February 11, 2017

"Meanwhile the Washington Post fact checker tweets a fake Fred Trump political ad. We can trust them!"

Says tim in vermont in the comments to "Ironically, the news that 'fake news' is 'killing people’s minds' is fake news."

Here's the shocking-if-true ad:



Here's WaPo's Philip Bump writing in an updated column that is now titled "No, Donald Trump’s father didn’t create racist ads for a mayoral bid":
A pair of ads allegedly created by President Trump’s father, Fred, for a 1970s mayoral bid circulated widely on the Internet this week. They were ads, one titled “Dope Man” and the other “Real New Yorkers,” presenting two depictions of the city during that decade. The first showed a black drug dealer wandering the streets of New York, culminating in a shot of two frightened-looking women with a “Paid for by the Committee to Elect Frederick C. Trump” banner at the bottom of the screen. The second was more optimistic — though the “real New Yorkers” depicted were only white New Yorkers.

If the ads were real, they would certainly be among the more racist ads in American political history, even by the standards of the 1970s. But they weren’t real.... The footage of the black drug dealer, which is available on at least one stock-footage site, is from a short film called “A Day in the Death of Donny B.” from 1969....

The idea that Trump’s father would have created starkly racist ads fits neatly into existing narratives about Trump and his family.
Here's the tweet WaPo's Fact Checker Glenn Kessler scrambled to delete:



And here's the Sidney Blumenthal piece that launched the fake news that took in the Fact Checker. It's now cleaned up and ends with the note:
A paragraph referring to Fred Trump’s campaign for mayor of New York, although it accurately reflected Trump’s racial attitudes and his hostility towards Mayor John Lindsay, has been removed because the campaign ads referred to appear to be clever fakes.
There's the old "fake but accurate" bullshit. The evidence is bad, and we tried to palm it off, but trust us, we were still correct about the facts were were trying to prove with fake facts.

60 comments:

chickelit said...

Kessler pops a woody dissing Trump?

Sebastian said...

"we were still correct about the facts were were trying to prove with fake facts." Their lies I expect. That they need no stinkin' facts, that I know. Using assertions strictly as tools, that is their MO. But what I find just every so slightly irritating is the faux high-mindedness about, you know, being factual and everything, and resisting the faux news supposedly swamping little conservative minds.

Lost My Cookies said...

Accurately fake? Fake, but accurate? Haven't we been here before?

rehajm said...

Blumenthal writing this for LRB implies lefties believe the US market is catching on to this shit but they're still vulnerable overseas.

Birkel said...

Perhaps our self-selected betters are not.

Big Mike said...

Is that the same Sid Blumenthal who characterized the Internet as a "vast right-wing conspiracy" in his advice to Hillary Clinton?

Is that the same Glenn Kessler who rates 100% true statements from the right side of the political spectrum as "mostly true" and 100% bullshit from the left side of the spectrum as "partly false." That Glenn Kessler?

Paper was bad enough before Jeff Bezos bought it; now it's not worthy of being put in the bottom of a parrot cage lest its noxious toxicity injure the bird.

Bob Ellison said...

The practice of deleting tweets bothers me. I can see deleting the likes of a blog comment. But a self-promoting journalist like Kessler should not think just deleting a tweet is A-OK. An honest journalist would own up and say "I tweeted something that turned out to be wrong, and I apologize."

Eric said...

The correction includes the hopeful phrase "If the ads were real, they would certainly be among the more racist ads in American political history." I read this as a plea for more stuff that they can run without checking. These people are disgusting.

rhhardin said...

It's not the drugs but the way they enforce contracts.

Bob Boyd said...

"An honest journalist..."

There's the rub.

rhhardin said...

I think the fake is itself playing to a pearl-clutching reflex, which reflex is perhaps not well thought out by the pearl clutchers.

rhhardin said...

A genuine ad would phrase the same thing as helping the black community.

Though the 60s was the Great Society so that perhaps the effects of helping hadn't been appreciated yet.

rhhardin said...

Smoking wasn't bad back then, so discount that effect.

Tommy Duncan said...

Kessler is exposed as a fake checker of facts rather than his claim to be a checker of fake facts.

How many facts could a fake fact checker check if a fake fact checker could check facts?

Mark said...

The Washington Post is a cesspool and it knowingly and eagerly promotes the lie in order to advance the narrative.

Even in reporting on a libel lawsuit concerning certain false and defamatory statements about Melania's past, instead of simply stating that the person who published the scandalous lies had admitted that they were lies and had agreed to pay a large monetary settlement, the Post then went on to publicly repeat those lies under the guise of reporting the settlement. And the Post did so in a way as to plant in people's minds that maybe the defamatory statements had some truth to them after all.

