April 3, 2018

"Fake news" is a big category. Help me identify the subcategories.

I think there are subcategories and sub-subcategories. I've done some googling to see what other people have written in this vein and found things like this, which is on a much narrower track than I want to talk about, because the reason I want to talk about it is that I feel almost as if I cannot read the mainstream news sites anymore. They're cluttered with News from the Future and News from the Inside of Someone Else's Head, as if they've just decided to deliver a dosage of bad news every day.

***
Well, you can cool it, you can heat it
Cause, baby, I don't need it
Take your TV tube and eat it
'N all that phony stuff on sports
'N all the unconfirmed reports
You know I watched that rotten box
Until my head begins to hurt...

96 comments:

Unknown said...

Lies
Damn Lies
Statistics

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Anything negative about any Democrat is fake news.

WK said...

Fake but accurate

rhhardin said...

It's audience subcategories. Everybody gets served because everybody is the product.

Edmund said...

Subcategories from watching local news:
Yeah, So? Science We swab a few places out in public and find germs on them! (Yeah, so? Your body is covered and filled with them. They are everywhere.)
Bad Science We measure something and find it lacking from one data point. Example: a local station bought one package of store-ground beef from several stores and did a fat analysis to find out if it met the package label. Some stores had more fat than the label said, some had less. Well, yes. Handmade items like ground beef will vary. You need to buy multiple packages over time from multiple batches to see if they are shorting you.
Plaintiff Attorney Battlefield Preparation A prepackaged story done by a plaintiff's attorney about the plight of their client. Sometimes they have the station come in and interview the client, sometimes the whole thing is provided by the lawyers - client and "expert" interviews on tape, for free. Done to get the word out to potential jurors.

Paddy O said...

Sincere but wrong news (like any news story about a disaster)

Almost truth news (telling lies by telling just enough truth)

Particularizing a generality (making it seem only one group has a broader issue, like corruption or scandals.

rhhardin said...

Fake news is most easily catalogued by newsbabe breasts.

Fernandistien said...

Daring to suffer from repetition, not all fake news is political, some is apparently just meant to sell advertising, like the "World's largest dinosaur found in Scotland...50ft long! (10 tonnes)" fake Drudge headline and fake Telegraph headline and article.

The largest dinosaur is over twice that long and weighed almost 10 times as much.

rehajm said...

Anything negative about Hillary.

The Nakoula genre

My Truth

Sources Say...



NorthOfTheOneOhOne said...

Wishful Thinking?
Magical Thinking?
Delusional Thinking?

rehajm said...

Let Me Be Clear...

Otto said...

We live in a nihilism world - truth is a mirage, reason is fools gold and my emotions are what counts.That is what happens when you have declared " God is dead". Sorry state when later on in life you realize you have no anchor and have traveled in a rudderless boat.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Not fake news: obvious parody, such as The Onion

Borderline: Colbert, Stewart, etc.: They are clearly doing humor, but the humor is often based on actual news, and they often distort that news in ways that support the humor, leaving viewers thinking that the distorted version was the actual news.

Clearly fake, pushed to obtain clicks: False reports of celebrity deaths. Reports that the pope endorsed Trump.

Clearly fake, pushed for political purposes: Things like the Bush national guard memos, the Russian dossier.

Technically accurate, for the purpose of pushing falsehoods of a political nature: Usually in the form of Unnamed sources tell us... or the FBI is investigating, without any effort to confirm if the sources are telling the truth, or if there is any merit to what the FBI is investigating.

Balfegor said...

Here's a stab at a typology:

1. Completely made up stories, without any evidentiary basis whatsoever
2A. False stories provided by an anonymous witness, relayed without appropriate skepticism
2B. False stories provided by a named witness, relayed without appropriate skepticism
3. Accurate stories that omit or obscure material information that would affect the reader's interpretation of the story
4. Speculative stories based on known facts but not directly supported by any evidence
5. Non-stories generated by getting quotes from a random bystander who is either a professional quote-machine or a close personal friend of the author

Nonapod said...

A few subcategories that jump to mind:

Fake but accurate - Someone is alleged to have said or done something. Then later, it is shown to have not actually happened. However MSM people still behave as though it did happen because they feel as if it could have.

