set the tone. On both the truthfulness and the topics the administration considers of the highest national importance.

            Trump never misses an opportunity to talk up his election victory. When Trump has his first state of the union speech, can we take bets about how many minutes will be reserved for talking about his election victory? Or about how great a businessman he is? Or anything else about the man rather than the nation's business?

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          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:53am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I have found his lies to be about the same rate as the previous 2 administrations.

            http://www.politifact.com/personalities/donald-trump/

            http://www.politifact.com/pe rsonalities/barack-obama/

            (They've got a section on Bush too, but there's not much there; Politifact started in late '07, near the end of his presidency.)

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:14pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Your difficulty understanding humor is oddly shared by many who tend to be ummm, not funny.

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      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:06am

        Re: Re:

        I refer to him as President* Trump.

        Sports and other achievements tainted by some unusual conditions get noted with an asterisk.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:54am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I did not like Obama or Bush either, but I did not go about trying to create unnecessary division with others.

          I mean... you do know what happens when you run around intentionally picking a fight right? You are going to get a fight. Just as George wrote in his farewell address, the alternating dominance of one party over the other will sharpen the spirit of revenge and will result in a despotism.

          Regardless of liking or hating a candidate, you should avoid such foolishness. You are either a sore winner or a sore loser, and it really looks like you are a sore loser. If you see your fellow man as an enemy because their vote went to the likes of Trump, then you justify their animosity towards you for having NOT voted for the likes of Trump. Like revenge, in preparation for it, first dig two graves.

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          • icon
            DannyB (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:10am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I only wish I could have Bush back. Not that I particularly like any republicans. Or Bush, who I thought was the worst up to that point. But how far we've come!

            I don't like how divided the country is either. But you have to take a stand. Does the sun rise in the East or in the West, or somewhere in between? In the past, the facts were the facts. We could debate about whether the sun rising in the East was a good idea, or bad. Some would even debate about whether there should be subsidies to fix it. Or some other government action. At some point we got to a point where people would debate about whether congress or the president should change the sun to rise in the West, or whether it could actually even be done. Now we've gotten to the point where the sun rising in the West can be proclaimed from the highest office in the land, and if you disagree, well, you're fake news.

            With previous presidents or congress critters that I have disagreed with, I at least had respect. It was just a difference of opinion about public policy.

            With the current orange clown in office, it has gone so far from issues of public policy that there can't be any discussion. Maybe we can get back to there. But I doubt it. A war on the media? Really? I don't even know what to say.

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:30am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Please don't misunderstand. By all means, do take a stand. Just make sure that stand is one that is gracious enough to allow those that have come to their senses to join you. Right now, it is my observation that no such allowance will be made. I now know several people that are not speaking with each other due to this election and while there has always been animosity over politics, the reaction of many individuals on the left are generally far more shrill of late than it has been in a while.

              It will not do us much good to over play Trumps sins, because it will drive his supports into a corner where they have to defend themselves just for survival.

              Clinton was bad, Bush was worse, Obama even worse, and Trump worse still. This is not good, and causing trouble. We are more willing to fight with each other and protest in marches than to protest over some very obvious corruption.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:35am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Just make sure that stand is one that is gracious enough to allow those that have come to their senses to join you.

                This is good advice. If we want to defeat Trump, we'll almost certainly need people who voted for him to vote against him in the future.

                We are more willing to fight with each other and protest in marches than to protest over some very obvious corruption.

                Huh? Did you just say that we're more willing to protest than we are to protest?

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "Huh? Did you just say that we're more willing to protest than we are to protest?"

                  I should have typed that better.

                  We are more willing to march in protest over less important stuff while we don't march in protest over more important stuff.

                  In general, the US government has been massively ignoring the US Constitution at every step and turn. I see no protests. Trump says "grab them by the pussy" and wham... a protest. I am sorry, but Trump will not the last scumbag we have in power. The path to Trump was paved by the past and how we react to things.

                  I still see a worse than Trump coming, the current outrage and division... we have much worse that will come. It does not matter which party either, both are complicit in this problem.

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                  • identicon
                    Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:24pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    In general, the US government has been massively ignoring the US Constitution at every step and turn. I see no protests.

                    There were protests all through both the Bush and Obama Administrations. Do the phrases "Iraq War", "Tea Party", "Occupy Wall Street", and "Black Lives Matter" not mean anything to you?

                    Can you provide a concrete example of "the US government [] massively ignoring the US Constitution" and no protests occurring?

                    Trump says "grab them by the pussy" and wham... a protest.

                    Are you suggesting that a presidential candidate boasting about sexual assault is not a valid cause for protest?

                    You also seem to be willfully ignoring that there have been protests over other policy decisions Trump has made. His immigration policy has led to massive protests, for example.

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                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:57pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Sorry Tim Cratchet, we all need to take off work, no medical care for you because we need to protest the president grabbing someones pussy.

                      You can protest for any reason you like, I am just saying that people watching you protest might think you are a toon for it.

                      "Can you provide a concrete example of "the US government [] massively ignoring the US Constitution" and no protests occurring?"

                      I have to prove a negative? I guess you don't understand how logic work. Do you see a protest formed at any point in history over "civil forfeiture laws"? I am sure there have been some not covered by the media, but I never saw reports.