And, of course, on any given day, the Post has up six or seven anti-Trump or anti-Administration hit pieces on its digital front page.

Fernandinande said...

HT Sailer -

Behind the Internet's Anti-Democracy Movement

"White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been in contact via intermediaries with Curtis Yarvin, Politico Magazine reported this week."
...
“Think you should speak directly to my WH cutout / cell leader,” Yarvin said in an email. “I've never met him and don't know his identity, we just DM on Twitter. He's said to be ‘very close’ to Bannon. There are several levels, but most people just start out with his public persona.” @BronzeAgePerv’s avatar is of a muscular, shirtless man and his account’s biography reads: “Steppe barbarian. Nationalist, Fascist, Nudist Bodybuilder! Purification of world. Revolt of the damned. Destruction of the cities!”

AllenS said...

Here's my shocked face: 8=O. Yes, I'm wearing glasses.

PB said...

Fake but accurate is a fairly clever strategy. two steps forward in pushing a lie, but only one step back in apologizing for it. The idea embedded in the lie remains.

dda6ga dda6ga said...

Just cancelled my Amazon Prime membership. Bezos and WaPo can do without my measly $99.

Rob McLean said...

Apparently fakes are OK if they're clever.

rhhardin said...

Order a lot of old DVDs from Amazon and they lose money on Amazon Prime.

One at a time, though that tends to be the natural rate.

Mark said...

In my work in D.C., our organization has occasional dealings with the Washington Post.

We do not simply read it, but have provided loads of factual information to them, inviting their reporters to come learn about some of the things they report on, and submit articles and letters trying to educate them. And routinely they ignore the information we have provided and instead print whatever the hell they want to, knowing it to be false because we told them the truth.

Reporting the facts is not their objective. Advancing their own agenda and narrative is.

AJ Lynch said...

Wouldn't the "Paid for the Committee to elect .." have been a clue that the ad was fake. I don't think that type of ad disclosure was required back in 1969. But I could be wrong.

AJ Lynch said...

CL said:

"Kessler pops a woody dissing Trump?"

All the MSM libs on Twitter rush to tweet any thing that they see as negative to Trump. It must give them a hard on. Except for the NYT's Maggie Haberman - she is is just a far left lib and I don't think she has a penis.

Sydney said...

Journalists shouldn't be allowed to tweet.

traditionalguy said...

The AJC has just started a NewSpeak on the Illegal Mexicans being deported.

The latest headline required wording is "Unauthenticated immigrants." They are here awaiting the slow process of authentication to catch up with them, but there is no doubt they authentically exist here. We know this because they have Driver's Licenses used to cash their Welfare Checks.

Gusty Winds said...

Journalists are so slanted and biased they've managed to turn fact checking into "fake news".

Owen said...

PB: "Fake but accurate is a fairly clever strategy. two steps forward in pushing a lie, but only one step back in apologizing for it. The idea embedded in the lie remains." Well said. Similar strategy and effect when one uses the rhetorical device of litotes-- "I would never dream of calling my adversary a molester of children."

Original Mike said...

Why isn't Blumenthal in jail?

mockturtle said...

Whatever happened to real news? There is a whole planet with lots of stuff going on all the time yet we seem to be limited to one or two stories, fake or not. It's the main reason I read the foreign press more than domestic.

And maybe it's time for all of us to get a real life. Man does not live by MSM alone.

Commander Crankshaft said...

It's not fake news. It's "alternative facts."

Bob Ellison said...

Sydney said, "Journalists shouldn't be allowed to tweet."

Such a policy, if implemented at a business like the Washington Post, would be an attempt to go back to the roughly sixty-year-old, failing concept of journalists as self-effacing, unbiased angels of pure reporting.

That's not the way to go. We should hope WaPo and others will instead embrace their ideologies and put them on the mastheads. The NYT could go with "All the crap we want you to see."

AprilApple said...

The left invented the term "fake news" - (as more propaganda) but they are purveyors of it.

damikesc said...

Yeah, when you hold yourself up as the guy who will decide if something is true or not, falling for hoaxes is very poor form.

The practice of deleting tweets bothers me. I can see deleting the likes of a blog comment. But a self-promoting journalist like Kessler should not think just deleting a tweet is A-OK. An honest journalist would own up and say "I tweeted something that turned out to be wrong, and I apologize."

The downside of the digital age. Journalists try to use Big Brother actions to eliminate their mistakes.

