"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, November 18, 2016

Fake News

That seems to be the only kind we get lately. Call it the downside of social media, and the fact that fact-checking is passe:

What do the Amish lobby, gay wedding vans and the ban of the national anthem have in common? For starters, they’re all make-believe — and invented by the same man.

Paul Horner, the 38-year-old impresario of a Facebook fake-news empire, has made his living off viral news hoaxes for several years. He has twice convinced the Internet that he’s British graffiti artist Banksy; he also published the very viral, very fake news of a Yelp vs. “South Park” lawsuit last year.

But in recent months, Horner has found the fake-news ecosystem growing more crowded, more political and vastly more influential: In March, Donald Trump’s son Eric and his then-campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, even tweeted links to one of Horner’s faux-articles. His stories have also appeared as news on Google.

Of course, we can count on some people to generate their own fake news:

CNN host Don Lemon nailed President-Elect Donald Trump’s surrogate Paris Denard on Thursday night’s show. Trump is drawing criticism after taking credit for Ford Motor Company not moving to Mexico. Denard attempted to explain that the truth doesn’t matter and Lemon wouldn’t let it slide.

Trump tweeted Thursday night, “I worked hard with Bill Ford to keep the Lincoln plant in Kentucky. I owed it to the great State of Kentucky for their confidence in me!”

Trump made the accusation that Ford was moving a Kentucky plant to Mexico in September’s presidential debate. Ford fact-checked Trump’s statement with a graphic showing that they have more American workers than any other auto company. Ford is also bound by a labor contract with the worker’s union that they cannot move their plant to Mexico. It was never in the cards for Ford to move to Mexico, despite Trump’s claims.

Read the whole thing -- the exchange is beyond belief. Sample quote: “It’s not about the truth. It’s about raising awareness[.]”

I simply don't have the words.

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