Benjamin Netanyahu, Hater Of Fake News And Purveyor Of Fake News

from the what-a-yahoo dept

As most of you will know, the term "fake news" has been so bastardized at this point so as to be more a moniker of quite literally the opposite of its original intended meaning. Once used to label the sort of nonsense news stories that people would share haphazardly on social media, the term is now almost exclusively used by government strong-men with paper-thin skin and entirely too much power. Still, the term does have a real meaning, if only we made a point of getting back to it.

Perhaps in one story, we can illustrate both sides of this. One of the aforementioned leaders that has enjoyed shouting "fake news!" at any media coverage he doesn't like has been Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. You would think "fake news" would be something Netanyahu really hates. And, yet, Netanyahu also apparently gathered his cabinet members, sat them down, and then solemnly showed them video of Iranian government officials secretly dumping dead bodies in garbage dumps so as to conceal how many COVID-19 deaths the country was enduring.

There was just one tiny problem...

The backdrop: Iran has been Netanyahu's top foreign policy focus for 25 years. Israeli intelligence believes there have been up to five times more coronavirus deaths there than the 3,036 that have been officially acknowledged, an Israeli official tells me. Netanyahu thought he'd seen evidence of a cover-up.

Behind the scenes: Several hours later, Netanyahu's office realized the video had nothing to do with Iran, or with the coronavirus crisis. It was a clip from “Pandemic," a 2007 Hallmark Channel mini-series.

Whoops.

So, how does real, actual "fake news" happen? Well, usually it occurs when a relatively ignorant person, often of older age, encounters media or content that is easily shared and also aligns with their own pre-existing worldview and conceptions, and then that person does the sharing without bothering to vet the truth of the content at all. Were there a more perfect example of this than Netanyahu pushing a Hallmark movie clip as Iranian bad deeds, I cannot possibly imagine what it would be.

And Netanyahu's people aren't denying any of this.

The prime minister’s office didn’t deny this account. It said the video had only been sent to three Cabinet ministers who requested it and were told it came from social media and its authenticity was unclear.

Boy, if ever there were a time for Netanyahu to call a story fake news, I'd have thought this would be it.

Filed Under: benjamin netanyahu, covid-19, fake news, free speech, iran, israel


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 6 Apr 2020 @ 7:40pm

    But ... But ... Antisemitic!

    This is the same Netanyahu who, a few years ago, stood in front of a great pile of book binders, claiming they were evidence of Iran’s military plans. Of course, he never showed us what was in a single one of them ...

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:06am

      Re: But ... But ... Antisemitic!

      "This is the same Netanyahu who, a few years ago, stood in front of a great pile of book binders, claiming they were evidence of Iran’s military plans."

      Netanyahu was always Israel's Trump, including his associations with Avigdor Lieberman - who is the closest Israel comes to a Steve King.

      But what can you do? Rabin was arguably the greatest statesman Israel had in several decades and HE was assassinated by an israeli zealot for being both tough AND rational.

      There's nothing antisemitic about simply calling Netanyahu an asshat.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 8:43pm

    In my experience "fake news" comes from people reporting new "fake news" to argue against other "fake news" and at the end calling it all fake news in some way.

    It often seems accurate.

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

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 6 Apr 2020 @ 9:23pm

    Techdirt == fake news

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 6 Apr 2020 @ 11:51pm

    Ah the rewards for stupidity and confirmation bias...

    Not only did he just make himself, his intelligence agencies and his government look like fools, but now if they actually do find evidence confirming their suspicions regarding Iran people are going to be more likely to laugh it off as just another movie/tv clip than accept it as actual confirmation.

    I get that everyone needs a hobby, but jumping on board with the 'international laughingstock' group certainly seems like an odd choice. I'd suggest maybe picking up video games instead but at this point I worry that he'd think that those were real as well.

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

    • icon
      Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:30am

      Re: Ah the rewards for stupidity and confirmation bias...

