Closing Thought–01Dec16

As December begins and Trump is putting together his cabinet…one thing jumps out…..Americans will be attacked on many fronts….health care, education, and quote possibly veterans……his appointees do not fill me with optimism…..

On to “Fake News”……

The “news” has been flooded with stories on the “fake” news that was used during the past election….I wrote a piece as a Closing Thought…..

Media distrust and Fake News…… This past election illustrated just how much social media can play in the election of a president…. Take Facebook for instance…..on a personal…

Source: Closing Thought–18Nov16 – In Saner Thought

Since I wrote that op-ed 10 days ago….more news about the fakes has been published….

No one outside of a few obsessed cranks would’ve noticed it if the Washington Post hadn’t given it front page prominence last week: a formerly obscure web site,, which purports to identify a “Russian active measures” campaign with some very specific goals in mind As Post “reporter” Craig Timberg put it:

“The flood of ‘fake news’ this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.”

Source: The Witch-Hunters – Original by —

The WaPo is not a site that I use much…..I do not trust them or the NYTimes….too corporate and too much propaganda for the government there.

My friends at the American Conservative have weighed in on this developing story……

“Fake stories” are in the news. The narrative goes something like this: fabricated accounts that misrepresent “the truth” are proliferating on the internet, and once they appear on a social networking site, they are frequently spread far and wide, often doing serious damage along the way to whatever or whomever was the target of the initial posting. Reportedly, Google and Facebook are now alert to the problem and doing their best to monitor and eliminate such material. How exactly that will work is not yet clear, as it would be blatant censorship, and the relative openness of the internet is a major part of its appeal.

Source: The Fake News Fake Story | The American Conservative

In my opinion a lot of the news in the MSM is fake news……and it is just now coming to light….for whatever reason.

There has been a shit storm about the “fake news” around this past election.

There are many opinions on who, what, where and how.

Below is an opinion piece on the situation…..

Consider for a moment the oxymoronic concept of “fake news,” which we have been hearing so much about lately. This isn’t your typical disinformation or misinformation — generated by the government, or foreign adversaries, or corporations — to advance an agenda by confusing the public. It isn’t even the familiar dystopian idea of manipulated fact designed to keep people lobotomized and malleable in some post-human autocracy. Those scenarios assume at least an underlying truth against which nefarious forces can take aim.

Fake news is different. It is an assault on the very principle of truth itself: a way to upend the reference points by which mankind has long operated. You could say, without exaggeration, that fake news is actually an attempt to reverse the Enlightenment. And because a democracy relies on truth — which is why dystopian writers have always described how future oligarchs need to undermine it — fake news is an assault on democracy as well.

Source: Who’s Really to Blame for Fake News? Look in the Mirror, America. | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

That is about enough on this subject….I mean really….NO one cares…now do they?

Does Freedom Of The Press Have A Future?

This election there has been a lot of talk about one of our basic freedoms….freedom of the press…..lots of talk about this candidate or that will limit our freedoms and press is the one the worry about the most….along with that of speech.

One particular candidate seems to have it in for the press and if elected may be hard on them…..but would it be a violation of the 1st amendment?

“Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it. And I think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong… I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, I think you should have the ability to sue them.”

Source: Trump Suggests Curtailing First Amendment: ‘Our Press is Allowed to Say Whatever They Want…’ | Mediaite

I realize that trump is pissed at the way the press is covering him…..I think the press is doing a horrible job also….even though I do not like Trump as a candidate…..but to put limits on the press because you think they are being mean is just a violation of the right……

With that said…..and I know that his supporters are on his side in this….is kinda scary because they are accusing of Dems. Obama and others with crapping on the Constitution….and yet they might support this type to “control”……

One of the feel-good stories that Americans like to tell ourselves is that our freedom of the press (or media), as enshrined in the 1st Amendment, is at the top of the list of things that make us an exceptional nation. But as one of our country’s Nobel-winning authors (no, not that one!) famously expressed it….yes, isn’t it pretty to think so.

The reality is much cruder than we care to admit. The group Reporters Without Borders ranks the United States as a mediocre 41st out of 180 nations for press freedom, behind not just the usual suspects (Canada, the Scandinavian countries) but places like Ghana and Chile. That’s not surprising in a country that honors its government whistleblowers by indicting them or throwing them into jail and where reporters covering Black Lives Matter-style protests have found themselves detained for no good reason. And this was all before Peak Donald Trump.

Source: Why U.S. press freedom may not survive 2016

Funny how so many people like the 1st amendment and in the same breathe talk down on the press…..I agree that the press needs to get their shit together but …..(you fill in the blank).

