The Blight of the Bots

  You might think social media is the salvation of democracy, but I think it’s a blight. As a former newspaper editor, I deplore the mob mentality I come across on web sites like Twitter and Facebook – and in those odious chat rooms Call me an elitist if it scratches your itch, but I […]
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Time to Validate the News

  I expect a lot of media folks will howl when I say this but I feel it must be said: It’s time for those who report the news to be certified like members of other professions. If human resources officers, accountants, chiropractors and so on  have agencies that certify them, why shouldn’t members of the news media? […]
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Why the News is Fake

  Who spews “fake news”? The conventional media, as Trump and his pals insist? Or the alt-right propaganda mills? I suggest the answer might be all of the above. From the dawn of civilization, mankind has wrestled with the concept of truth.  It’s an elusive notion. Truth is as subjective as beauty. And that’s the […]
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Making up the “News”

Trump and his minions constantly complain about “fake news” produced by left-leaning media. And the mainstream media are not completely blamesless. Political reporting has always been suspect. This type of journalism seems to rely on more lenient standards than “hard news” reporting. The practice of using unnamed sources, for example, is prevalent in political reports. […]
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No Revolution After All

  When will the true believers of the right  get it?  They insist on shutting out credible news sources and living in a “fake news” bubble when time and again the information they’re being fed turns out to be hogwash. They were assured, for example, that “civil war” would erupt yesterday. They were warned that […]
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Trump’s True Believers

I was wondering why any American would still believe Trump’s baloney, then Rickie, my neighbor across the street, gave me a clue. He and I get completely different information. I get my “facts” from CNN, MSNBC, Yahoo News and the local newspaper. His “facts” come from web sites like Alex Jones and Breitbart. In my world, […]
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The Curse of Fake News

Apparently it was a fake news item cooked up by Russian hackers that triggered the Qatar crisis. The fake news story made Qatar’s ruler seem friendly to Iran and Israel and critical of Trump. Several Mideast neighbors reacted by severing diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar. They accused Qatar of fostering terrorism. Trump contributed ill-informed tweets to the […]
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No Evidence + Alternative Facts = Libel

Back in my news reporting days, we were always on guard against libeling someone we wrote about. We were taught to check our facts before writing a story. It wasn’t just the fear of being dragged into court and fined – or even sentenced to prison. We believed we had to protect our publication’s credibility […]
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Gone but not Forgotten

Remember Barack Obama? The guy who was born in Kenya but cleverly managed to insert birth notices in Hawaiian newspapers so he could one day grow up and become president of the US? The Muslim mole who was going to help Islamic extremists colonize America? The Anti-Christ? Obama’s two-term presidency ended without any of the disasters predicted […]
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Faking out the Media

I like Don Lemon. He seems to be fair and reasonable. But he does have his candid moments. Last night, for example, he told a guest on CNN: If you don’t want to participate in the news stories of this network, then don’t come on and participate. And, moments later, he cut the show short to […]
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