Wishcasting - The non-news of wishful speculation. Like assuming that irrefutable evidence of Trump colluding with Russia will inevitably be uncovered.

Too-good-to-check - An MSM journo running a story without adequately vetting the source or its general veracity because it nicely conforms to their biases.

Reporting opinion as fact - Happens endlessly all over media.

Purposely Misleading headlines

Expat(ish) said...

Silence
Avoidance of Conflict
Lethargy

Wait, that's my reaction, sorry.

I suggest people interested in this topic read Infamous Scribblers: The Founding Fathers and the Rowdy Beginnings of American Journalism. It's not Burn's best work, but it's gonna be news to most everyone.

I also just listened to Jackson's biography (American Lion - super book!) and found out that he basically had a house newspaper starting in his first term.

Fascinating, and puts the modern hoo-ha in perspective. To me at least.

-XC

etbass said...

What gripes me is that Fox news (which is my main source of news) puts up articles that were written 8 - 10 months ago as if they are current and only after you have read half of the article do you notice that the article is stale. And then the "sponsored news" is nothing but click bait. And lastly, the Ten reasons blah blah blah, is also just click bait.

Lucien said...

1) Fabricated Stories: "Pope says he had 'fling' with Trump in BA in 2004";
2) Rumor: "Anonymous sources tell us that some close to the White House suspect President may order summary execution of Mueller";
3) Speculation: "If Trump really has postponed firing of Mueller then it may be because Mueller's decision not to indict X for crime A threatens to stymie the anticipated pardoning of X for crimes B - G";
4) Name-calling: "Given Ambassador Haley's reference to the United States as a nation, and her admission that most of its citizens are white, can any serious person now deny that she is an admitted White Nationalist (who is also rumored to have had an affair with Trump (while the Pope watched))?"

Freeman Hunt said...

Lazy Repetition of Press Release from a Marketing Department

Freeman Hunt said...

Selective Cause Boosting (see the recent endless coverage of the anti-gun marches, never see that about the huge pro-life marches)

Freeman Hunt said...

Anonymous Person Reports

Freeman Hunt said...

Anonymous and Perhaps Fictional or Grossly Untrustworthy, that is.

Yancey Ward said...

Fake news is part and parcel of the death of true fact-checking.

All of you should watch the Billy Ray film Shattered Glass. Along with proving that Hayden Christensen actually can act when given a worthwhile script, the film shows you almost precisely what has gone wrong in journalism today.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Leaving out items (details or entire stories) that would significantly change the context
Reporting falsehoods as truths
Claiming "fake news" when it isn't

Pianoman said...

"as if they've just decided to deliver a dosage of bad news every day."

Bingo.

"EVERYTHING'S HORRIBLE, AND IT'S ALL TRUMP'S FAULT"

Freeman Hunt said...

Things We Agree with from Random "Good" People on Social Media

Things We Disagree with from Random "Bad" People on Social Media

Freeman Hunt said...

Health Scares

related:

Poor, Misleading Summaries of Scientific Papers

khematite said...

"The news of the day is on all the time,
All the latest gossip, all the latest rhyme,
Your mind is your temple, keep it beautiful and free,
Don't let an egg get laid in it by something you can't see."


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2w0FjHZXEI

Freeman Hunt said...

One Article's Worth of Information About Russia Spread Out Over a Thousand

tcrosse said...

I read the news today, Oh Boy.

Freeman Hunt said...

Only Bad Experiences People Had with Industries We Don't Like

related:

Only Bad Things Cops Have Done

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

"Sources say"

"Experts agree"

Freeman Hunt said...

Donald Trump Still Mentally Ill

(I'm coming up with these by visiting mainstream news sites. I've found nearly all mainstream, and often outside of mainstream news, unreadable for a long time.)

Freeman Hunt said...

Fact Check Editorial

Henry said...

"Small but growing" is a pretty good subcategory. Makes every lifestyle story more important. Makes every opinion seem valid.

Left Bank of the Charles said...

There is the big subcategory of reporting that is called fake news but turns out to be true.

Henry said...

On the other hand, weather reports are getting better.

Paul Simon would approve.

Scott said...

"Fake news" is fake news.