Freedom of the press will survive….but what will it look like?

Facebook Fake News & America’s Cultural Crisis

I recently touched on the “fake news” becoming mainstream in my Closing Thought…..I read a post later that went into more detail and its effect on the culture of the country.

It appears that “fake news” made the rounds of the MSM as real news…..did it influence the election….not a question I can answer and others will not admit the deception……I know of at least two blogs that I visit that ran with at least one of the fake news items…..and yet they will not admit that they were fooled into believing crap.

Technology has changed culture. It has empowered new voices, but also permitted our political fights to invade many other worlds once exempt from partisan combat: celebrities, beauty pageants, and arguably even our churches, from the Right’s point of view and the Left’s.All the places where we once gathered to celebrate the idea of a world outside of politics are increasingly split by the same hyper-partisanship that characterizes our political culture, which this week is traveling under the cover of what the Left calls a “fake news” crisis.Even corporate culture, which needs to be reality-based to succeed, is increasingly pushing itself in a one-sided way into political combat with half its customers. The Chamber of Commerce declared war on conscience protections for gay-marriage dissenters in deep-red states. Atlanta-based Coca-Cola decided it had to deprive former U.S. solicitor general Paul Clement of his law partnership for the crime of defending the House of Representatives in DOMA litigation. The corporations that run sports entertainment decided to punish the state of North Carolina for its so-called bathroom bill, relocating events they had planned to hold in the state. ESPN is enthusiastically covering and debating those who refuse to stand for the national anthem.Technology, by facilitating the spread of outrage, created the backlashes that led to all of these punitive actions. It has also enabled people’s worst impulses to bully and shame, and unleashed formerly contained voices of open racism and anti-Semitism, as well as open “progressive” racism in universities and elsewhere.RELATED: Report on Scourge of Fake News Turns Out to Be FakedIn the week since Donald Trump was elected, the Left has been quick to hype the crisis of “fake news” on Facebook, complaining that the social-media giant swung the election by allowing the spread of false pro-Trump stories. There is no doubt a kernel of truth to the charge — fake stories were shared on Facebook during the election, and that is worrisome — but insofar as it allows the mainstream media to avoid even a moment’s introspection in the wake of Trump’s victory, it is a convenient distraction. The much bigger problem is we no longer have a consensus, centrist view of what is true and not true: There is no mainstream media anymore.What do I mean by that? Just take a look at the past week’s worth of false media narratives:1. The Trump administration is in disarray. The purge of Chris Christie, apparently for filling the transition team with business-as-usual lobbyists — or possibly as Jared Kushner’s revenge on Christie for prosecuting his father — was, of course, news. But the idea that the Trump administration is behindhand in orderly transition is just fantasy, as David Axelrod acknowledged.2. Trump is already showing signs of unsavory nepotism. Yes, there are laws against employing family members. But they do not apply to the president, and even if they did, they would not prohibit Trump from talking to Kushner, his children, or anyone else in his family about policy, strategy, or legislation.3. Steve Bannon is a white nationalist like David Duke. Yes, Breitbart has championed the alt-right. But the evidence is not nearly as clear as the media have made it seem.Surely, we can and must do better. But trusting the mainstream media to decide what is real and fake news, or asking Facebook and Twitter to sort it out for us, is not the answer.Jonathan Rauch has written, I think rather persuasively, that the absence of authoritative institutions, including political institutions, is a new problem. The fake news “crisis” is emblematic of the cultural problem we have: There appears to be no mainstream any more. The center is not holding. We have few agreed-upon truths that unite us in this Internet age. We don’t have agreement, above all, on who has the power to decide what is true and false and right and wrong.That’s what a culture war is, as James Davison Hunter taught us: a struggle over who has the power to name reality. And, all reports to the contrary, America’s has not gone away; it’s just metastasized.— Maggie Gallagher is the author of four books on marriage and a longtime contributor to National Review.

Source: Facebook Fake News & America’s Cultural Crisis | National Review

Where do we draw the line?  I agree with freedom of the press….but is outright lies covered in that freedom?

For instance these people……

With the controversy over fake or deliberately misleading viral stories making headlines, the Washington Post and the New York Times each have interesting features on the topic:

  • The Post profiles two twentysomethings who were unemployed restaurant workers six months ago but have since struck it rich by creating the fast-growing LibertyWritersNews website. Paris Wade and Ben Goldman churn out quick stories from their couch with headlines like “THE TRUTH IS OUT! The Media Doesn’t Want You To See What Hillary Did After Losing,” promote them via their Facebook page (now with 805,000 followers), then watch them go viral. They collect money from a slew of ads on everything from Viagra alternatives to acne solutions. “We’re the new yellow journalists,” says Wade, at another point explaining their headline-writing process thusly: “You have to trick people into reading the news.” Read the full story.

