There are too many half-truths and purposefully misleading information in news right now. A few posts have been removed from this site due to those reasons, and there are three that I would like to use as examples.
13 Feb 2017 – Trump turns Mar-a-Lago Club terrace into open-air situation room
This story broke when North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile and Trump was at his Mar-a-Lago club with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The article from Washington Post stated the following:
“What was happening … was an extraordinary moment, as Trump and Abe turned their dinner table into an open-air situation room. Aides and translators surrounded the two leaders as other diners chatted and gawked around them, with staffers using the flashlights on their cellphones to illuminate documents on the darkened outdoor terrace.
As Weitzman and other patrons watched Saturday evening, Trump and Abe remained at the table and discussed their response to a ballistic missile test by North Korea. While waiters came and went — and while one club member snapped photos — the two leaders reviewed documents by the light of an aide’s cellphone.
That strange scene — in which Trump turned his table into an al fresco situation room — astounded White House veterans, who were used to presidents retiring to private, secured settings to hash out such an event.
DeAgazio told The Post that after Trump and Abe had spoken for a few minutes, they left the open terrace and spent about 10 minutes in private before conducting a joint news conference at about 10:30 p.m.”
The last paragraph comes at the very end of a rather large article. Now, all the information is there for those who sit down a read the entire story, but we all know it’s the headline that gets spread and seen the most while many people who click only skim the first few snippets.
No one but the few who were at the table with Trump know what those documents were, nor does anyone else know if those documents were classified or not. I also have not seen any source on what exactly was said between the two world leaders, so it seems that they were not overheard.
However, the way this story is framed makes it sound like Trump was blasting state secrets from the terrace, and that’s what people are going to take away from this story.
Should he have stayed out on the terrace? Probably not, but then again, we don’t know what was said or what he was looking at. Only at the end of the article does the Washington Post mention that “they left the open terrace and spent about 10 minutes in private”.
This whole article blew up about Trump’s incompetence, but, if you read the entire article, it boils down that he got the news about the test-fire, had relevant info presented to him, and left to a more secure spot.
This story was removed for misleading information. Moving on to a story that seemed to be flat-out lying.
18 Feb 2017 – Leaked tape reveals Trump invited club guests to ‘come along’ during cabinet interviews
“We’re doing a lot of interviews tomorrow — generals, dictators, we have everything,” Trump says in the tape, obtained by Politico and published Saturday. “You may wanna come around. It’ll be fun. We’re really working tomorrow. We have meetings every 15, 20 minutes with different people that will form our government.“
Link to the leaked tape
The hot thing right now is to hate on Trump. I can understand why people can find joy in that, but nowhere in that tape does he say the bolded part above. If you want to hate him, do so based on facts. The tape itself is cut in many places. Could he have said the general/dictator line? Possibly, but where can we hear it? It’s not in the tape. Who is the person saying that those words came out of his mouth?
Yes, he told the club members, “You are the special people.” That’s not great, but if you listen to the tape, he’s not saying they are now a sect who is above the law, but expressing thanks to them for being there from the very beginning. Also, the way he extends the offer join in on staff interviews was done so at the end in an off-the-cuff, Trump-styled brag.
Trump needs to make grand efforts to further himself from his prior businesses, and this tape is not helping his situation. But the tape is also not as damning as many sources portray it to be. Politico, The Hill, and Mirror.uk all have the general/dictator line, but none have the audio of it.
17 Feb 2017 – Trump tweets: The media is the ‘enemy of the American people’
The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017”
I have changed the title on this website to: 17 Feb 2017 – Trump tweets: The ‘FAKE NEWS media’ is the ‘enemy of the American people’
There’s a great number of worrisome things surrounding this tweet, you don’t need to intentionally tweak the title to make it even worse.
This headline is simply misleading. Using The Hill as the foundation for this story (although many other outlets reported it the same way), you can see that the headline is only half-true. Sure, it sticks out that Trump never criticizes right-leaning sources, and attacks those who are critical of him. And that the president shouldn’t try to destroy an entire block of news networks. But, again, the way this story was reported makes it seem like he wants to destroy the entire news/media conglomerate, which is not true.
Like I said, if you want to hate on Trump, do so. But do so using truths and not on sensationalized/misleading headlines.
To lightly touch on the “FAKE NEWS!” buzz-phrase going around. People color an entire news agency at the hint of misleading/false information. Yeah, it would be great to have a purely honest, straight-forward news agency that didn’t have to rely on a subscriber base to succeed, I wish you the best of luck in finding that. Meanwhile, the news sources we do have should be lambasted for rushing an article that’s only half-correct, covered in spelling errors, and full of click-bait.
But it’s important not to shove your fingers in you ears and refuse to even listen to a story because it’s from somewhere you’ve had a bad experience with. Use critical thinking at any site you look at. To close your mind from any news source (from CNN to Fox) solely based on personal bias means you’ve already lost.
One last thing before I get too preachy or my soap-box gets too high. I’ve interacted with a great many people since this site’s inception 11 days ago. Within those days, this site has seen more than 39,500 unique visitors and over 1,100,000 hits. Many have offered help from web development, source-checking, and encouragement. I’m thankful for all the help.
Many also have called me a shill, tried hacking my password, and called me a “Fake News spreader”.
To each his own of course, but I bring this up because I want to mention a particular interaction I had with someone who wasn’t a fan of this site.
It started with him attacking the site and saying I was just trying to spread more misinformation when I was just getting the word out about what I was trying to do.
It is so easy to attack on the net, and I was about send a snarky, retaliatory reply when I stopped and rewrote what I was about to say. I ended up talking to him, discussing certain aspects of posts that could be misleading. We reached a middle ground and he ended up encouraging me to write this opinion piece, and I thank him for it.
What if I sent that snarky response? What if I matched aggression with aggression? This site would not have grown. I’d have one less reader. I would not be pursuing this avenue to connect with those who visit this site.
The insensitivity behind anonymous internet posts is bleeding more and more into real-life. I feel no one should be purely democratic and no one should be purely republican. To restrict yourself to one of two camps severely limits possibilities to come together and be stronger. To discount someone’s entire view because they are on the “opposite team” will hurt you just as much it will hurt the cause the other person holds close to them.
There’s lot going on right now that’s getting everyone angry and more divisive than ever.
But there’s a lot of good that can come from this. A spotlight has been focused on our government and DNC like never before. More people are getting involved in politics because they want to see less corruption. People are taking the time to learn voting dates and procedures. Protest/marches are coming to the forefront, with the Women Protest garnering more than 4.5 million people around the world. Not one reported act of violence. Of course not, what with everyone’s mother being there…
Right now, the scab that has been covering the US government has been scratched off and the nastiness that lied beneath for so long is exposed to the world. Do we let other countries/ourselves rub dirt in it, letting it scab up again? Or do we try to take care of it right this time and have it heal correctly?
P.S.- Let me know if you want to see more of this kind of post by sending an e-mail to [email protected]. I’ve never written anything like this before and if you think this helps or brings down the site, let me know. Even one or two words like “Neat” or “stop it” would be helpful.