There has always been yellow journalism, which is fake news by an older name. The only thing new is that the internet acts as a nuclear powered manure spreader for this kind of agenda-driven communication. We're awash in it, because there's little demand for its implied counterpart, "real news." The business model to produce the real stuff is a loser -- a nonnpartisan editorial persona doesn't attract eyeballs anymore. Instead, its easier, cheaper, and requires less discernment to find an under served community and provide them with a stream of confirmation bias.

Maybe it would be easier to tag "real news" (good luck finding it) and tacitly acknowledge that most of the rest is low quality and tendentious.

Rick said...

Fake News Categories:

Things that don't exist
Things we wish didn't exist
Things we think you shouldn't care about
Things that aren't important because the thing we care about is more important

Annie C said...

Anything with slammed, blasted, will drive them crazy, owns, pwns, busted, serves up a helping of, rude awakening, demolishes, busted.....

And that's just looking at the headlines. God I hate twitter.

AJ Lynch said...

Innumeracy

AJ Lynch said...

Bury the lede

Chuck said...

I feel almost as if I cannot read the mainstream news sites anymore. They're cluttered with News from the Future and News from the Inside of Someone Else's Head, as if they've just decided to deliver a dosage of bad news every day.


I don't understand this. I might, if I knew what "the mainstream news sites" were. I might agree, that they had begun to be unreadable/unwatchable/unlistenable, if I knew what they were. Is it really "news" that is intolerable? Or commentary? I don't like the New York Times editorial board, but I can easily read the paper without freaking out or getting discouraged.

I subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and generally enjoy it. I listen to National Public Radio news a lot, and it is definitely and decidedly left-leaning, but I've known that for a long time and I expect it. I listen to it in a different, more careful way.

Then there is "commentary." I'd happily watch Bret Baier's hour of news on Fox every night. Best news/commentary show on weekdays. Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace is great every Sunday morning. Interesting, and enjoyable.

Sean Hannity's show is the one thing that, for me, comes closest to the reaction Althouse is describing. It is so unwatchable to me that I no longer see much of it. Laura Ingraham and Tucker Carlson -- two people whom I used to enjoy listening to -- are a lot less pleasant now than in the past. I channel surf during their shows. There are other completely unlistenable commentarians: Judge Jeanine Pirro; Maria Bartiromo; Lou Dobbs; Eboni Williams; Stuart Varney. But almost none of them are reporters, and they aren't doing "news" at all.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm so confused why it is suddenly bad for people to worry about Fake News.

Mike said...

Half of all print or broadcast news is fake, partly or in full. Inconvenient facts are omitted, biased experts are quoted and unsubstantiated conclusions are reached in almost every “news” story. That these omissions, elisions and wrong summaries are 99.99% in service of advancing current political orthodoxy/distorting current conservative ideas reveals the motives of those who research, write and produce the daily propaganda.

Mike said...

Pick an article, any article and I’ll show you the evidence for
my thesis above.

traditionalguy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
traditionalguy said...

There is little way to categorize Fake. It's fiction dressed up in a costume of real reporting.That's about it.

As with all counterfeits, we do know 2 things. #1) it is a valuable item being subtly imitated to displace the valuable one; and #2) Only an examination of the real thing exposes it.

The Internet has provided us with the tools of thousands of intelligent people who are carefully examining the real thing. That is why the Fake News purveyors are in sudden panic and are demanding they get to be censors of the internet so they can hide all this reality running amuck.

buwaya said...

Do your own reporting!

There is a lot in the category of "enormous but ignored".
Requires lots of poking around in boring government statistics though.

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

Political Fact Checking from the same biased sources.

John Scott said...

Invisible News

News not reported because it benefits the wrong people

Ken B said...

A few of the regulars, including me, have been mentioning Crichton's Gell-Mann Amnesia for years. The essay is actually about why do the press speculate.

So the biggest category of fake news is News of the Future.

The next biggest is Anonymous Sources Say.

Another big one is Preliminary Reports. These are usually tendentious bullshit. New Orleans and it’s 10,000 dead.

A common one is is The Magical Contradiction. In this a reporter mischaracterizes a quote and the presents that same quote as a contradiction.

Trump's Penis.