                      How about the TSA? Seen any protests on that? The protest over the Immigration issue and Iraq war is about the most real meaningful and concrete protest you guys have. OWS was a joke by idiots, BLM is a RACIST joke by scum, and the Tea Party was a flash in the pan. The tea party tards ran mouth and got suckered again by rhetoric, invited the problems right back in the front door.

                      So, is protesting a Presidents bad mouth valid? Well so is protesting over the sky being blue. You going to protest that? Or is the sky guilty of one of your pet labels for people you don't agree with?

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                      • icon
                        Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:28pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        While your delusional BLM claim is just tiresome, your delusional OWS claim is actually kind of interesting in today's context.

                        OWS was about "draining the swamp." It was about the very things Trump supporters use to justify their votes - Washington beholden to Wall Street and ignoring the needs of the middle class.

                        Republicans treated OWS like criminals. Police tear-gassing them and did dirty tricks like dropping off every homeless person they could find into the OWS camp.

                        Those Trump supporters turned out to be the "joke by idiots", as you say. Trump filled the White House with "the swamp"; Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil executives and assorted major donors and lobbyists.

                        The response to OWS only makes the new administration's betrayal more predictable and your partisan gullibility more sad.

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                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:17pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          BLM is racist, but I keep forgetting, in your world "racist = white people" instead of the actual definition.

                          OWS was bust because no one there could properly state what they were for. I additionally blame the "show only the idiots" on TV media but that is normal. What does confuse me is that, I though the media was generally pro democrat, well until you start talking about class warfare then they re 100% republican. Funny that?

                          Wait, you think I am pro-Trump? I see, no wonder you are stupid and ignorant. You cannot even read the things I wrote and understand that I am not one. I an independent and telling you, that your stupidity and hypocrisy is what invited Trump in. The republicans are falling all over themselves watching you clowns writhe in agony.

                          As an independent I am telling you losers to get over yourselves, collection your fucking sanity and bring a candidate that can restore some sanity to the Democratic party. If you can do that, then you should be able to trounce Trump, but I don't think you losers have it in you. Your identity is "the loser", because that helps foment the "victim label" you guys need so much to operate.

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                          • identicon
                            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:23pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            All righty, Anon, I'm juuuust about done with your nonsense, but out of sheer morbid curiosity, I've got two more questions for you:

                            1. Who did you vote for?

                            2. Who do you think I voted for?

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                      • identicon
                        Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:15pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        While I still believe that it's important to find common cause with people who don't agree with me, at this point I am willing to write you off as a racist, a misogynist, and a gibbering lunatic.

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                • icon
                  Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 9:53am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  You missed the point. Again, we don't need to defeat trump, or defeat obama, or bush or whatever, we need to defeat these ways that put us the common folk against each other, we need to defeat corruption, inequality, war, etc.

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          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:06am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I did not like Obama or Bush either, but I did not go about trying to create unnecessary division with others.

            Obama won with a majority of the vote, twice. Bush won with a majority of the vote once (in '04); his victory in 2000, on the other hand, had some pretty serious and memorable irregularities.

            For what it's worth, Bill Clinton never got a majority of the vote, just a plurality.

            I agree with your criticism of partisanship. However, it's not partisan to state facts. And it is a fact to say that both Bush in '00 and Trump in '16 won the electoral vote after losing the popular vote, and that there were extremely unusual circumstances in both elections.

            It's also a fact that Bill Clinton won the popular vote but never made it to 50%. (And that neither Al Gore nor Hillary Clinton got a popular majority either, though both of them won the popular vote.)

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:37am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              I do not argue against the facts, I argue against the usage of those facts to bank roll more outrage than necessary. There are a lot of people over working themselves here.

              Back when the elections were going down, I told everyone that I was going to laugh in their faces when Trump got in. And I did not and still do not like Trump. But the puerile and vagrant childishness of the anti-trump crowd is just out of control. We need to work to ratchet it back and not allow it to spin out of control.

              Since I don't like any of the guys, my bias is a general disgust for both parties. But I have found that it has been much easier to talk with and debate those on the right than those on the left. If they are on the left, there is NO conversation, just disgust, hubris, and general vitriol. Or a good old straw man argument where they take something I said to mean something I did not say and then proceed to smack talk that.

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              • identicon
                Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:27pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I do not argue against the facts, I argue against the usage of those facts to bank roll more outrage than necessary.

                How much outrage do you believe is "necessary"?

                But the puerile and vagrant childishness of the anti-trump crowd is just out of control.

                AYFKM? The "puerile and vagrant childishness of the anti-Trump crowd"?

                If they are on the left, there is NO conversation, just disgust, hubris, and general vitriol.

                As opposed to the reasoned discourse we've come to expect from Donald Trump?

                I'm not denying that there some of the people who don't like Trump are jerks. But your implication that his supporters are above namecalling and vulgarity is absurd.

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              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:04pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                But the puerile and vagrant childishness of the anti-trump crowd is just out of control. We need to work to ratchet it back and not allow it to spin out of control.

                Ahh yes - the "wait and see," "give him a chance," "work across the aisle" kumbayah shit that we got when Obama took office.

                How quickly you forgot.

