Water Cooler -Open Thread 12/28/17; 2017 The Year In Fake News


2017 The Year Of News That Never Actually Happened

2017 saw fake news become the blanket term for a variety of shady news practices, from wholesale propaganda to rendering actual news incomprehensible. Here’s some of the top examples of Fake News


CNN Blames Republicans For Funding The Steele Dossier

A CNN panel falsely blamed both Republicans and Democrats for financing a dossier on Donald Trump that was assembled by British former spy using Russian sources.

Wolf Blitzer, host of CNN’s “The Situation Room,” falsely said that a Republican donor originally funded the dossier. One of his panelists, Washington Post editor David Swerdick, backed up Blitzer’s false claim. Swerdick claimed that who funded the dossier was relatively unimportant because, he said, “both sides had a hand in this.”

That is false.

A Republican donor did pay Fusion GPS to conduct opposition research on Trump during the primary but the firm never commissioned the dossier to British ex-spy Christopher Steele until the Clinton campaign and DNC began paying Fusion — months after the Republican donor had left the picture.

–Daily Caller

The Most Trusted Name In News ???

ABC Tanks The Stock Market With A False Report About Michael Flynn Contacting The Russians

“Special Report” by correspondent Brian Ross quoted a source who said that, during the course of the presidential campaign, Trump had directed ousted National Security Adviser Michael Flynn to “make contact with the Russians.”

The Dow dropped more than 350 points when the news broke.

But the story was untrue.

In fact, said Ross’s source, Trump directed Flynn to contact the Russians after he won the election — not before.

More than seven hours after the initial report, Ross appeared on ABC to issue an on-air “clarification” that, in fact, Flynn had been tasked to contact Russia only after Trump had become the president-elect.

–New York Post


When agenda driven reporting starts causing real world damage like this, it just makes me appreciate how much less dependent we are on centralized media than we used to be.

The Lie That Wouldn’t Die 17 Intelligence Agencies Reported That Russia Hacked Our Elections

It’s the myth that will not die: all 17 intelligence agencies worked on a comprehensive report on Russian activities during the 2016 election. Cortney wrote about The New York Timesissuing a correction to that regard. Earlier this year, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper released a report saying that FBI, CIA, and NSA have high confidence that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an interference campaign. Keep in mind, that’s just three. Still, NBC reporter Katy Tur decided to get snarky, tweeting erroneously that 17 intelligence agencies signed off on the report and cc’ing the POTUS account. It’s since been deleted.

–Town Hall

This bit of fake news was originally made by Hillary Clinton during the 2016 debates.  Turns out she should know, seeing as at this point in time it looks like her campaign was in cahoots with the Russians and at the very least there is that Uranium One deal still raising questions about how did American Uranium production get sold to Russian state entities ?

Trump’s Win Causes Spike In Transgender Suicides

After Trump’s electoral victory on November 8, rumors began circulating that multiple transgender teenagers had killed themselves in response to the election results. There was no basis to these rumors. Nobody was able to confirm them at the time, and nobody has been able to confirm in the three months since Trump was elected.

Nevertheless, the claim spread far and wide: Guardian writer and editor-at-large of Out Zach Stafford tweeted the rumor, which was retweeted more than 13,000 times before he deleted it. He later posted a tweet explaining why he deleted his original viral tweet; his explanatory tweet was shared a total of seven times. Meanwhile, PinkNews writer Dominic Preston wrote a report on the rumors, which garnered more than 12,000 shares on Facebook.

—The Federalist


This has to be my favorite. The implication is of course the composition of our government should be determined by people so psychologically fragile that they will kill themselves if they don’t get their way.  The link to the Federalist is very good and details another 15 major Fake News stories and it was published only in February.

The Dogs That Aren’t Barking.

Finally there was that most insidious form of fake news, the news that isn’t covered. Bear with me on this it’s hard to point at absences in what should be very loud news stories. But lets look at some of the things that should have anyone scratching their head.

But the crooks my friend, indict the people who discovered the crime.

Last year project Veritas infiltrated planned parenthood and obtained video and audio evidence of Planned Parenthood violating the law by selling butchered baby parts. For their trouble they were charged with felonies While to this day Planned Parenthood as as yet to receive so much a slap on the wrist. (It is rumored that AG Sessions is looking into prosecuting PP). Not Fake News, just news the Media doesn’t think you should know about.

The short blonde woman with bad hair and bad taste in friends*

A key player in American politics, uses their influence to obtain lucrative contracts for questionable foreign nationals, that give them access to our government at the highest levels. When word that they are vacuuming up emails and confidential documents, the key player who got them the position starts engagin in phony phone calls to try and stop the investigation all the while they are destroying evidence, sending money abroad and trying to flee the country. No this isn’t a comedy spy thriller ET didn’t bother to cover. This is the story of Debbie Wasserman Schultz and the Awan brothers.  If you’re regular reader here you’re probably up on the details. The question is why aren’t reporters camped out on the congresswoman’s yard demanding “What did she know and when did she know it ?”


How many more dogs didn’t bark this year ? There is the real fake news all the things we should have known if the news media were doing it’s nominal job instead of pushing an agenda.

With any luck 2017 will be known as the year we learned just how bad our news media really are and if we are real lucky 2018 will be when we start to turn the corner.


*With apologies to the “Tall Blond Man With One Black Shoe”

Quotes Of The Day

Half the truth is often a great lie

–Benjamin Franklin

Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle. The real extent of this state of misinformation is known only to those who are in situations to confront facts within their knowledge with the lies of the day.
–Thomas Jefferson

That’s it for today. As Always the Water Cooler is an Open Thread.



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