      "Not only did he just make himself, his intelligence agencies and his government look like fools..."

      As per usual, then. Netanyahu has been in hot water since way before he took office. And his flirting with the extreme right in his country has provided no end of examples of government idiocy.

      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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 12:04am

    Hilarious

    Hilarious to see this fake news site spewing propaganda about fake news.

    Really. Hilarious. Hahahahaha

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 7 Apr 2020 @ 12:40am

      Re: Hilarious

      no one's forcing you to read the site, so if you hate it, go somewhere else.

      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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:12am

        Re: Re: Hilarious

        Yes they are. Those nice young men in the clean white coats, they’re to blame!

        Signed,

        Uriel-438

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 1:58am

      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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:14am

        Re:

        I believe in god, family and country, in that order.

        And I believe that you are a purveyor of Fake News!

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

        • icon
          Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:34am

          Re: Re:

          "I believe in god..."

          And yet, strangely, you haven't read the bible well enough to realize that you right-wingers regularly violate both the commandments and the message of that nazarean carpenter's son.

          "And I believe that you are a purveyor of Fake News!"

          What was that part about taking the mote from your own eye before yanking the beam out of another's? Trolling the way you do is, I would argue, not a "mote".

          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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:51am

            Re: Re: Re:

            Hey, we can’t all be intellectuals. But thank for that storm trooper thing. You were right, I love it!

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:24am

    Allot.

    Allot of stuff turns out to be reactionest.
    Someone see's something happening and it creates an impression in their mind of Past, things and thoughts, and they Express them..
    But no one ever ASKS HIM/HER, if its true and to show us/explain how he got this, and where.

    Its Seeing a Bus crash on TV, and the thought, "driver was drunk to do that", comes to mind. and it Just comes out.

    Allot of TV corps opinions, are from the Corp heads and owners.

    The Anchors only read what they see or are told. They cant be held responsible, they are just reading script. FIND the SOURCE and ask them HOW it go to this. HOw they created this...and how its all BS.

    I believe in the USA. but NOT those running it, that WE elected to represent us..THEY ARE EMPLOYEES, but are not acting that way. ANd if we tried to fire them, it would have to goto a vote, and take at least 1 year.
    Would 1%, that voted them in, know ANY of his/her past?? NOPE its just a face in the paper, on TV...that they saw.

    AS a Public information service(they will declare other wise) they are supposed to give BASIC information, NOT create opinion.
    They are takign away our ability to THINK for ourselves.. That opinion, is what STICKS in the head. Love the old conspiracy theory concept, IT SELLS BOOKS.

    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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:28am

      Re: Allot.

      That sounds right. Had to read it twice, then in reverse, then I Got It! Totally!

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:34am

      Fox News is a privately-owned 24-hour news network. It has every right to “create opinion”, even if said opinion is shit. To deny Fox News and its anchors that right is to trounce all over the First Amendment.

      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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 2:55am

        Re:

        Yeah, but Democrats are dishonest, insane fanatics. Not like those nice clean boys on Fox. Did you see the colander of that Pete guy? Wow!

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Apr 2020 @ 1:24pm

        Re: Fox News Is Privately Owned

        Isn’t it actually foreign-owned? After all, Rupert Murdoch is from Australia.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 7 Apr 2020 @ 4:52pm

          Re: Re: Fox News Is Privately Owned

          The constitution and its amendments apply to everyone in the US regardless of their nationality.

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

          • identicon
            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 7 Apr 2020 @ 5:16pm

            Re: apply to everyone in the US

            Then why is the US restricting journalists from China?

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

            • icon
              Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 12:23am

              Re: Re: apply to everyone in the US

              "Then why is the US restricting journalists from China?"

              Because saying "Your visa has expired" is not a constitutional violation?

              Now if they were locking said journalists in cages without a hearing nor due process....THAT would be violating the constitution.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 7 Apr 2020 @ 12:42pm

      Re: Allot.