                How did you feel about the right doing the same thing before? Was it childish then or is it just childish now, you know, given as to how the right is significantly more reasonable than the left.

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                • identicon
                  Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:25am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  But the puerile and vagrant childishness of the anti-trump crowd is just out of control. We need to work to ratchet it back and not allow it to spin out of control.

                  To be fair I've been vastly amused by the hysterics on the liberal/progressive front freaking out about Russian election hacking, etc. Damn, that was funny!

                  What AC doesn't seem to have caught yet is that not all of us who can't stand Trump are in Moonbat Club. Yes, a lot of us are talking smack about him but when you viscerally can't stand someone that's what happens. Hillary gets it all the time from the right, as does Barack Obama and his family. Remember the awful things even public officials said about him and his wife? Did you complain about the smack talk against the other side or do you lean so far to the right that you either repeated it or nodded sagely when you heard it?

                  I don't say mean things about Melania because I haven't got a beef with her per se (although she's much more liberal than I am). I'd certainly leave ten year old Barron out of it.

                  Calm yourself, AC. The smack talk against Trump (bar the hilarious histrionics) is pretty damn mild compared to the crap Obama and Hillary had to take.

                  If we're going to criticise people, let it be for the things they actually do (or allow to happen on their watch). Is that reasonable?

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:22am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Just use @theDonald.
          It's the best way to refer to a twitter account with a body.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:14am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That's actually kind of scary.

            Brands live forever, long after the original company dies. The brand name gets licenced to anyone willing to pay to market their product under it.

            I don't want to see Trump have that kind of immortality.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:24am

      Re:

      "Fake news!" decries "Fake President".

      You misspelled illegitimate

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Matthew Cline (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 6:46am

    Details of the German ban law?

    Does anyone have any details on the German law banning "fake news"? Does it fine/imprison end user who link to or repeat news judged to be fake? Merely require that the social media platform black URLs to articles deemed to be fake? What?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:19am

      Re: Details of the German ban law?

      So Germany will have no news? Because it can all be considered fake news.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:26am

        Re: Re: Details of the German ban law?

        Just what does the word "fake" mean to you?

        Bonus points for identification and discussion of why most everyone else disagrees with your definition.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    andy, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:01am

    Fake!

    The thing most people have ignored and is probably the biggest impact is that there are so many news outlets on the internet that are printing the facts, looking at the lies and providing evidence that they are lies.

    If the Administration does manage to hurt the media , and at this point it looks like they will fail them the internet will become the only place people get there news and it will be verified with links to facts and videos and documents that cannot be created in a newspaper... Once people find some of the reliable websites that do not have their own opinions of the news but just good investigations into what is in the headlines the administration will be outed as the fakes they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:20am

    Techdirt is fake news. Fake news is for cows. You are all cows. Cows say moo. MOOOOOOOOOO! MOOOOOOO! Moo cows MOOOOOOO! Moo say the cows. YOU FAKE NEWS READING COWS!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:38am

      Re:

      Oh god. Are you expanding your nonsense beyond Slashdot?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:50am

      Re:

      Remember kids: Drugs are bad. If you start seeing those around you as farm animals and begin to make animal calls in an attempt to communicate with them, this is not normal and probably a good indicator that something has gone horribly and/or hilariously wrong.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      BernardoVerda (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 3:22pm

      Re:

      Quote:
      "Techdirt is fake news. Fake news is for cows. You are all cows. Cows say moo. MOOOOOOOOOO! MOOOOOOO! Moo cows MOOOOOOO! Moo say the cows. YOU FAKE NEWS READING COWS!!"

      I am sooo tempted to put this lovely, illustrative gem up for "the Last Word"...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:50am

    Judging a news agency on a single article or issue is worthless, but you can judge a news source by the sum of its output and that summary judgement should apply to ALL of its production.

    Yes, Breitbart might actually get it right once in awhile. So does the National Enquirer. But both are wrong enough that neither should have any value in a rational discussion on any issue.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 7:57am

      Re:

      It is my opinion that most of them get it wrong most of the time. But I learned a long time ago not to be so obtuse as to think I will ever get an unbiased story.

      All arguments against CNN, Fox, ABC, Breitbart, or CBS all smack of the ole, my shit don't stink but yours does, logic.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re:

        This is how you normalize white-supremacist racism and bigotry. Group Breitbart in with CNN, Fox, ABC and CBS and declare them to be the same.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:42am

          Re: Re: Re:

          No, you have it wrong, but I doubt you have the fortitude to understand why.

          Nothing arrives without bias, and you are doing a far better job of normalizing white-supremacist racism and bigotry than anyone else.

          The more you water it down, the harder it is to find the element you seek. Because for you, anything you "disagree" with is "white-supremacist racism and bigotry". You are a "white-supremacist racism and bigotry" hammer, and everything for you is a "white-supremacist racism and bigotry" nail. You cannot be reasoned with, because you have no reason!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:29am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So, you deny that bratbart is racist?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            Roger Strong (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:18pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            So.... One shouldn't criticize white-supremacist racism and bigotry because you're "watering it down?"