The Eliding Cut. This is what CNN did with the Koi feed clip.

Brian Ross.

Name That Party.


PackerBronco said...

"Fake news" is a big category. Help me identify the subcategories.

* NY Times
* Washington Post
* CBS News
* MSNBC
* ABC News
* CNN
* NPR

buwaya said...

"thousands of intelligent people who are carefully examining the real thing. "

Unfortunately, not that many are reporting. The reason the MSM stay on top, so far, is that they can initiate news because they can afford the people who do it. Fewer every day, but these are key.

This is a job, a career, to run about and interview and check facts and ask questions. And, if not to take pictures, seeing as how ubiquitous photography is, at least to find these pictures and select the relevant ones.

These functions are not being absorbed by the general public, doing this for free, because this requires money, and few have made a living independently by it. Some have tried - Michael Totten for instance.

Chuck said...

Hey Mike; try this one. From "The Hill"; it is regarding Trump's Tweeted allegation that Senator Blumenthal had misrepresented then-Judge Gorsuch in the course of a Capitol Hill goodwill tour leading up to Gorsuch's confirmation hearing a couple of weeks later:

http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/318646-trump-blumenthal-misrepresents-what-gorsuch-told-him

(I am not going to bother with doing the hyperlink coding. Mike, you can cut-and-paste it into your browser.)

Now what is the "half" of that news story is fake, and designed to undercut conservatism? My presumption is that between Trump, and Gorsuch, that Gorsuch is the better exemplar of ideological "movement" conservatism. What did that news story get wrong?

I have picked that story out in response to your challenge, Mike, because at the time I argued strenuously on these pages that Blumenthal was right -- right about this one, discrete thing -- and a great many in the Althouse commentariat wanted to attack me for siding with Blumenthal (and, I submit, Gorsuch) and against Trump.

I think that basically every word of that story is true and accurate and informative.

bolivar di griz said...

True, but nowadays its more about reading press releases for certain parties.

Michael K said...

There are other completely unlistenable commentarians: Judge Jeanine Pirro; Maria Bartiromo; Lou Dobbs; Eboni Williams; Stuart Varney. But almost none of them are reporters, and they aren't doing "news" at all.

They are swinging over to Trump support and that drives you nuts.

I don't watch Hannity but he has had a very good two years betting on Trump.

Jeanine Pirro ran for the DA in New York and is a pretty good lawyer.

Lou Dobbs had a pretty good career as a financial reporter.

Ken B said...

Chuck,
You are dismissive of Althouse’s comment. Have you ever read Crichton's essay(lecture) I mentioned?

Chuck said...

Ken B said...
Chuck,
You are dismissive of Althouse’s comment. Have you ever read Crichton's essay(lecture) I mentioned?


I don't think I was "dismissive." I just didn't understand her terms.

I think Althouse likes to read the New York Times and then pick it apart for signs of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Ditto NBC, and the other networks. And perhaps PBS/NPR too. I often think that Althouse prefers to read the Times, and comment negatively about it, pointing out ways that they have been unfair/unkind to Trump... rather than reading the Wall Street Journal and finding common cause with policy positions that are somewhat consistent with Trump.

But I'm not going to feign surprise over that. Althouse has given me little if any reason to think that she is a Republican, or shares the larger slate of Republican values and policies. I think that she is primarily fascinated by Trump's personal brand and messaging and style and communication. Whether Trumpism helps or hurts the Republican Party and its causes in the long run or not. I think Althouse has no investment in the Republican Party and so if Trump ultimately flames out, or if Trump's personal dishonesty is ultimately harmful to the Party, she's got nothing to lose. I might say the same about Scott Adams, if I could ever stand to listen to any of his ramblings from start to finish and figure out what if anything he was trying to establish.

I have not read Crichton's essay but I will try to later tonight.

Sebastian said...

All good categories, though we may need to simplify.

But let's be sure to categorize the categories:

1. Categories of fakery -- this is what most of you focus on
2. Categories of the use of "fake news"-- i.e., meta-fakery, varieties of prog propaganda in the promotion of the fake-news meme
3. Categories of news -- i.e., news as narrative for soap-opera women, news as regurgitation of prog talking points, news as same-old same-old, and so on.

bolivar di griz said...

