Saturday, June 30, 2018

Fake News: Here Some Examples

It's time to combat fake news. What is fake news? To me, it's when reporters put their opinions in articles. Or, it's when they are flat out false in their reporting. Or it's when they don't report both sides. I am going to make an ongoing list here of examples.

Here's an article from the Associated Press.
  • WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump tried to cast doubt Friday on wrenching tales of migrant children separated from their families at the border, dismissing “phony stories of sadness and grief” while asserting the real victims of the nation’s immigration crisis are Americans killed by those who cross the border unlawfully.
Okay, fine so far. But, then the "reporter" starts to editorialize. 
Bombarded with criticism condemning the family-separation situation as a national moment of shame, Trump came back firing, sometimes twisting facts and changing his story but nonetheless highlighting the genuine grief of families on the other side of the equation.
This is supposed to be a news story. But, it's not. It's an editorial. It belongs on the editorial page. The "reporter" put in her opinion. That's not news. That's opinion.

That's bad journalism. Journalists are supposed to report the facts. They are not supposed to put their opinions in articles. So, bias? Well, I'm thinking more like bad journalism.

I'm going to make this an ongoing theme on this blog. From time to time, as I run across fake news, I will post it here with a pithy explanation why it's fake. Well, I doubt I'll have to look too hard.

Monday, June 25, 2018

More Fake News from the AP

So, I opened up my chrome book. And clicked on the Drudge Report. And decided to read a story headlined, "Trump Summer Hotstreak."

Of course, that's the Drudge Report Headline. The article was another AP article. The article on the actual story was similar and fair. So, the headline is good.

So, I start reading the article. It talks about all the good things happening to Trump this summer. It takes the spotlight off other things that were happening, such as images of kids being taken from their parents at the border.

Then it goes haywire. It quotes Trump taking credit for the economic recovery. Trump credits his tax cut. Then, the AP fake journalist says this:
He called recent growth an “economic miracle,” though there’s credit to be shared: Lower unemployment, fewer claims for jobless benefits and many other positive economic indicators reflect the slow and steady nine-year recovery that began under President Barack Obama.
Um... really? Regardless of whether this is true (and I think it's not, but it doesn't matter), this has no place in this article. It's about Donald Trump's lucky streak. This journalist doesn't like it. So, he tried to spin it off as -- "um, Obama has something to do with this too."

Really! Like, let's talk about fake news. Again, a journalist conflates journalism and editorialist.