The Times, meanwhile, deconstructs how one false story in particular went viral. The difference is that this one wasn’t intentionally fake. It began when 35-year-old Eric Tucker in Austin, Texas, posted an image of parked buses near an anti-Donald Trump rally on Nov. 9, after leaping to the conclusion that the protesters had been bused in. (Turns out, the buses were completely unrelated.) He had just 40 followers on Twitter, but his tweet suggesting the protests were manipulated got picked up on Reddit, then on conservative forums including the Gateway Pundit, and, soon resulted in headlines like “They’ve Found the Buses!” ricocheting around the web. (Trump himself seemed to buy into the sentiment.) Looking back, “I might still have tweeted it but very differently,” says Tucker of his original image. “I think it goes without saying I would have tried to make a more objective statement.” Read the full story.

It has become all too easy to get Fake News into the national conversation…..but I am positive that this “fake news” is here to stay…..what can be done?

Major Internet companies, such as Google and Facebook, are being urged to censor such articles and to punish alleged violators. Also, teams of supposedly “responsible” news providers and technology giants are being assembled to police this alleged problem and decide what is true and what is not.

But therein lies the more serious problem: who gets to decide what is real and what is not real? And – in an age when all sides propagate propaganda – when does conformity in support of a mainstream “truth” become censorship of reasonable skepticism?

Source: What to Do About ‘Fake News’ – Consortiumnews

I am sure there is another post lurking in there some place……

How politicians, pollsters and media missed Trump’s groundswell

Once again the pollsters and the pundits got it wrong.  In 2012 they had the election a toss up and Obama screamed through to victory and in 2016 they were solidly behind a Clinton win….

Guess what?  They were wrong……….they were slapped down…..again!

They were wrong about all the so-called “battleground” states….Trump swept them…..NO one understood the anger of the American people…..Can you hear them now?

The failure of pollsters, politicians and media to recognize the Trump groundswell was on the level of Dewey defeats Truman.

That is one of the most significant lessons of the 2016 presidential election, in which Donald Trump overcame the doubts of a majority of reporters, pollsters and political scientists who believed Hillary Clinton was headed for a decisive victory.

Source: How politicians, pollsters and media missed Trump’s groundswell – Nov. 9, 2016

This should do nothing to instill confidence in the media……and the Dems they had better find a way to connect with the American people or they will be ripe for failure onto of failure……

Have they learned their lesson?

We shall see…….

To Rig Or Not To Rig

Today is the day that so many have been waiting to arrive….they get to sit on the edge of their chair and pray that their person will win the White House and the country will magically be transformed into this “wonderland” that has been promised for 200 years and yet somehow has eluded the possibility altogether.

The media and its pundits have their polls and opinion and thanx to them this has become the biggest shit storm in a century.

Then there is all the faux comments about the election being rigged…..personally I think it is just a set up so when one loses they have an excuse to feed the flames of whiny voters……but not to be out done the media has come up with a “brilliant” plan to help them drive that accusation as well as everything else about this election….

If misery and politics make strange bedfellows, their Election 2016 love child in the Fourth Estate is a nascent project called Electionland. As Politico reports, major media outlets are abandoning the time-honored practice of scooping each other in order to combine reporting forces in the name of making sure Election Day is as clean as possible. “It’s an entire national newsroom, essentially only looking at problems facing people who vote,” says a senior reporting fellow at ProPublica, the nonprofit which gave birth to Electionland earlier this year and was quickly joined by the likes of the New York Times,USA Today, and Google News Lab, as well as scores of more regional media outlets like the Arizona Republic, Miami Herald, and the Virginian-Pilot.

Notable among those who declined to partner up: CNN and the Associated Press. Yet it’s what Quartz calls “an unprecedented gathering of journalists,” and includes newsrooms set up at City University of New York and at 13 journalism schools. On Tuesday, Electionland will watch social media, Google search trends, and data from the Election Protection project, as well as receive reports from reporters on the ground. “This is a really interesting experiment,” says a politics editor at USA Today. “I don’t know exactly how it’s going to work. I don’t think any of us do. It seems like the right thing to do.” Adds Snopes’ managing editor: “It’s going to be a sh– show.”