Because there is rarely facts there, they hid the way the visa warrant was derived the source of the dossier, the conflict with the plea judge.

bolivar di griz said...

A source who lied about a critical part of his identity is not reliable chuck.

Unknown said...

With all the recent Zappa quotations, I have to ask: Professor, have you ever read Negative Dialectics of Poodle Play by Ben Watson?
Casual fans of FZ could enjoy it (despite the confusing title) but it’s a gem of a book for the lyrical analyses. I would even call it Althouse-ian! -willie

buwaya said...

"... rather than reading the Wall Street Journal and finding common cause with policy positions that are somewhat consistent with Trump."

Althouse has often said she is bored or is turned off by much of the money/finance and statistical issues that public policy arguments raise.

Some of the commenters are not. For instance, it is a bit of a hobby in my case.

Mike said...

Great example Chuck. Blumenthal (a known admitted liar) is the single source for what the headline asserts. It is not confirmed independently. The statement from Gorsuch's people says he used those words to describe some tweets, but it is NOT clear that this confirms Blumenthal. It might. They suggest it does, but it is not conclusive. Did Gorsuch say, as you and Blumenthal assert, that those specific tweets were an attack on the judiciary? Can't say from the paucity of supporting text. It comes down to he said and I don't trust Blumenthal's reporting.

They also use loaded terms "attacked judges" and "attacked the judiciary" but do not characterize Blumenthal's assertions and asides as an attack. Trump characterized Blumenthal's words as mischaracterizing what Gorsuch said. So I propse to you, using only the available info in the article, how can you say with confidence which man is correct? Maybe Gorsuch said that the whole process is "demoralizing and the tweets were disheartening." If so, then both men are partially correct but neither is absolutely correct.

Single source, unconfirmed in toto by other attendees = fake news. It is people like you blinded by their own Trump hate that will take the word of an admitted liar and plagiarizer as the sole source to reinforce your own beliefs. Gorsuch says only that he used those words, he does not say he used them the way Blumenthal asserts.

Try again?

reader said...

So should Unnamed Experts be its own category or a subcategory to Anonymous Sources?

Trouble Everyday lines got me to thinking about Elvis Costello and Radio Radio. Haven’t listened to that in years. Thanks.

David said...

Biggest category of fake news? Incompetence.

Drago said...

Mike: "Great example Chuck. Blumenthal (a known admitted liar)..."

Uh, now you've done it.

LLR and #StrongBlumenthalDefender Chuck is not going to like that comment.

Not. One. Bit.

Particularly after LLR Chuck expended so much energy and passion attempting to minimize/obfuscate/lie for his dem ally.

Mike said...

And Chuck, if this Hill article is real journalism what is the connection between young Trump's deferments (that were so cool when Bill Clinton got them) and the talk about judges that the article is ostensibly about? Is his deferment germaine to the subject? No. Does it help understand what Gorsuch said in private? No. It is included just to pile on negative imagery and that is poor journalistic practice.

Remember, I was a multiple award-winning editor of a respected newspaper, taught by the best in SoCal and recognized as the best feature writer of that period. But back then (19880) the "five Ws" were what we were after. We worked very hard to tell the who what where when and how of the story. If the why came along that was cool, but the FACTS were what we were after. No writer or editor under me would ever have inserted 55-year-old news about a deferment that had nothing to do with the nut graf of the story. That's bush league bullshit.

Chuck said...

bolivar di griz said...
A source who lied about a critical part of his identity is not reliable chuck.


See, that is what pissed me off when the story first broke. A bunch of dumbshit Trumpkins "bought" the crap that Trump was telling them. Because Trump told them that Senator Blumenthal was not credible, because of his old rotten line about his Vietnam service.

Had I been a voter in Connecticut, I would never have voted for Blumenthal. But that is a different, and old event. What we are talking about now, is the characterization of Blumenthal's "mischaracterization" of Gorsuch's private comments. And what we know, from just a few later (as I predicted at the time), was that Blumenthal had gotten it right. Kelly Ayotte confirmed it; others confirmed it; and then under oath on live national television Gorsuch himself confirmed it:

SEE IT HERE.

