One of the many narratives being slung about by Hillary Clinton’s apologists to explain away how an infirm, elderly, incompetent, slept-her-way-to-the-top, sociopathic, kleptocratic harpy could have lost the most winnable presidential contest in the history of the Republic is fake news. The other is “Russian hacking” which is predicated on the idea that what Americans saw in the hacked emails of the DNC and John Podesta was so odious that it turned them against Clinton in three critical states.
At first glance the concern about “fake news” seems plausible. No one thinks that widespread dissemination or fake news stories, like those about Chevrolet trucks exploding in accidents, or denying that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical weapons in 2003, or distributing falsified military documents to attempt to discredit an American president during an election year are good things. And, as incredible as it seems, there are still people who believe all three of those “fake news” stories.
But one is forced to ask, how do we reconcile living in a society blessed with the First Amendment and equally blessed with open channels of communication with any effort to get rid of “fake news?” Indeed, what is “fake news?”
Now the mask is slowly being ripped off the whole “fake news” scam. It is being exposed as nothing more or less than an attempt by the left to take control of the news that is allowed to be distributed on the internet. The focus now is on Facebook but you know that if they are successful there, we are off to the races.
Shortly after Election Day, the “Big Three” in American fact checking — PolitiFact, a project of the Tampa Bay Times; FactCheck.org, part of the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg Public Policy Center; and the Washington Post’s Fact Checker — posted an letter to Zuckerberg calling on him to “start an open conversation on the principles that could underpin a more accurate news ecosystem on its News Feed.”
Now fact checkers are getting down to specifics about how Facebook should tackle blatantly fraudulent news.
To start, the social network should start removing the most popular false stories from the “News Feed” that fills users’ home screens on the site, says Mantzarlis. He argues that kind of filtering would have far-reaching effects, because some of the most popular pure hoaxes are reposted and clicked on hundreds of thousands of times, sometimes circulating for years.
“Let’s not underestimate how important it is to act on the biggest fakes,” Matzarlis says.
To identify those stories, Facebook could rely on the human curators who — despite headlines saying Facebook had gone to a completely automated system — still keep an eye on the company-produced “Trending” box on the site, he says. “If something’s been demonstrated to be inaccurate” by the trending team, “then yank it out of News Feed,” he says, adding such stories could still appear on people’s individual pages but be marked with “a big red badge” as fake.
Wait. The “Big Three” of fact checking?
If you do a quick review of these three organizations you find two salient facts. First, they are relentlessly left-leaning. Second, they have the inability to distinguish between things they don’t like to hear (like ObamaCare can’t work and the Clinton Foundation is a pay to play scheme and Romney’s 2012 claim that Russia is a geopolitical threat) with things that are false.
For instance, this gem from Politifact:
Obama’s 2008 debate statement was:
“No. 1, let me just repeat, if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it. All I’m going to do is help you to lower the premiums on it. You’ll still have choice of doctor.”
“Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here. He advocates a program that seeks to build on the current system, rather than dismantling it and starting over.”
Even at the time no one involved in developing ObamaCare believed that was the case and it was a cynical ploy to reduce public opposition to the plan abetted by “fake news” rated as True by PolitiFact. The douchenozzle that runs “PolitiFact” ruled a claim that less than 10% of the Clinton Foundation’s annual expenditures went to grants false even though that is exactly what the IRS Form 990 filed by the Clinton Foundation showed.
And how about the time that the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler rated a Mitt Romney claim “true but false” based solely on the strength of his personal disagreement with the point Romney was making. Or the epic occasion when Kessler awared “two Pinocchios” to an ad that said Obama had not visited Israel when, in fact, Obama had not visited Israel. Or the classic occasion when he rated a Donald Trump claim as false when Trump quoted a Washington Post story.
The douchenozzle that runs “PolitiFact” ruled a claim that less than 10% of the Clinton Foundation’s annual expenditures went to grants false even though that is exactly what the IRS Form 990 filed by the Clinton Foundation showed.
PolitiFact, in particular, is funded by a huge grant from a leftwing foundation that also gives boodles of money to the Clinton Foundation. This is a fact that they never bothered to disclose.
Interestingly, none of the “Big Three” addressed any of Obama’s claims on the Iran nuclear deal (even though we know that the media coverage was orchestrated by a large number of willing reporters working at the behest of the White House). They did, however, fact check Ted Cruz’s opinion, his opinion, that the deal was a bad thing and found his opinion to be false despite the fact that he was quoting the IAEA.
Because these groups are applying pressure to a privately owned company, Facebook, many conservatives are shrugging and saying “it’s a private company, man.” This is the small minded hobgoblin at work that prevents conservatives from winning and makes a fetish of being a virtuous loser. They are giving Facebook a right, to censor speech, that is not permitted to television stations in connection with political speech. Unless the “fake news” is libelous or slanderous, Facebook had no business trying to rate which opinions are correct. Because this be clear, these people are not interested in labeling as “fake news” stories about alien abductions and Bat Boy. What they do want to label as “fake news” are stories opposed to the global warming scam or stories that show how homosexual pairing are dangerous to children or stories that discuss the national security implications of Hillary Clinton’s private email server. For that matter, do you think the Duke Lacrosse scandal and the Rolling Stone rape story or the George Bush TANG documents story would have been batted down without unfettered questioning of the stories by non-reporters? No. Under the proposed regime the pushback on those stories would have undoubtedly been labeled “fake news” and effectively shut down.
No, the cure is much worse than the disease. The impetus behind this effort it to prevent you, the citizen, from hearing multiple points of view… some of them stupid (we’re used to that after eight years of the Obama administration)… and make the decision for you what you will hear and what you will believe.
The “Big Three” of fact checking are trying to set themselves up as the arbiters of what you may and may not read on your personal Facebook feed. There are exactly two reasons to do that: power and money. The power is obvious. The money would become very obvious with only a little investigation. That would be a great job for a fact checking organization, wouldn’t it?