Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The fake news problem

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  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    those sections of the general population who are not so adept at sifting legitimate news from the fake, the snake and the noise are going to carry on believing the MSM conspiracy against “the Donald” is real – because actually, it kinda is.

    I'm not sure that they should really just drop their opinions on his shortcomings because people who can't tell bullshit from reporting need to be looked after. Fundamentally their role is actually to tell the truth, and if bullshit artists have the upper hand for a while, I don't think the sound response is to just throw your hands into the air and get with the program.

    As long as the media insists on portraying Trump as a crazy chump on things that are of no consequence

    There are a lot of people who think that the presidency is an important job which should be approached with seriousness and professionalism, and get really upset that this has been thrown out the window, and won't spin a "crazy chump" into something less ridiculous, as if they were the Apprentice post-production team.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10598 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Neil,

    Broadly and pervasively, misogyny plays and has played an inexorable part in what’s wrong with humanity for eons. Your conclusions with regards to the 2016 US presidential candidates are entirely your own, neither accepting the extent of the issue nor adequately addressing a nonpartisan contention.

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    It is Dirty Politics on a global scale. The problem is how to counter it by being even even more astute with technology, psychology, education etc, but also ethical. If you believe that most people are inherently good and moral beings (and I suppose I mostly do) then ethical behaviour is more powerful than dirt and hate.

    I think we will see a whole range of citizenship resistance, local and global, over the next few years. Some new, some old methods. Probably led by courageous young people.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3181 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green, in reply to David Hood,

    The blog post systematically underestimates clintons numbers by half.

    Claiming that interim numbers are lies seems a weak argument
    And rejecting the fact of moral relativism seems somewhat absolutist.

    The point I was trying to make , and which you illustrated, was that agreeing on the facts does not solve this problem, assuming that there is a problem.
    We seem to agree that there are "lies, damned lies , and statistics ".
    You assumed wrongly that I was taken in by the use of statistics, but that is of no consequence. It was just a variation on name-calling to allege ignorance on my part. That had already been done.

    Misinformation and disinformation seem to have equal currency ; this is politics after all.
    The question in my mind was whether genuine dialogue is possible in this climate ; will the U.S. become united?
    There are calls for secession, but that is not new. A civil war would not be without precedent.
    And finally we might agree that electoral systems both can and should change , but before the elction is held.

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    Admiral Michael Rogers, head of the NSA and commander of the US Cyber Command, has just described wikileaks as "a conscious effort by a nation-state [Russia] to attempt to achieve a specific effect".

    In other words, he's just openly accused Russia of using wikileaks as a tool to get Trump elected.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Farmer Green,

    Claiming that interim numbers are lies seems a weak argument

    You've utterly missed the point of what David said, and how the story was misleading. And I'm still frankly at a loss as to what your point is.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • Farmer Green,

    Lower North Island • Since Nov 2012 • 776 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Farmer Green,

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/

    I note a section (3) on ’Bringing Back Jobs’ in there
    - such necromancy may go down well with Apple and Nasdaq fans, but must surely rile the Christian right!
    :- )

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7818 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to Farmer Green,

    http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.co.nz/

    In section on 'The Obamacare Disaster'

    triple-digit annual increase in premiums

    Generally means greater than 100%. This sounds like over-egging and I call bollocks. I also note that (very carefully?) there are close to zero verifiable statements.

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bruce Ward,

    Generally means greater than 100%. This sounds like over-egging and I call bollocks. I also note that (very carefully?) there are close to zero verifiable statements.

    Yeah, it’s total bullshit. Forbes has a useful rundown on 2017 rate rises. Double-digit at most. They follow several years of very small increases.

    They are a problem and they’re a consequence of an insufficient risk pool in some states – not enough well people to cover the sick people. States where there has been strong uptake of the insurance exchanges are seeing the smallest rises, states where the exchanges are unpopular or have been obstructed see the largest rises.

    I gather Clinton had proposals to address the issue. Trump, it is now evident, had no plans at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    NSA chief Michael Rogers on the election and hacking:

    The head of the US’s National Security Agency said Nov. 15 that a “nation-state” consciously targeted presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, in order to affect the US election.

    In response to a question, Michael S. Rogers, a Naval officer and NSA director since 2014, said on stage at a Wall Street Journal conference that Wikileaks was furthering a nation-state’s goals by publishing hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and Clinton’s presidential campaign weeks ahead of the election.