You fucking Trumpkins; you think Blumenthal, having been proven right on this subject, is somehow not credible because of his rotten misstatement/lie about Vietnam service... And meanwhile you think Trump IS credible?!? Trump as "John Miller"? Trump as "John Baron"? Trump hanging up on the reporters who questioned him about all of that? Trump as "David Dennison" in the Stormy Daniels NDA? Trump as the deponent in the Trump University fraud case? Trump, again as the deponent in his defamation case against Tim O'Brien? Trump is the most pathological liar ever to hold office as POTUS.

And really; does reputation even matter, in the Gorsuch/Blumenthal/Trump story? We have the total proof. Gorsuch testified as to what he thought, no matter what Trump wanted to put out on Twitter.

Mike said...

Chuck, I have to say this example you set out for me reminds me of your other he said/he said obsession: shithole countries. In both of your examples we have to take the word of an unreliable narrator and compare to the president's specific denials, added to partial confirmations from various other participants.

The common feature is you will cherry pick quotes and then say it PROVES Trump said X or Y. It does no such thing. It gives you just enough information for you to make the leap and ASSUME you know what "really happened" in that meeting you were not at. Assume. So please don't assign THAT one as my next fisking. If you have a good shot then give it to me. I'll click through and read as long as time allows.

Chuck said...

Fuck that, Mike!

Blumenthal wasn't the only source. Former Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte -- Gorsuch's Senate 'sherpa' confirmed it!

And fuck yes I can confirm that Gorsuch did use the words disheartening and demoralizing -- Gorsuch himself used those words, pointedly, in his confirmation hearing. Under oath. On national tv.

The Kelly Ayotte angle:

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/gorsuch-calls-trumps-judge-comments-disheartening

Mike said...

A spokeswoman for Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch on Thursday disputed reports that he called President Trump's attack on a federal judge "demoralizing."

While former Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) confirmed that Gorsuch used such language in a meeting with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), she said it "was not in reference to any specific case."
LINK

Ayotte said Gorsuch was NOT referring to Trump. Liar.

Try again?

Mike said...

Gorsuch did use the words disheartening and demoralizing

And his spokesman says those exact words were NOT in reference to Tweets or any specific person. I see you both agree and disagree with Gorsuch. How quaint.

Roger Sweeny said...

Wow. I had forgotten that many of Zappa's lyrics in "Trouble Every Day" agree with Edward Banfield's famous essay, "Rioting Mainly for Fun and Profit" (which largely became a chapter in The Unheavenly City.

Chuck said...

Yeah, this IS like the "shithole countries" debacle.

In both cases, we get very close to Trump's denying a discrete, provable fact. Something that can't always be done, because of the vague, squishy, unclear, unreliable language that Trump habitually uses. It is a big reason why I always want to see Trump pinned down to specifics, cross-examination style. Because otherwise, you can't believe a word he says.

Trumpkins want to hang all over the fact that Trump doesn't like Blumenthal, and doesn't like Durbin, and they want to make it all about those two.

I don't like Blumenthal, and I don't like Durbin. But even more than any dislike I have for those two, I hate liars. And Trump is a liar above all liars.

Mike said...

Well is Ayotte lying too Chuck?

Static Ping said...

"Fake news" is difficult to define. There are stories that are complete fiction, there are stories that are true in the sense that something happened that vaguely resembles the story but the facts are mostly wrong, and there are stories that are truthful as far as reported but exclude important relevant facts that change the narrative substantially. In addition, we also have the non "fake news" but just as damaging activities, such as spiking (or hiding away in Section C, Page 43) important stories that the news source wants to ignore for whatever reasons, and stories that are true but are hyped beyond any reasonableness. And we have the fun of opinion stories masquerading as straight news pieces, and straight news stories using widely held opinions, or at least widely held opinions in the bubbles that journalists live, treated as unassailable fact.

Let me note some of my "favorite" fake news categories:

Science by Press Release: Researchers publish a single study that for some reason interests a news source, which then publishes a story about it as if it was the definitive answer rather than a single study. Even if the study is on the up and up and it is reported completely accurately - good luck with that as journalists did not become journalists because they were good at science - a single scientific study is never the final answer and even good studies are sometimes wrong. This species of fake news tends to become either click bait (we are all going to die!) or political propaganda.

