New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan appeared to be unaware during a Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday that a Washington Post story about Russian hacking into the Vermont power grid has been completely debunked and retracted.
“Two weeks ago The Washington Post reported that a hacking group connected with the Russian government managed to infiltrate the Burlington Electric power company in Vermont,” Hassan said to retired Marine Gen. John Kelley during his confirmation hearing to head the Department of Homeland Security.
Hassan, who took office this month after serving as governor of New Hampshire, showed no indication during the questioning that she was aware that The Post’s story has been found to be “fake news.”
The retractions on that story were rather epic and it’s quite an embarrassment for Senator Hassan and her staff.
Then again did anyone familiar with Senator Hassan’s record as NH governor or her campaign against Senator Ayotte really expect her to know or care about the difference between the truth and falsehood?
The proliferation of fake hate crimes propagated by the left should be a warning sign to places like the MSM and Facebook that claim to be weeding out fake news but seem incapable of questioning anything that affirms their biases.
So I suggest a simple rule driven by the fact that with the exception of myself most of the world seems to carry smart phones many of them with direct links to the net so they can upload video & audio in a heartbeat, therefore:
Last month, someone burned down a black church (Greenville’s Hopewell Missionary Baptist) and wrote “vote Trump” on the side of the structure. Obviously, it was a racist, white Trump supporter! This individual wanted to intimidate black people! CNN even wondered if it was an attack directed specifically at the black community.
Just one problem. It wasn’t a white dude. Or a stranger to the church. And I have my doubts that this guy even supported Trump. As it turns out, it was a black member of the church!
Andrew McClinton, 45, has been charged with first-degree arson of a place of worship. The church’s bishop confirmed that he is, indeed, a member of the congregation.
State officials don’t believe it was politically motivated either. Rather, it was made to look politically motivated. As in, it was another lame attempt to make Trump supporters look like intolerant, racist bigots.
then there is no hate crime.
If the press is really interested in the truth they will follow these simple rules, which leads me to conclude they will not.
Closing thought: For myself I don’t believe in “hate” crimes any more than I believe in “thought” crimes, if we simply treated crime and “crime” this wouldn’t be an issue.
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Hate is a real issue. Americans have plenty of it. They demonstrate it all the time. The difference between hate today and hate in the recent past is that it’s now manifesting in the form of hoaxes perpetrated mostly by the left. They don’t want to be seen as hateful, so they turn their own hate into “clever” ruses to paint the right as the “real “haters.
Fake news is a real issue. As an obsessive consumer of political media, I’m a fake news hipster. I’ve been calling it out since before it was cool.
Today, we’re seeing the two collide in spectacular fashion. They’ve always had a secondary relationship in that hoaxes would be perpetrated and the media would investigate and report if necessary, but the boundary that separated them has collapsed. Today, the media’s standard operating procedure is to report the hoax first, investigate (or maybe not) later.
Why did this happen? Did the media become suddenly more gullible? No. This is willful. Ever since about a month and a half before the election, mainstream media started their “ready, fire, aim” stance on hate hoaxes because they realized they needed it to propagate their narrative agenda. They’ve learned two important things: falling for a hoax will not decrease ratings/readership, and they can source each other rather than investigate in order to justify their choices.
Here are four major hate hoaxes that have been reported in the last 24 hours:
In all four cases, there were reasons for the media to doubt the stories. In all four cases, the narrative of white and/or conservative and/or Trump-supporting and/or bigoted “people of privilege” persecuted and/or harassed and/or discriminated against some variation of minority. In all four cases, the hoax was reported before confirmed and later it was revealed by law enforcement or conservative media that we had all been duped.
Here’s the core of the problem. Mainstream media has a narrative agenda that has failed miserably. They did everything they could to hand the White House and Senate to the Democrats. In the past, that’s all that needed to happen; if the media united behind a cause, they could bend the will of the people. In the case of the 2016 election, their agenda backfired, so they now have two choices. They could learn their lessons and return to a bygone day when reporters actually reported and commentators made absolutely certain their perspectives would not be confused with news.
Predictably, mainstream media has chosen option two. They’re doubling down. The lesson they think they learned from their mistake is that they can’t allow a sliver of doubt to creep in. They actually think they were too easy on Donald Trump. They think they didn’t push enough of their narrative on Senate races. They think they now need to promote their agenda in full force, working overtime if necessary.
They’re going to get away with it, too, if we let them. Nobody calls out the original source. All it takes is for one media outlet to report something as real and the rest will jump on the bandwagon rather than investigate if for themselves. It’s not that they believe it to be true. It’s that they hope for it to be true. That’s enough. They’ve lost their way.
As conservatives, we need to take two stances. We need to call out the media when hate is faked and we need to call out the real haters. We’re not innocent in this. Many conservatives will turn a blind eye or even mount a feeble defense when real bigotry or hatred is present. To stay consistent, we have to stick with the truth regardless of whose side is to blame. The only way we can defeat the liberal media narrative agenda is if we take the high road every time.
Media outlets across the country have been buzzing about “fake news” being a problem ever since the Democrats’ plethora of losses on election day. This problem didn’t pop up because of the election. It was rampant well before the first batch of candidates announced they were running in early 2015. In fact, it’s been around since the early days of the internet. The fact that it has such a prominent spotlight on it today is a bitter response by the left to point a finger at anyone other than Hillary Clinton and Democratic leaders.
That’s not to say that the problem isn’t real. As someone who reads every headline from over a hundred sources every day for my conservative news aggregator, I can verify that fake news has been an actual problem for a long time. It comes in different forms, the most prominent being the spinning of minor news into apocalyptic click-bait headline writing by sources desperate for advertising dollars, but the core problem is universal: the only way for smaller publishers to compete with bigger ones is to be very aggressive with their bullhorns and quite loose with the truth.
The biggest problem is that it works. Medium-sized sites like Salon and Conservative Tribune are building little empires from it. Bigger outlets like Buzzfeed and Breitbart are getting rich from it. While I’m personally not crazy about the technique, it’s effective and as a small-government Federalist I will defend their right to present their version of the news any way they wish. That doesn’t mean that it isn’t a problem.
Our society has been conditioned to search for solutions whenever there’s a problem to be solved. That’s natural, but for whatever reason most have missed the obvious one. It shouldn’t require sites like Facebook or Google to censor news from this site or that one, though as private businesses it’s their prerogative to do so if they wish. There’s no need for people to publish blacklists to help “victims” avoid the embarrassment of sharing stories that aren’t completely true. It definitely doesn’t require the government to step in and decide what to consider fake news and what to consider real. That’s a form of censorship that would take us all down a very dark road.
The solution is simple. Just like we should let the business world work out its problems through free market capitalism, we should allow the media to work out its own problems with free speech journalism. Let the media police the media. Let the people make decisions based upon trust and research. Just as someone can choose whether or not to buy at Walmart or Target, they can also choose whether they want to read their news on the New York Times or Infowars.
Sites like Newsbusters and Media Matters work the “truth beat” for their respective ideologies. Newsbusters points out the flaws of mainstream media and leftist media propaganda. Media Matters highlights every conservative perspective and tries to spin it as evil. That’s free speech journalism. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Instead of trying to find solutions to the fake news problem, the media needs to police itself and the people need to be discerning. Just as “caveat emptor” has been a call of prudence for consumers, perhaps “inspectoris discernerem” should be the rallying cry for news consumers to be more careful with what they read and share.