      To all the rest.
      Consider sitting at home and all you do is listen to OTHERS opinions. You have a creative mind and it adds 2+2 and gets a Ton of answers, but the Opinion is the value 2048..

      Lets talk about an accident.
      Just a person fall asleep and crashes..
      The Announcer mentions..
      There is a bar down on the corner, he might have been drunk
      There is a fire truck and ambulance here, he is probably dead.
      There's a tire over on the road, his wheel must of fallen off.
      The medics are pulling him out and he looks OK.(then announcer see's the TOP half, only, come out.)

      Take your pick of all the Announcer can say, with no evidence for Anything. This type of thing DOES goto court.

      "A person crashed at ??? location last night, was found this morning. NO indication of what happened, but we will keep you up to date as we get info.."

      Is all thats needed. NOT conjecture of his/her sex life with Squirrels..

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

    • identicon
      Jordan, 8 Apr 2020 @ 12:10pm

      Re: Allot.

      A lot. Jesus Christ. A LOT not Allot.

      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, 7 Apr 2020 @ 3:41am

    Nobel prize for Trumps miracle malaria drug

    New York is getting better BECAUSE Trump is a stable genius and now a certified medical doctor! He can prescribe that malaria drug to everybody and there’s NOTHING you globalists can do about!

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    ROGS, 7 Apr 2020 @ 11:24am

    When You Care Enough to Send the Very Best

    Bini: See this Bomb picture here? This bomb picture could really happen#@!!$#*$!!!

    ALLCAPPPPPS

    Rita, Josh Devon, and SITE Intelligence Group: Look at these friggin' ISIS videos!!!!

    (real bomb going off somewhere suddenly after they arrive)

    https://wikispooks.com/wiki/SITE_Intelligence_Group

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

  • identicon
    Andrew S Gomes, 8 Apr 2020 @ 2:56am

    corons history

    Then why is the US restricting journalists from China?

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

    • identicon
      ROGS, 9 Apr 2020 @ 12:03pm

      Re: corons history

      Um...don't you read the news?

      Apparently China has figured out that our media is TOTALLY CIA/FVEYs/corporate controlled, or otherwise stewarded by anti-China billionaires who only want to exploit China.

      SO, of course it follows that all Chinese journalists are patriotic spies and disinformation agents, whereas US journalistrs are patriotic dual-loyalty spies and disinformation agents: working for both anti-China corporations, AND the US-FVEY messaging apparatus.

      Never trust a dual agent, ever.

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

  • icon
    John85851 (profile), 8 Apr 2020 @ 10:33am

    Authenticity unclear?

    "... were told it came from social media and its authenticity was unclear."
    Why in the world is ANY government agency running clips when they specifically know the authenticity is unclear?
    It's liking running video showing Iran's "military aircraft" that's actually a screen shot from a video game. Or showing a new ISIS "symbol" that's also from a video game.

    Why in the world do people put so much stock in social media? Are we that desperate for something to valid our world-view that we can't be bothered to verify it?
    Though this is the same reason some Internet rando is suddenly an expert on 5G and the coronavirus when scientists say there's no connection at all.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Apr 2020 @ 7:43pm

    Bibi Netanyahu

    For whatever reason, I can't hear his name without thinking of a Letterman Top 10 list from 1998(!) when Netanyahu first(?) was in power:

    Top Ten Ways To Mispronounce Bibi Netanyahu - May 25, 1998

    1. Yahu Netanbibi
    2. Bibi Netan Yo Yo Man
    3. Betty Needs A Yoo-Hoo
    4. Wierd Bibi Netanyankovic
    5. Yahootie And The Bibi-Fish
    6. To Bibi Or Not To Bibi
    7. The Unabibi
    8. Baby, I'm-A Want You
    9. Boutros Boutros-Yahu
    10. Snoop Bibi Bib

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

    • identicon
      ROGS, 9 Apr 2020 @ 1:34pm

      No such thing as bad PR, right?