Printing Press Releases: Related but not quite the same, reprinting press releases as news stories is a common problem. Sometimes they do go to the effort of rewording it at least. Even if the press release is accurately portrayed, regurgitating someone else's work does not qualify as "news," or at least not as "journalism."

Slanted Experts: The story quotes several experts about a topic. Often, these are preselected experts that the news source always uses, often selected because they provide the answers the news source wants. Related, if they do contact an expert with an alternate opinion, they bury it at the bottom of the story. So all the facts are there, but the story is designed to push a particular opinion.

Stories Are About Journalists: It seems that many major stories end up becoming stories about how journalists are handling the story, whether it be self praise or whining. Even when these stories are completely accurate, rarely does this qualify as "news" unless it is a trade journal.

Achievements in Ignorance: Journalism appears to be the major taken by students that do not understand or like science, history, mathematics, business, medicine, law, or any other topic with something resembling objective measurements and logic, and may very well be the dumping ground for students who flunk out of "X Studies" courses. And so we are in the uneviable position of being informed by know-nothings. While this tends to more impact details, it sometimes upends entire stories. Just recent stories have shown journalists showing profound and, at times, willful ignorance of major subjects like guns, Islam, and Christianity, and even dumb things like the Trojan Horse.

Mike said...

So you've given up. Good. Your examples suck and your monomania about Trump being the liar above all liars once more proves to be your undoing. You have to align yourself with vicious smear merchants like Durbin and Blumenthal. It's what people who hate Trump do. I'm surprised you think he lies more than Obama, but then you do lump in all the lies he told in his years as a civilian. Just think if you did the same with Obama! But you won't.

So thanks for playing. I'll take the WIN and not gloat. If anyone contends Chuck got the better of me in this exchange please tell him.

Chuck said...

It doesn't matter what I think about Aayotte, or Blumenthal, or Gorsuch's credibility.

We have the video record of Gorsuch's confirmation hearing testimony. In light of that, what part of what Gorsuch said or meant was ever any sort of "mischaracterization"? That is what Trump claimed. Gorsuch made it clear; "[W]hen anyone criticizes the honesty, integrity and motives of a federal judge, I find that disheartening and demoralizing because I know the truth,” Gorsuch told Blumenthal Monday when asked to recall last month’s meeting during his confirmation hearing.

“Anyone, including the president of the United States?” Blumethal asked, seeking clarification.

“Anyone is anyone,” Gorsuch replied.


In their original meeting, Blumenthal asked Gorsuch about Trump's comments on federal judges. Gorsuch's answer was that he found such comments "disheartening and demoralizing." When anyone -- INCLUDING THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES -- makes such comments.

Of course I really do wish that Gorsuch had testified, saying, "Yes, Sen. Blumenthal; I remember well that controversy from a few weeks ago. And you did not mischaracterize me at all. I don't know why President Trump sent out that Tweet, but he was wrong, and you were right. I did say what you reported to the press. And further, I do suggest to the President that he be a lot more careful in his comments about the federal judiciary. I don't like it; the President is substantially wrong about it, and I hope he learned a lesson from this series of events."

Trouble is, if Gorsuch made that sort of rational, defensible, sensible statement that stood up Trump's personal vanity, Trump might have pulled the plug on the nomination.

Chuck said...

...what "Blumenthal said about Gorsuch" is the "mischaracterization" that Trump alleged and what is at issue. Sorry for any lack of clarity there.


Sebastian said...

"Yeah, this IS like the "shithole countries" debacle."

Chuck, you've been called on this before. Stop digging.

1. Durbin and Graham tried to screw Trump with an expanded amnesty "deal."
2. Trump knows it and calls BS, whaddayamean, I have to grant advance amnesty to people form some s** countries?
3. Durbin runs to the MSM and tries to screw Trump again by reporting his injudicious words.
4. Press runs to WH and asks, did he say it?
5. Trump et al. say, no.
6. Everyone understands: no means fuck you, fuck that, those assholes were tying to pull a fast one and Trump got mad, and now they are trying to smear him, fuck that.
7. Any Republican will stand by Trump, understanding full well that "truth" is simply a tool here, fuck that shit, and stuff it.
8. LLRs stand by Durbin the truth teller and promote the smear.