    “There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s minds, this was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily. This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect,” he said.

    As David Corn says, Congress will have to investigate.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And I'm still frankly at a loss as to what your point is.

    I don't think he has a point. He has a bridge.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2920 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I’m not sure that they should really just drop their opinions on his shortcomings because people who can’t tell bullshit from reporting need to be looked after.

    You are missing my point entirely. The MSM reports a version of the truth. It also reports what facts it considers pertinent. The MSM often behaves as little more than corporate shills within an establishment echo chamber. Smart people outside the room with their noses against the window will see right through them. Except, while they are smart they don’t have degrees, don’t understand the need to check references and have never done media studies so all they see is a bunch of self serving propagandists – so they go and find news that is more to their taste and truth that more accurately reflects their lived experience.

    And having a hissy fit because Trump might want to live at home or he doesn’t feel he has to tell the lazy and entitled MSM Washington pack when he takes a shit or goes out to dinner is not belittling the fact that

    …the presidency is an important job which should be approached with seriousness and professionalism…

    It is just doing it differently, and given all the absurd rituals around being the president in Washington maybe that is no bad thing. But crying wolf all the time about people who don’t conform to the ridiculous hyper-routines and mores does belittle the seriousness and professionalism of proper journalists when they report on actually important stuff Trump does.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    …Generally means greater than 100%. This sounds like over-egging and I call bollocks. I also note that (very carefully?) there are close to zero verifiable statements.

    Yeah, it’s total bullshit. Forbes has a useful rundown on 2017 rate rises. Double-digit at most. They follow several years of very small increases…

    To me, these two responses to the archdruid report is a perfect example of how closed the liberal mind can be. It seems to me that both of you read his post from a position of an angry liberal who then seized on a ’factual error” that allowed you to dismiss his entire point.

    It just seems to me that while everyone is so busy being outraged at the abuse of “the truth” they don’t notice something that to me at least was fascinating – Greer mentioned war weariness, I think, three times in his piece as a reason people didn’t vote for Clinton. I have not heard a single corporate MSM entity talk about war weariness in America or about the human consequences of endless war and the possibility the an American population that is war weary voted to end war. That to me was a revelation, a very human revelation that cuts right across the constant narrative that Trumpistan is chock full of heavily armed hyper-patriotic hillbillys.

    What is the truth, again?

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2204 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    a very human revelation that cuts right across the constant narrative that Trumpistan is chock full of heavily armed hyper-patriotic hillbillys.

    What is the truth, again?

    The truth seems to be that Trump is seriously considering John Bolton as Secretary of State. Or Guiliani.
    Both played significant roles in lies, obfuscation and attacks on international institutions in the lead-up to the 2003 Iraq war.
    Something the 'war-weary' druid might want to consider.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2087 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Have an example of news values: Quake update: The Terrace in Wellington cordoned off due to falling debris.

    Fact: two car lengths of the pavement have been taped off while the building is fixed.

    The headline reflects the oh-noes-the-world-is-breaking-up narrative, not any aspect of the revealed reality. Pretty much all the earthquake/heavy drizzle emergency media coverage has been like that when you ground-truth it.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    You are missing my point entirely.

    I don't reckon. You made your point that the MSM should stop focusing on little things that Trump is doing because some segment of the population doesn't have the ability to think critically. I don't see the connection. For starters, the newly elected President is always the focus of extreme media attention, there's nothing unusual or partisan about that. For seconds, if there was anything good that Trump has done, I'm sure they would report it. Has there been? And furthermore, when you make any kind of argument for anything based on the how irrational people will think you're on shaky ground - you can argue anything that way.

    so they go and find news that is more to their taste and truth that more accurately reflects their lived experience

    Right. What I'm missing here is why the MSM should just fit in around that for some reason. Maybe, just maybe, this actually IS the MSM having a backbone for once, and not falling down at the knees of power. Maybe the people working in those networks actually have genuine fears about a Trump presidency, just the way you and I do. Maybe them giving him a hard time actually IS them talking truth to power. You do understand that he is now the most powerful man on Earth, right? Not to mention one of the richest.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10598 posts Report Reply

  • Bruce Ward, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    seized on a ’factual error” that allowed you to dismiss his entire point

    Aren't these 'factual errors' as you call them, the basis of fake news?
    Aren't we discussing fake news in this thread?

    What is the truth, again?