      Yeah- the Harvey Weinstein era Hollywood pundits like Letterman all loved Bibi, huh?

      And now look! They are all just Hollywood affiliated rapists and gangsters. WHO KNEW??!!!

      Big surprise there.

      Hows "Bibi baby" doing with that corruption trial anyways?

      Last I heard, they were able to silenceBenjamin Netanyahu's fourteen year old Russian prostitutes/sex slaves. But maybe, that was Far right fakenews right?

      Maybe, he should rethink that ages old alliance with the Catholic church, via the un-nameable English knight with five sons in five kingdoms (whose bloodlines all trace to the Red Shields and the Queens boudoire).

      Naw...CONSPIRACY THEORY!!!

      And besides, the Bronfman Klan out of Canada, and Israeli PsyOps has those guys beat by decades and delusions these days...

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

    • identicon
      BB Naziyahoo, 11 Apr 2020 @ 10:17am

      Re: Bibi Netanyahu

      BB Naziyahoo

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2020 @ 9:53am

    This Isn't 'Fake News'

    I am unaware of any definition of 'fake news' that isn't self explanatory: when a news organization transmits untrue information and calls it fact.

    Textbook examples of fake news:

    • ABC broadcasts footage from a Kentucky gun range and says it's from Syria.
    • CBS broadcasts footage of a nurse weeping over supposedly being forced to endanger herself in the workplace, when it's just some hysterical, unbalanced habitual 'woe-is-me' whiner.
    • Dozens of media organizations broadcast footage of an evil, no-good bully with the wrong-colored skin being a big old meanie to a poor, suffering, disadvantaged but still stunning and brave and empowered Native American war hero senior citizen … when it's just a bunch of normal American kids being caught on film not prostrating and degrading themselves sufficiently before our new gods (brave diversity and diverse braveness and whatnot) and thus experiencing Two Minutes Hate.

    This Netanyahu stuff is just Israelis being Israelis. Their existence as a country for the last 70+ years - indeed, their very existence as a people for the last 2,000+ - has hinged on them being the world's master manipulators of the truth.

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

    • icon
      nasch (profile), 9 Apr 2020 @ 11:28am

      Re: This Isn't 'Fake News'

      The question is, if a news outlet is sloppy and screws something up, is that accurately called fake news, or just a mistake? Should the term be reserved for knowingly deceptive reporting? And of course the way Trump uses it, it means any reporting he doesn't like, so there are at least three possible meanings for the term that you consider self explanatory.

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

    • identicon
      ROGS, 10 Apr 2020 @ 2:33am

      Re: This Isn't 'Fake News'

      When you live in a world of deceit, the lie is your best friend, right?

      But re:has hinged on them being the world's master manipulators of the truth.

      I think them in this case is innaccurate and unfairly biased against Jews (not all of whom agree with Israeli fanaticism), because they whoever *they are, are legion.

      While its enjoyable, and accurate to point the finger at the fanatics, don't forget that the christian-Jewish collusion in narrative and war is the real problem. It's an agreement to join forces as exploiters against the other in the name of the dead. A never-ending pre-emptive revenge fantasy, where everyone who is not "us" must unite against "them".

      Jews as a people are just a people among many, but the zionists are the tip of the arrow for the bigger problem of endlessly warring westerners, based in tribal and racial supremacy narratives; but the vast majority of the liars are the christian slavers and exploiters for the Jesus.

      The lies in their mutual dialogue is what first penetrates those that they seek to exploit.

      These work hand in hand and create all these lies, which lead to their never-ending excuses to rape, pillage, exploit, and enslave others; and to particularly shun, persecute, and isolate those that reject their texts and moral basis.

      And, its why we saw the DoD/CIA and various religious-tribal factions uniting in Hollywood in the 1960's too, to wage propaganda.

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


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