Enough said. As was said before.

With apologies to everyone else for the profanity and for engaging with Chuck in chuck mode.


President-Mom-Jeans said...

Anybody going to bring up the tentacles in the room? Does Chuck have an opinon on his idealogical buddy Kurt Eichenwald melting down in real time?

This is real news.

Lucien said...

Hey Ann: in addition to cafe posts, how about some where ad hominem attacks among posters or groups of posters are deleted.

Because in this thread I had hopes that a serious argument about the merits of an actual concrete news article might break out, but then someone started calling other people “Trumpkins” and the whole discourse just went to shit.

Chuck said...

Sebastian, I have dealt with the likes of you before. I love you guys. You are essentially saying, "Yeah, Trump said it but it needed to be said and in fact it is a blunt truth that everybody should hear even if some snowflakes can't take it. It was said in private, and it should have stayed private."

If that is the case, I say Trump has two choices. One is "no comment." The other is, "Yes, I said it. It was 'tough language,' and was meant to be private. But my substantive policy position on immigration is what is important, and I want to now re-emphasize that policy position..."

Trouble is, nobody really knows what Trump's policy position on immigration is. He's said about 25 different, incompatible, contradictory things.

If I were a Congressional Republican, I wouldn't lie for the President under those circumstances. Senator Scott didn't.

Jon Ericson said...

Smug, thy name is Chuck.

Leonard Pailet said...

Fake news: that which is based on Expertise by credentials rather than by achievement

Sebastian said...

"Sebastian, I have dealt with the likes of you before." The likes of me. Right.

"Trump has two choices. One is "no comment." The other is, "Yes, I said it. It was 'tough language,'" No, he had another choice: it was: fuck you, and fuck that shit, and what are you gonna do about it? Precisely in the spirit in which the smear was intended. No life-long "Republican" would misunderstand or start harping on his "two choices," when the third choice is to fight back.

"Trouble is, nobody really knows what Trump's policy position on immigration is. He's said about 25 different, incompatible, contradictory things." Changing the subject. His "policy position" at the time was that he'd take a deal that had been outlined. He got screwed. Then he got screwed again. But an LL"R" starts whining about the screwee.

"If I were a Congressional Republican, I wouldn't lie for the President under those circumstances. Senator Scott didn't." So delicate, those Republicans, so enamored of truth.

Look, I'd like to live in a world in which everyone pursued the truth honestly. As you know very well, the "likes of me" have called Trump on his bullshitting before. It's just that the "likes of us" also prefer living in the real world and care a little less about our own tender feelings and displaying our own moral superiority.

Freeman Hunt said...

"Maybe it would be easier to tag "real news" (good luck finding it) and tacitly acknowledge that most of the rest is low quality and tendentious."

I agree. Nearly all of it is garbage. To read the news is not to be on a quest to sniff out the fake but to search persistently, and often fruitlessly, for the real.

bolivar di griz said...


Covered with a pillow:

https://saraacarter.com/bombshell-secret-texts-show-fbi-doj-may-have-rushed-anti-trump-fisa-warrant/

bolivar di griz said...

Wait there's more

http://dailycaller.com/2018/04/03/exclusive-roger-stone-credit-card-flight-hotel-records

Dickin'Bimbos@Home said...

The cool thing about hillary was she instilled such fear, nobody want to cross her. That makes for a really healthy press. /not.

Michael K said...

Poor chuck. You would find friends at Ricochet.

There is still a little colony on NeverTrumpers there.

Getting smaller but still breathing.

Michael K said...

The cool thing about hillary was she instilled such fear, nobody want to cross her.

You know the old wheeze about "junkyard dogs?"


Junkyard dogs are afraid of Hillary. Only our enemies are not afraid of Hillary. They have bought her

Bad Lieutenant said...


If that is the case, I say Trump has two choices. One is "no comment." The other is, "Yes, I said it. It was 'tough language,' and was meant to be private. But my substantive policy position on immigration is what is important, and I want to now re-emphasize that policy position..."


Chuck, what's the difference between a black man and a nigger?

Yancey Ward said...

A new definition of Fake News- anything you can get Chuck to believe.