The correction includes the hopeful phrase "If the ads were real, they would certainly be among the more racist ads in American political history."

Up there with "If Penthouse Forums were honest, lots of buses full of cheerleaders break down in front of the homes of lonely guys and the girls apparently desire sex badly in those situations".

Michael K said...

Except for the NYT's Maggie Haberman - she is is just a far left lib and I don't think she has a penis.

No. just a clit a foot long from self abuse.

Bonkti said...

Has Robert Reich opined on the source of these ads?

Bob Ellison said...

damikesc, journalists that own up to mistakes earn respect from readers/viewers. If I were teaching at the laugh-worthy Columbia School of Journalism, I'd lecture students that admitting a mistake is an honor, a duty, and a bonus.

Not that deliberately writing crap first, and admitting it afterward, would be a good thing...this could be bad...

Bob Ellison said...

How about if instead, we just hire a Journalist-King that judges on all matters, and presents grades to the public so that we know who's a truth-teller and who's not?

Bill Peschel said...

Someone asked "Wouldn't the "Paid for the Committee to elect .." have been a clue that the ad was fake."

I just checked a Jimmy Carter 1976 campaign ad. It had the attribution, plus a voiceover reciting that line. It was also in color.

The Trump fake ad is pretty bad as campaign ads go from that time. And the single line at the bottom (with no "Vote Trump" should have been obvious with a little thought.

But why let research interfere with the story? Reputation? What reputation?

Frankly, news reporting went downhill when they started calling themselves "journalists." They aren't. They're news reporters. Or hacks. And they earned our contempt.

Drago said...

Commander Crankshaft: "It's not fake news. It's "alternative facts."

Actually, they are manufactured forgeries.

Bobber Fleck said...

But a self-promoting journalist like Kessler should not think just deleting a tweet is A-OK.

Orwell's "memory hole" comes to mind, along with "doublespeak" and "doublethink".

Orwell was a genius who gave progressives a model for their organization and activities.

Drago said...

We won't know how bad this latest "fake but accurate" manufactured forgery BS is until androgynous Brian Stelter on CNN hosts another panel with Dan Rather as the primo guest speaking about media credibility and fact checking.

And yes, that actually happened. Dan Rather: the face of MSM credibility.

Gee, it's impossible to figure out how the media has lost credibility. It's inexplicable really.

traditionalguy said...

BBC has a new report done on Mary Anne MacLeod, who came here as a maid and became Fred's wife.

An interesting part is that she frequently made return trips to Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Outer Hebrides, Scotland in the 80s and 90s where she attended the childhood Presbyterian Church in which she was Baptized and raised. And while there she would always revert to speaking her Gallic mother tongue.

The show has several of my favorite Hymns sung by local Scottish choirs.

mesquito said...

I happened to be looking at twitter when Kessler issued his retraction. I asked if the name Blumenthal was in the LRB byline. This should be held over Kessler for the rest of his career.

cubanbob said...

If Scooter Libbey deserved a prison sentence then Sid "Vicious" Blumenthal deserves the chair.
AG Sessions should ask for a special prosecutor to look into Blumenthal's numerous national security violations. Thirty years would be about right. And if justice were truly served, Hillary would be joining him in prison.

Yancey Ward said...

Did Kessler fess up, or did he just delete the tweet without explanation?

A deletion accompanied by an explicit explanation and mea culpa is fine. A deletion without explanation or apology is not fine.

David Begley said...

"although it accurately reflected Trump’s racial attitude"

How would Sid know that about Fred Trump?

Unknown said...

mockturtle said...

Whatever happened to real news? There is a whole planet with lots of stuff going on all the time yet we seem to be limited to one or two stories, fake or not. It's the main reason I read the foreign press more than domestic.

==

It's interesting to listen to the BBC World Service which the local public radio station carries overnights. You can tell they are hugely biased, especially when reporting on US matters, something the must carry over into other matters I know nothing about, *but* they actually do report different stories. Like apparently the South African president recently had to have opposition members removed from the floor of parliment before he was able to speak without mockery. I mean, SA is the closest thing to a real country in sub-saharan Africa, so you would expect at least a mention about something that might affect its future, but crickets as far as I can tell from the US media..

mockturtle said...

Another form of 'fake news' is rewriting history to fit the Progressive narrative and teaching it in schools.

damikesc said...

damikesc, journalists that own up to mistakes earn respect from readers/viewers. If I were teaching at the laugh-worthy Columbia School of Journalism, I'd lecture students that admitting a mistake is an honor, a duty, and a bonus.