    Perhaps you could inform us of the truth, or point, in the Archdruid report. Preferably something that can be verified, for there is a lot of unverifiable 'fact' being bandied around at present - but then that is the basis of fake news ...

    Nelson • Since Jul 2011 • 32 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to BenWilson,

    You do understand that he is now the most powerful man on Earth, right?

    Putin has lost the lead? As Guantánamo gathers dust?

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    he US MSM is in a state of virtual melt down over Trump, often simply because he plans to do things differently.

    Uh, OK Tom. I’ll give you this, if you’re not an obsessive American politics nerd the minutae of any transition can seem petty and trivial. Especially in New Zealand where, if there’s a change of government next year the process is comparatively simple and nonpolitical.

    But yeah, it actually does matter when the Trump Transition is too busy throwing an internal purge to send over a memorandum of understand without which the Obama Administration staff can’t legally talk to them.

    It does matter when (apparently) a low-level staffer was asking about how to get Trump’s children top secret security clearances when the freaking Prime Minister of Japan’s staff couldn’t get a call returned about an up coming meeting.

    And it doesn’t inspire confidence when scheduled meeting at The Pentagon, the Department of Energy (that oversees America’s nuclear weapons) and the Department of State were blown off by Transition staffers.

    It seems to me that both of you read his post from a position of an angry liberal who then seized on a ’factual error” that allowed you to dismiss his entire point.

    No shit, Sherlock. Around here, when I’ve been careless on simple points of fact (please note the absence of sneer quotes around the F-word) I don’t expect to be taken seriously. If that FUBARs my otherwise solid argument, that’s on me.

    But thanks for unwittingly nailing the problem with “fake” news – if you think facts don’t really matter as long as you achieve a desired end, why the hell should anyone else? And they won’t. Never mind the end consequence of that is millions of people being left without healthcare. Or Trump making people promises he’s never going to fulfil because nobody can. Take credit for something that happened years before you went into politics? Pft…

    Reality doesn’t go away just because you choose to pretend its no longer there.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Bruce Ward,

    Aren’t these ‘factual errors’ as you call them, the basis of fake news?
    Aren’t we discussing fake news in this thread?

    And it wasn't a factual error, it was a deliberate falsehood. As you say, that's precisely what the post and the thread are about.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22695 posts Report Reply

  • mark taslov, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Yeah, it’s total bullshit. Forbes has a useful rundown on 2017 rate rises. Double-digit at most. They follow several years of very small increases

    The timing of the source is critical here, that June article concludes:

    There will be lots more big rate increases coming.

    Oct. 24, 2016, Time:

    As CNN Money notes, there is wide variation by state. “In Arizona, the benchmark plan’s average premium will increase 116% in 2017…In Indiana, the benchmark plan will be 3% cheaper.”

    CNN

    The average premium increase masks wide variation among the states. In Arizona, the benchmark plan’s average premium will increase 116% in 2017. Arizona had the lowest rates of any state this year, said Kathryn Martin, an acting assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

    As in:

    The real deal-breaker, though, was the last round of double- or triple-digit annual increase in premiums announced this November

    Te Ika-a-Māui • Since Mar 2008 • 2281 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    an American population that is war weary voted to end war

    Tom, sometimes you make some good points, but you're way off base this time.

    To take just the example above (angry liberal "factual error” cherrypicking, amirite?)

    Since when has Trump indicated he'll end the war? Since fucking when?

    He explicitly told the American people he'd be popping back to Iraq to help himself to their oil, as repayment or something. He explicitly indicated that more force should be used to defeat ISIS (I quote from his website: "Pursue aggressive joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS"). He explicitly indicated he'd not only be killing those he thought were terrorists, but their families, too. He's explicitly said that the nuclear option is on the table. The number of times I've heard 'bring our troops home' as part of the campaign is zero.

    How the fuck do you go from that, to 'war weary population just voted to end war'? Is there some depth to American presidential candidate bizzaro-sarcasm that I'm just not grasping? Fucking catch yourself on, Tom.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2728 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Farmer Green,

    The question in my mind was whether genuine dialogue is possible in this climate ; will the U.S. become united?
    There are calls for secession, but that is not new. A civil war would not be without precedent.

    The one good thing to come from Germany and Japan being bombed to rubble in WW2 was that their populace learned about the futility of war. But the losing side of the American Civil War has no such humility to this day. I suspect there's a lot more to it than just the bungled handling of American Reconstruction.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5409 posts Report Reply

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