            Just a reminder: Even Breitbart chairman Steve Bannon declared it "the platform for the alt-right." White supremacist Richard Spencer coined the term "alt-right" in 2010 to define a movement centered on white nationalism, and has been accused of doing so to whitewash overt racism, white supremacism, and neo-Nazism. Which is pretty much Breitbart's mission statement.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 10:10am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Again, white supremacist racism and bigotry has long ago been established. If not ask Rodney King, or look at the composition of both houses in government. Or look at fortune 500.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:04am

        Re: Re:

        How about Japan Today or Der Spiegel?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        AnonCow, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:55am

        Re: Re:

        Getting it wrong is fine IF you openly and publicly address the correction in a timely manner.

        Starting off wrong by intentionally misstating facts and then doubling down when your inaccuracies are outed Is NOT how journalism works. That is just propaganda.

        That is difference between CNN and Breitbart.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:57am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Look, I read all sorts of news, I actually do not pay much attention to the sources because that is a pointless event.

          Libertarian news sources will cater to their readers.
          TD caters to their readers.
          Fox caters to their readers.
          CNN caters to their readers.

          Most of everything I read everywhere mostly leaves me with more questions than any facts or answers. You can make more than enough lies up using facts, just by omitting specific pieces of information. There have been more than enough thought experiments that show how much gravy is in the human mind.

          I often refer to the Placebo effect. Because I am independent, I feel that I will never get an honest news report. I view most outlets as sensationalizing and obtuse. I like both John Oliver and Ben Shapiro. They tend to do convincing work with the things they report on. I do not necessarily agree with their finds on everything, but I like what they come up with. I never had a problem with just about any major news outlet either. I don't hate CBS, CNN, Fox, BBC, Al-Jazeera, or any other news agency. I just look at the content and try to learn about what I see based on other sources.

          Like most things, everything is outside of my capabilities ore scope of understanding. But many here at TD foolishly think many things are "within" their understand and they simply are not. Most here are armchair generals that know next to nothing, misunderstand what little history they likely don't even know, participate in bashing others for no other reason than to be part of the "in crowd". I have been there, but I stopped that shortly after 1st grade when I told a lie big enough to teach me the value of truth and why having integrity is important. Now, I refuse to join mob crowds looking to head hunt anything. I have found that humans in general are always seeking to form groups and then use that safety to attack others they don't like or disagree with. Being factually right, wise, merciful, or intelligent are not even considered.

          You can rob a bank or rape and murder and be welcomed back to society, but you will be forever scared if you are famous (enough) with having uttered any racial slurs for a protected class... and THAT is what is truly sad.

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      • identicon
        Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:07am

        Re: Re:

        CNN, Fox, ABC, Breitbart, or CBS

        ISWYDT

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Joe Dirt, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:08am

      Re:

      I would argue that you need to pay attention to the message, if it is true, no matter the source.

      You, on the other hand, are saying shoot the messenger and ignore the message, true or not.

      It's your responsibility to discover the veracity of the message. If you leave it to others to do for you, you have no one but yourself to blame when you don't like the results.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:11am

        Re: Re:

        I would argue that you need to pay attention to the message, if it is true, no matter the source.

        Some sources should prompt more skepticism than others.

        The National Enquirer occasionally breaks a major story. But if I see a major story sourced to the National Enquirer, I'm going to wait to see it verified by other sources before I believe it.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Some sources should prompt more skepticism than others."

          Why? Information is just information. A wise detective will not just blindly trust information because it is from a trustworthy source. Honest people can be co-opted into a dishonest narrative by a well constructed deception.

          I used to debate a mentally unstable individual. Learning early how easy it is to corrupt a human mind I decided, instead of learning who was right or wrong, I worked to find out the inconsistencies, the cognitive dissonances, the hypocrisy. Once i started looking at those... man, you make enemies fast. No one likes to hear about how wrong they are... humanity just is not able to take it.

          I try to work against my own bias and ignorance, it is fucking hard as hell, but every attempt I make to call others out... well, a doubling down on the stupid soon follows.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            "Some sources should prompt more skepticism than others."

            Why? Information is just information.

            Okay then.

            You can fly.

            That is information. As a source, I am equally valid to every other source, and you should under no circumstance treat me with any more or less skepticism than a physics textbook. Please go jump out a window.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:08am

    It is not just the media, it is people.

    You can make an argument that building a wall along our border is the right thing to do to protect this country. You can also argue that is racism.

    Milo raises some very good points, being gay in a Muslim nation usually doesn't work out that well. That could also be considered racism.

    The media doesn't report news, it injects its opinion, which is the why in the "5 W's" of every complete article. Do we know why Trump wants to build a wall? That is all opinion, he says it is for security, others say it is because of racism.

    Today the why is more important than the first four w's (the who, what, where, when.) Today the first four w's don't really matter, it is the why that counts.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:24am

      Re:

      I'd like to know how building a wall to protect our own country is Racism? Or maybe we would just not like to be invaded by another country. Mostly by Uneducated people that will be sucking up the limited resources we have for our own citizens, no matter the color of their skin!!!

      Why is it OK for other country's including Mexico but not the U.S.? Well except for the globalist who want no boarders anywhere in the world.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        DannyB (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:17am

        Re: Re:

        Some people conclude the president is racist because of more than just building a wall.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:27am

        Re: Re:

        Mostly by Uneducated people that will be sucking up the limited resources we have for our own citizens, no matter the color of their skin!!!