To me this sounds like yet another attempt for the media to control the news cycle as they have done for decades with their polls and pundits…..

And then there is this bit of “news”……about exit polls……

In the old days (meaning before this election), results from exit polls weren’t released by the news groups until all polls had closed. But thanks to a joint initiative via Slate, Vice News, and a company called Votecastr, how exit polls are handled this time around will be a “dramatic departure,” Politico reports. This “unprecedented Election Day experiment,” as Slate puts it, will offer real-time projections of who’s ahead in the polls at any given time in seven battleground states. “We’re hoping to fill in the 24-hour void between the last pre-election poll analysis and the counting of the votes with data that can begin to answer the heretofore unanswerable question: Who’s actually voting?” Sasha Issenberg of Votecastr tells Politico. The effort will cover Florida, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, as well as a modified look at Colorado’s results.

But Votecastr is courting controversy, as experts fret that word of who’s pulling ahead minute by minute could affect voter turnout. “I’m profoundly uncomfortable with characterizing election results during Election Day,” a member of the ABC News “decision desk” told the New York Times in September, when the project was announced. But Slate notes that feared alteration of voter turnout is an “unproven theory,” and Issenberg says voters keeping an eye on Votecastr—manned by both Democratic and GOP data experts—are already bombarded by pre-Election Day polls and stats. “Why should information on Election Day itself be held to a different standard than on the day before it?” he tells Politico. Read Slate’s in-depth explainer.

I do not like this stuff…the MSM is becoming too involved in the voting process when they should be reporting not creating……

But that is just my thoughts.

What Is Missing In The News?

Content for one!

I have been bitching about thew media’s coverage during this season as a worthless waste of time….all they cover is the stupid trying to outdo stupid….no coverage of the issues that we need to hear about before we make our choice.

I have tried to stay away from the absolute moronic rants of the candidates that serve no purpose as much as possible but it has been an uphill battle to find something they say as important.

So when I read about this new study of the media’s coverage or the lack of coverage on the issues I was glad to see that I was right all along…..

Walking away from a long-standing tradition of covering issues and presidential policies during campaign season, the network evening newscasts have all but abandoned that type of reporting this year, according to recent tabulations from Tyndall Report, which for decades has tracked the flagship nightly news programs.

Since the beginning of 2016, ABC’s World News Tonight, CBS Evening News and NBC Nightly News have devoted just 32 minutes to issues coverage, according to Andrew Tyndall.

Differentiating issues coverage from daily campaign coverage where policy topics might be addressed, Tyndall defines issues coverage by a newscast this way: “It takes a public policy, outlines the societal problem that needs to be addressed, describes the candidates’ platform positions and proposed solutions, and evaluates their efficacy.”

Source: Study Confirms Network Evening Newscasts Have Abandoned Policy Coverage For 2016 Campaign

The other sad thing is that the people, the voters, did not stand up and demand better issue coverage they got sucked into the reality TV mentality and have been stuck there for over a year…..

Another odd thing is that most descent journalist see this disturbing situation but they cannot break away from it for you see they live or die on air by ratings ….and this reality mentality feeds the ratings……

We have NO one to blame but ourselves…

God help this country!

Media and Politics in the Age of Trump

A loyal friend of IST, the Ripening Wanderer, recently posted on what he thought about the media in the age of Trump…….

Source: The Media Covers Donald Trump In A Special Way | THE RIPENING WANDERER

After reading his post I thought about another post that I had read a couple of days ago and thought that it might fit with his thoughts on the media and politics…..

How profit undermines public service in the news media….

Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign will likely preoccupy future historians for years to come. While a number of factors contributed to his rise—including the growing power of social media, a latent racism and nativism within sections of the American public, and economic malaise resulting from Republican and Democratic administrations’ trade policies—the media deserve special scrutiny for their role in accelerating Trump’s candidacy, most obviously because they set agendas and frame political debates each election cycle.

News media’s constant coverage has boosted Trump’s visibility and helped popularize him, even in aggressive confrontations with the candidate. The benefit, however, is mutual.

As Trump attacks the press—mocking and feuding with journalists, threatening to change libel laws, holding campaign events where reporters are corralled and roughed up—he still serves the media well. That’s because the news organizations covering Trump, particularly television news, are reaping incredible amounts of money from their election coverage. Cable news organizations are expected to make a record-breaking $2.5 billion this election season.

Source: Media and Politics in the Age of Trump | Common Dreams | Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community

The MSM is the leading actor in the dash to control the thought and the actions of the population….