Up to a point, absolutely (get things wrong daily would likely hurt). But they have spent so many years trying to cover up their mistakes. Burying corrections deep in the paper for front page stories and the like. Now, they just change stories online and don't always notate the change, which is just Orwellian.

Jamie said...

Some ways, among many, that a deleted journo tweet, later retracted journo statement, later corrected news item can affect beliefs of readers and viewers:

Availability cascade: A self-reinforcing process in which a collective belief gains more and more plausibility through its increasing repetition in public discourse (or "repeat something long enough and it will become true"). - from Wikipedia's article, "List of cognitive biases" as of today, 2/11/17.

Continued influence effect: The tendency to believe previously learned misinformation even after it has been corrected. Misinformation can still influence inferences one generates after a correction has occurred. - ibid. In the examples we're talking about, anchoring is also a factor - the first/last thing heard is seized upon by the listener.

Illusory truth effect: A tendency to believe that a statement is true if it is easier to process, or if it has been stated multiple times, regardless of its actual veracity. These are specific cases of truthiness. - ibid.

Moral credential effect: The tendency of a track record of non-prejudice [I would add here that the "track record of non-prejudice" is self-stated by the press.] to increase subsequent prejudice. - ibid.

The question is whether members of the press do these things on purpose. I actually doubt that - I think instead that they are subject to, inter alia:

Subjective validation: Perception that something is true if a subject's belief demands it to be true. Also assigns perceived connections between coincidences. - ibid.

Which doesn't make it acceptable.

n.n said...

First, guilt by association is a sincerely held belief by [class] diversitists. This was made very clear in the last election and since.

Second, it may be evidence of [class] diversity. It may also be a coincidence or an early effort to overcome [class] diversity. They do the same thing today in the Press, TV, movies, classroom, etc. Sometimes it is [class] diversity, while other times it's an effort to integrate people.

Fake or not, institutional racism (sexism, etc.) has been reconstituted under [class] diversity and is a clear and present threat to integration and equal protection.

exiledonmainstreet said...

mockturtle said, "Another form of 'fake news' is rewriting history to fit the Progressive narrative and teaching it in schools."

Like changing Lincoln into a Democrat, for instance:


http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/11/12/college-plaque-in-land-lincoln-labels-abe-democrat.html

mockturtle said...

Exiled, that is reprehensible. Why have we allowed this to happen and have only recently exercised the courage to call bullshit? Oh, I think I know the answer. We have been fighting the whole system: Government, education, media, et al. We now have a window of opportunity and need to take advantage of it before it slams shut on our fingers again.

tim in vermont said...

He should be fired for the sake of credibility, but we all know his editors are reassured that his politics are reliable.

mockturtle said...

Exactly, Tim! After all, who cares if the news is true or accurate so long as it fits the narrative? That is the lone criterion.

MayBee said...

Sidney Blumenthal would never, ever had started the story that Obama was not born in the US.

The Godfather said...

I (trembling) take issue with the claim that “If the ads were real, they would certainly be among the more racist ads in American political history, even by the standards of the 1970s.” Presumably they were “racist” because the drug dealer was Black. (The narration says the drug dealer was from “uptown”, which in New York City would presumably mean Harlem, i.e., north of 125th Street. During the Lindsay administration I was at Columbia Law School, and I would have said – from observation not participation -- that the “uptown” drug dealers’ territory was north of 110th Street, but that’s a quibble.) Now, the threatening uptown drug dealers, that Mayor Lindsay (allegedly) wasn’t getting under control, were either Black or White or Brown or Yellow or Red. The ad-maker chose to portray an image of a Black man as a dealer of hard drugs. Was that unreasonable? To avoid racism should the ad maker have featured Warren Beatty or Desi Arnaz or Jay Silverheels? I don’t think so. The characterization of this “ad” as racist reminds me of the claim that the Willie Horton ad that supporters of GHW Bush ran in 1988 was racist. Willie Horton was Black, he was released from prison under Gov. Dukakis (the Democratic nominee to run against Bush), and he raped a woman after beating her boyfriend. Was it racist to criticize Dukasis’s policy because it happened that the prisoner his program allowed to leave prison to commit a heinous crime was Black? If someone says that all Black people are evil because THIS PARTICULAR Black person is evil, I will of course condemn it as racist. But that’s not what the Willie Horton ad did, and it’s not what the fake new Fred Trump ad would have done “if it were real”.

Paco Wové said...

"Journalists shouldn't be allowed to tweet."

On the contrary, it has proved to be a most useful habit.

The Cracker Emcee said...

I dug the video. It had a pleasingly nostalgic Curtis Mayfieldian vibe. Great stuff!