        What's your take on abortion, by the way? Just curious.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Personally, I think abortion should be legally and safely available without restriction, at the very least, before meaningful brain activity is detectable. That doesn't mean I think it's a good idea to import masses of people from cultures where they own their women and kill people with my sexuality.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:08pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That doesn't mean I think it's a good idea to import masses of people from cultures where they own their women and kill people with my sexuality.

            However, those "masses of people" have meaningful brain activity and are rightfully in fear of their lives.

            What makes them less important?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              The fact that a fair number of them would happily see me dead, imprisoned, assaulted, or all of the above for my sexuality. The fact that they see women as property. We don't owe them our well-being.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:02am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The fact that they see women as property.

                So do you think they're more likely to change if:

                a) they remain in that culture

                b) they're exposed to other cultures

                I know you're scared. Lots of people are. But the odds don't support your paranoia.

                https://www.techjuice.pk/a-data-scientist-explains-odds-of-dying-in-a-terrorist-attack/

                Do you support removing "home of the brave" from our national anthem? Because I truly think it's time.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:44am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  I don't care if they change or not. They do whatever the hell they want, somewhere else.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 8:02am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    They do whatever the hell they want, somewhere else.

                    I'm sure there's people here who feel the same way about you and your sexuality.

                    Do you feel they have a legitimate beef with you?

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 10:56am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      One of these things is a violent ideology, the other is an innate sexuality. Reaching much?

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:17pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            That doesn't mean I think it's a good idea to import masses of people from cultures where they own their women and kill people with my sexuality.

            Because it's better to make women and gay people stay in countries like that, obviously.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:13am

        Re: Re:

        Mostly by Uneducated people that will be sucking up the limited resources we have for our own citizens, no matter the color of their skin!!!

        Your English is atrocious.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          piss off... only the most ignorant and worthless trolls yank on people like that.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:19am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Hardly, Russians find English very difficult. =b

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:33pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            piss off... only the most ignorant and worthless trolls yank on people like that.

            So you're allowed to rant about "Uneducated [sic] people" and it's worthwhile and insightful, but if I point out your own lack of education, I'm the one who's ignorant?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:11pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            people like that

            You mean people who likely agree with the party stance on eliminating abortion, but basically are saying "go fuck yourself" to the people who are already here because of a "resource issue?"

            People like that deserve it.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Digitari, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:14am

    the Difference..

    Between the "now", and the "then" is the speed of information. Now it only takes seconds for news (real or fake) to get around, whereas "then" in could take hours, days, weeks or months depending on your "then". The quality of said news has not changed at all. it's always been "lies", "damn lies" or "what I said"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:25am

    The idea of fake news will be used to make the news bear as much resemblance to truth as Hollywood accounting does to a films profitability.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:37am

    Interesting timing

    Bruce Schneier has a piece this morning titled A Survey of Propaganda. For me, the most interesting part was his conclusion:

    As to defense: "Debunking doesn't work: provide an alternative narrative."

    Where have we heard that before? The best argument against speech you don't like is not suppression or censorship, it is more speech.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:39am

    Noam Chomski (professor emeritus, linguistics, MIT) has done outstanding work exploring media bias and propaganda forms. None of this stuff is new, it's only evolved in grotesque and overt ways.

    A significant factor is the failure of any effective anti-trust/monopoly controls- media ownership is catastrophically condensed- it doesn't take conspiracy for this to be detrimental, ambition and chilling effects will suffice; No one wants to bite the hand that feeds.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:30am

      Re:

      Eh, I take anything Chomsky says with a large pinch of salt but something something stopped clock something twice a day, etc.

      It's true that media ownership is condensed; anti-trust law needs to be applied here.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:48am

    It's interesting how Drumpf has co-opted the term "fake news" Fake news is click bait designed to get you to go to a website that does not report news by making up something that is outlandish (hard to do these days with the current admin) so they can get money from ads.

    NPR interviewed such a person. During the election campaigns he found it easier to sucker Republicans than Democrats.
    http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a -covert-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

    For the hard of comprehending, fake news does not mean websites you don't like.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:16am

      Re:

      It was a tactical error to use the term "fake news" in the first place, just because it's so easy to redefine. (Hell, guys like Stewart and Colbert have been calling themselves "fake news" for ages.) "Fraudulent news sites" would have been more precise and harder to spin.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    nerd bert (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 8:57am

    All news is fake if you know what you're talking about

    We're mostly technical folks here, and we've read the results of reporters trying to cover topics we know well. So why the heck do any of you trust them on anything as large and complicated and uncertain as the effects of economic policy? Of social policy? Of health policy?

    The first rule of trusting a reporter is to remember that they're the folks who were too incompetent to become English majors. Sure, there are a few who have learned enough to cover a particular subject well, but 99% of them give the other 1% a bad name.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 9:36am

      Re: All news is fake if you know what you're talking about

      The first rule of trusting a reporter is to remember that they're the folks who were too incompetent to become English majors. By the same 'logic', "technical people" are the ones who were too incompetent to become software devs. Don't let Dunning-Krueger go and convince you that you know everything there is to know about another profession.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        nerd bert (profile), 28 Feb 2017 @ 12:36am

        Re: Re: All news is fake if you know what you're talking about

        If you want the perfect example of your own bias, there's nothing more dangerous in this world than a software developer with a soldering iron.

        And of course, you missed the point completely. You understand a subject well. You see how well reporters cover that subject. You see how well their background has enabled them to cover things completely out of their competence. And you even begin to trust them to cover something arguably more complex than a software bug? Just what are you smoking?!

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 4:55am

          Re: Re: Re: All news is fake if you know what you're talking about

          "there's nothing more dangerous in this world than a software developer with a soldering iron."

          I think your attempt at humor falls a bit short. Obviously people of any background can learn new things, I suppose you will make fun of blonds next.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    timmaguire42 (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:01am

    "The discussion about "fake news" certainly began with good intentions"

    Oh! Wrong right out of the gate.

    There was never nay evidence that people were influenced by fake news on social media. This was just losers trying to delegitimize an election they lost, abetted by a news media trying to rescue its own reputation after a period of transparent dishonesty and partisan manipulation (so brazen most major outlets even admitted it).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:26am

      Re:

      Hardly. My mother-in-law fell for fake news time and time again. She would blurt out something, my wife and I would look at each other as if to say, "Not again". I would look it up, she fell for the stories that came from sites like the one mentioned in...

      http://www.npr.org/sections/alltechconsidered/2016/11/23/503146770/npr-finds-the-head-of-a-cove rt-fake-news-operation-in-the-suburbs

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:30am

      Re:

      There was never nay evidence that people were influenced by fake news on social media.

      That's not exactly true. There's a study ( https://web.stanford.edu/~gentzkow/research/fakenews.pdf ) that indicates that fraudulent news stories didn't swing the election, but that's not the same thing as saying people weren't influenced by them. The conclusion is, essentially, that people were far more influenced by TV ads than stories on Facebook. That's a reasonable conclusion, but it doesn't say that there was no influence from the Facebook stories.

      This was just losers trying to delegitimize an election they lost

      I agree, to a certain extent. I think that the Democrats are far too ready to blame external factors -- Comey, Russia, the electoral college, fraudulent news sites, etc. -- to shift the blame away from Clinton herself.

      However, while I absolutely believe the biggest reason Hillary Clinton lost is that she's Hillary Clinton, that doesn't mean that those other factors are irrelevant or shouldn't be discussed. Facebook paying more attention to verifying the sources in its newsfeed is a good outcome. Legislative action to crack down on freedom of the press, on the other hand, is not.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    stosh, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:31am

    Fake News would have died off and gone away as a story if what the media reports AND what Trump says could not be so easily shown to be false.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Advocate (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:03am

    The people in charge have been raised by and are surrounded by fake news. They are not capable of recognising fake news intuitively and do not have the intellectual capacity to figure it out on their own. They live in political bubbles with "studies" and "statistics" which are just as fake as whatever's on , but which come with the color of authority which will not be denied.

    Anti-intellectualism is the root of the problem. As long as the people in charge are not required to know how to think, Every path is the wrong one. Paths which are ripe for abuse, such as this one, are all the more problematic not because of potential danger but because of inevitable failure.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:33am

      Re:

      [Sad but True]

      The institutions we traditionally revered have had so many holes knocked in them we're too skeptical to take them seriously. If we can't rely on them per se we look elsewhere for information we can trust, and that's usually based on gut feelings rather than empiricism.

      I personally advocate to a return to empiricism as the measure of veracity and am glad to note I'm not the only one. Should reading TD be compulsory?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Angel (profile), 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:09am

    About 5 years ago, an older relative, had returned to school. This is a person who should have long ago developed some sense of critical thinking. One of the classes they had to take upon returning to school was a class on critical thinking. They struggled with it. Up until that point It never dawned on me that most people had not been educated in this skill. Since then I've held the opinion that critical thinking is something that should be taught in schools.

    My own child (who is grown now) Was among some of the first to attend a virtual school. Meaning he had teachers and classes but he met with those teachers and other students through white board classrooms and had phone access to his teacher, counselor and a mentor via phone, email, and chat.

    Because of the way we chose to have him schooled, it allowed us as parents to be a bit more active in the subjects he studied. One of the subjects (which wasn't actually a subject through school) that we would have regular discussions on was philosophy. Together we studied and discussed various philosophical topics, because of that I believe he learned some critical thinking skills. It taught him to always question. I believe philosophy is a subject sorely lacking in classrooms and is something all young people should participate in.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:23am

      Re:

      Logical & Critical Thinking was among the first courses I took in college. It really needs to be a compulsory class in high school, if not middle school. Right there with math, English and science.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    donny, 27 Feb 2017 @ 11:31am

    The leaks are real,
    the news is fake.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:16pm

    "Close to"?

    Germany's decision to make publishing fake news illegal teeters dangerously close to censorship.

    Is the implication that it's not, or are you relying on the reflexive property? Making it illegal to publish something is censorship.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 12:28pm

    Look at the coverage of the Hillary email scandal. It is all about who did it (maybe the Russians, never proven though) but you never hear about what was actually in the emails. Even after being released, look at the current coverage, it is all about who did it and not what was in the emails.

    Now fastforward about the current scandal with Flynn and contact with Russian agents. You have heard nothing about the content of the calls, just who had a conversation with whom. Did the NYT's say anything about the content of the conversation? Were any laws/rules broken? You don't hear about that, you just hear that Flynn was talking to Russians.

    That to me is fake news.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:19pm

      Re:

      So you didn't hear about what's in the emails, and you didn't hear about what's in the calls and because of that, the news is fake?

      I think you're confused. Alot.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:34pm

        Re: Re:

        The initial coverage of the emails yes, but the media only reports (not long after the Hillary emails (and by Hillary, I mean the DNC hack, not the private server emails)on who did it, not what was in the actual emails.

        As for Flynn, what was the conversation that happened? The NYT reported on the calls, but nothing on what was actually said. All that took Flynn out. So the story wasn't about the calls, the story was to remove Flynn and to embarrass Trump.

        The media has created this monster. The right doesn't believe anyone except Fox and doesn't believe anything out of what is viewed as news from the left. The rest of the media (NYT, CNN, MSNBC etc.) is seen as supporting the left (which is true, you can't reasonably say they were not rooting for Hillary) so the left doesn't believe anything out of Fox.

        Where is the media outlet that is considered to be neutral? Is there one?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Baron von Robber, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:44pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          If the NYT favored Hillary, why then did they break the story about Hillary's email?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:51pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          but the media only reports (not long after the Hillary emails (and by Hillary, I mean the DNC hack, not the private server emails)on who did it, not what was in the actual emails.

          So then you've never heard of Wikileaks?

          As for Flynn, what was the conversation that happened?

          Too bad the Russians didn't want that leaked, otherwise you'd know.

          The NYT reported on the calls, but nothing on what was actually said.

          I'd love for the content to be disclosed. Perhaps you could convince Trump or the FBI to reveal the contents in order to put the story to rest. I fail to see how Trump not releasing the information is the fault of the media.

          I still think you're confused. More now than I did before.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:26pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Yes, the content of the DNC hack was released, but look at the coverage. It is all about who did it, not what was in it. That is all that Hillary and the DNC talked about, and that is what the media covered.

            As for Flynn, the NYT's and others released the story of the conversations, but didn't have any info on the content. Other stories talked about this being the biggest governmental scandal since Iran/Contra. Another talked that this was a huge story that could bring the White House down.

            So a story with no details and yet the media talks about the biggest scandal in recent memory? It talks about the downfall of a president?

            I am not confused. If you think that the recent reporting on the DNC hack mentions anything about the content of the emails vs. who did the hack, then I think you are delusional.

            And in terms of WikiLeaks, does today's reporting talk about what they released or is the bigger reporting about Russian influence and rape charges?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 6:10am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Saying the same thing over and over again just isn't going to work.

              You're confused as hell.

              And let's be honest here - the emails aren't really important anymore - the election was held, what, 4 months ago?

              If Flynn was a stand up guy, then Trump shouldn't have fired him. If you feel he was pressured, then are you admitting he's a pussy?

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 28 Feb 2017 @ 11:19am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                I don't really know much about Flynn, just that he was an Army General.

                I think he was fired (at least the saying goes) was because he misled the administration in telling them he didn't have conversations at all.

                I would have had no problem with him telling the Russians not to overreact to Obama's sanctions because that would make it hard to smooth things over once Trump took office. But you can't lie to your boss.

                The problem is, you are playing a game. admitting he is a pussy? What was the right thing to do? I have a lot of problems with how Trump says things, but I agree with some of the things he is trying to do. Would you say that Trump is more likely to say things off the top of his head? Would you say that he says what he really believes? Could you say the same thing about Hillary? About the DNC? Obviously the content of the emails showed the answer to that question would be no.

                People believe that Trump says what he thinks, and means what he says, and he won the election. Outside of Bernie, I think the people believe that Trump actually tells the truth more than other politicians. That is actually pretty funny when you look at all the stupid lies he says (which are usually around really stupid topics like crowd size.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Baron von Robber, 28 Feb 2017 @ 3:19pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  "I would have had no problem with him telling the Russians not to overreact to Obama's sanctions because that would make it hard to smooth things over once Trump took office. But you can't lie to your boss"

                  And you can't talk to another nation's government over policy when you are not a representative of our government.
                  He looks to have broken the Logan Act.

                  "The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government's position.[2]"

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

                  Not good if he and others did the same.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 6:03am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Could you say the same thing about Hillary? About the DNC? Obviously the content of the emails showed the answer to that question would be no.

                  She isn't the president. And this isn't about Trump lying - it's about (according to you):

                  So a story with no details and yet the media talks about the biggest scandal in recent memory? It talks about the downfall of a president?

                  My question is (and has been) if Flynn is a stand up guy, he shouldn't have been fired. Yet Trump fired him anyways.

                  You can't argue both that the story has no merit, yet Trump fired him because of the story (which had no merit).

                  Either the story has merit, or Trump is a pussy.

                  I'll ask again - which is it?

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 1 Mar 2017 @ 11:16am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Probably a dead story, but I will answer. If Flynn lied to his bosses about talking with the Russians, they should have fired him.

                    Lying to your boss isn't against the law (in most cases) but gets you fired. I don't think Flynn broke the law so in no way would lead to impeachment (that is being hyped.)

                    Now if he lied to the FBI or law enforcement about conversations, that could get him arrested.

                    If he told his bosses the truth and he was fired because of the media firestorm, then yes, I would say Trump is a pussy. I don't think that is the situation though.

                    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                    • identicon
                      Baron von Robber, 1 Mar 2017 @ 12:31pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      What about the Logan Act?
                      "The Logan Act (1 Stat. 613, 18 U.S.C. § 953, enacted January 30, 1799) is a United States federal law that details the fine and/or imprisonment of unauthorized citizens who negotiate with foreign governments having a dispute with the United States. It was intended to prevent the undermining of the government's position.[2]"

                      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

                      He wasn't an authorized citizen at the time, speaking with Russian government entities which we have a dispute with (on numerous issues, ergo sanctions).

                      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                      • identicon
                        Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:23am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        No one has ever stood trial facing the Logan act, but it would depend on what Flynn's conversations were with Russians. If he told the Russians don't be stupid in responding to Obama's sanctions for hacking, is that against the law?

                        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 7:35am

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          "No one has ever stood trial facing the Logan act, "

                          Has anybody been dumbfuck stupid enough to do so?

                          Appearently, but later events made the point moot.

                          "The only actual indictment under the Logan Act was one that occurred in 1803 when a grand jury indicted Francis Flournoy, a Kentucky farmer, who had written an article in the Frankfort Guardian of Freedom under the pen name of "A Western American." In the article, Flournoy advocated a separate nation in the western part of the United States that would ally with France. The United States Attorney for Kentucky, an Adams appointee and brother-in-law of Chief Justice John Marshall, went no further than procuring the indictment of Flournoy, and there was no further prosecution of the Kentucky farmer. The purchase of the Louisiana Territory later that year appeared to cause the separatism issue to become moot, and the case was abandoned"

                          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_Act

                          So 1 idiot did, but we got the Lousiana Purchase anyways.

                          Dumpflthinskin certainly is breaking lots of traditions, this could be one.

                          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 2 Mar 2017 @ 11:17am

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            This is just a stupid, partisan, political issue. Trump and Pence spoke with over 30 leaders of other countries before taking office. Why go after Flynn? Hell, Trump spoke with Mexico's leader, where is the outrage over that (not the outrage of him demanding that Mexico pay for the wall.)

                            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

                            • identicon
                              Baron von Robber, 3 Mar 2017 @ 11:19am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              Bullshit, we don't have sanctions against Mexico. We do with Russia.

                              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Thad, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:18pm

      Re:

      That to me is fake news.

      Well would you look at that: the headline is right.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 27 Feb 2017 @ 1:04pm

    Calling unpopular stories fake news seems to be working on some people. My friend, who previously believed pretty much everything he heard on the news, now believes that the news can't be trusted. Well, it can't be trusted when it goes against his viewpoint. As long as the stories agree with or reinforce his position, then it's obviously true.

    Now, politicians aren't even trying to hide the fact that they're using the claim of fake news to delegitimize news outlets that they don't like. In Colorado, a state senator called a local paper fake news for publishing an editorial calling on him to bring a bill up for a vote. An editorial, which is an opinion is now considered fake news if the politician it targets doesn't like it.

    http://www.npr.org/2017/02/17/515760101/when-a-politician-says-fake-news-and-a-newspaper-threate ns-to-sue-back

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:16pm

    Thanks, Andrew Jackson!

    (He was the first to use "Fake News" on his opponents)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 2:51pm

    Solution.

    Source EVERYTHING.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dave, 27 Feb 2017 @ 3:22pm

    Paid Propogandists on Techdirt Comments?

    I'm not saying there are, but...it makes you wonder. Or if not, I wonder how many were unknowingly influenced (by 1 degree of separation) by said paid propogandists. And no I'm not auto-discluding myself.

    Just musing, not accusing.

    Dave

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:25pm

    The term "Fake News" is redundant, all news is mostly misinformation, it is however like the rights to bear arms, your god given right to report to others how you see the world how you see the world. Just be sure to avoid baseless Libel.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 5:27pm

    The idea that fake news exists is admitting that there are people too stupid to think for themselves and blindly believe everything they see. Memo to governments: You can't legislate stupidity.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 27 Feb 2017 @ 10:44pm

      Re:

      I like love the fact that news is accepted as a authoritative source in colleges. Also, somehow people who don't even read/listen the NYT or NPR can somehow definitively state its they are reliable. Granted, I do however think a good portion of people who use this website but you would be surprise how many adults don't actually read much.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Agk, 28 Feb 2017 @ 7:34am

    The term Fake News began as a DNC ploy to get people to stop listening to any conservative news source that slammed Hillary, and apparently that was fine. Now that the term has been co-opted by the right to dismiss sources that slam Trump, suddenly it's a crisis.

    You made this bed, now lie in it. It wouldn't have been so bad if the original people crying 'fake news' weren't throwing these stones from such obviously glass houses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Chombs (profile), 6 Mar 2017 @ 10:30am

    Well, who started the "fake news" train? The USA did.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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