Fact checkers at PolitiFact have named their annual “Lie of the Year” and credited Fox News and Republican lawmakers in Congress with its spread.
Every year PolitiFact dredges through the lies told by politicians and pundits and determines a winner, so to speak, “based on how broadly a myth or falsehood infiltrates conventional thinking.Â Last year, though many on the left disagreed, theÂ Tampa-based fact-checkers chose Barack Obama’sÂ “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”
What’s theÂ 2014 Lie of the Year? “Exaggerations about Ebola.”
And who are the ones to blame for spreading lies and stretching the truth about an issue that plagued only a handful of people in the U.S., but the minds of millions thanks to their relentless fear-mongering? Fox NewsÂ and Republican politicians.
Yes, specifically, Fox News, and Republican politicians Rand Paul, John McCain, Darrell Issa, Phil Gingrey, Ted Cruz, Tim Murphy, and Cory Gardner, along with conservative right-wing pundits likeÂ Glenn Beck,Â Allen West, Brit Hume, and some nameless bloggers were all cited as spreadingÂ mostly false, false or “pants on fire” false statements on the “Truth-O-Meter.” PolitiFact noted iberal punditÂ Tavis Smiley’s incorrect statement, one that seemed to minimize the danger, andÂ Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor’s use of the issue as a political weapon.
Some examples via PolitiFact:
Fox News analyst George Will claimedÂ Ebola could be spread into the general population through a sneeze or a cough, saying the conventional wisdom that Ebola spreads only through direct contact with bodily fluids was wrong.
“The problem is the original assumption, said with great certitude if not certainty, was that you need to have direct contact, meaning with bodily fluids from someone, because itâ€™s not airborne,” Will said. “There are doctors who are saying that in a sneeze or some cough, some of the airborne particles can be infectious.”Â False.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., described Ebola as “incredibly contagious,” “very transmissible” and “easy to catch.”Â Mostly False.
Internet conspirators claimed President Obama intended to detain people who had signs of illness.Â Pants on Fire. Bloggers also said the outbreak was started in a bioweapons lab funded by George Soros and Bill Gates.Â Pants on Fire. Â Â Â
A Georgia congressman claimed there were reports of people carrying diseases including Ebola across the southern border.Â Pants on Fire. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Americans were told the country would be Ebola-free.Â False.
PolitiFact also indirectly scolded the news media in general, noting that as soon as the Ebola scare subsided in the U.S., “mentions on CNN, Fox News and MSNBC dropped 82 percent, according to a review of closed caption transcripts. Mentions on the three cable networks dipped another 35 percent in the first week of December.”
“At the same time, at least 3,578 more people contracted Ebola, according to the World Health Organization, and another 1,119 people died. Overall, the death toll has crept near 6,400.”
Image via YouTube
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Man Shoots and Kills Atlanta Supermarket Cashier, Wounds Guard Over Mask Policy: Police
A man pulled out a gun and shot and killed an Atlanta-area Big Bear Supermarket cashier over the store’s mask policy, according to police. Two people, including a DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office reserve unit deputy who was inside the supermarket working as a security guard, and the suspect, were also wounded.
“The subject pulled out a weapon and shot a cashier at the location,” DeKalb County Sheriff Melody Maddox said, according to 11Alive. “The individual is deceased.”
“Although details are not complete, authorities say that the male suspect was involved in a dispute with a young woman before he began firing at her inside the store,” the spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said.
There apparently was an altercation over the mask policy, which is clearly posted on the store’s door.
“A witness, identified as Alan Williams, said a man walked into the store, struck the woman with a gun, then shot her. That’s when the deputy and the suspect exchanged gunfire.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
#AbbottFailedTexas Trends as State Electric Authority Warns of Possible Power Outages Again – This Time in Heat Wave
Over the winter at least 151 Texans died as 4.5 million homes and businesses went without power in a massive failure created by poor planning, lack of regulation, and sheer greed.
Last week Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott promised he had fixed the problem.
Everything that needed to be done was done to fix the power grid in Texas.
Today, I signed bills into LAW to reform ERCOT & weatherize & improve the reliability of the state’s power grid.
— Greg Abbott (@GregAbbott_TX) June 8, 2021
On Monday, less than seven days later, ERCOT, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, urged customers to turn air conditioning to no cooler than 78 degrees and to conserve power, as it expects more blackouts throughout the week – this time during extreme heat.
In a statement ERCOT also asked Texans to not use ovens, washing machines, or dryers.
“If you don’t need something – we are asking you to turn it off and unplug it if possible.”
BREAKING: ERCOT is now asking people to conserve electricity through Friday, saying there are a significant number of power plants offline and expecting possible record use for June. pic.twitter.com/zWZkf0bkPq
— Matt Largey (@mattlargey) June 14, 2021
Many Texans, and many Americans, are furious.
— Heather (TX) 🇺🇸 (@hka003) June 14, 2021
Thanks to @GovAbbott, on one of the first hot days, we’re already being told to conserve electricity.
They didn’t FIX the grid because they were too busy legislating women’s vaginas & stopping POC from voting.
VOTE @GregAbbott_TX out in 2022 to save TEXAS!!! #AbbottFailedTexas https://t.co/a97aR7DO2u
— Kelly ツ (@kellwoohoo) June 14, 2021
So now ERCOT ‘CAN’T HANDLE COLD OR HEAT’. Someone should check the flight logs to Cancun bc I’m sure Cruz is already on his way there. And fuck Abbott too #AbbottFailedTexas
— Amelia (@agerson24) June 14, 2021
…are you FREAKING KIDDING ME, Texas?!
ERCOT: Our grid wasn’t built for temperatures this cold!!!
ERCOT: uhm….it’s too hot! How could we ever have anticipated this! https://t.co/vlqcXW6wUN
— Joe Vargas (@AngryJoeShow) June 14, 2021
— KiKi ♡✌🇺🇸🌊👑💙📣 (@KLoYo77) June 14, 2021
What could go possibly wrong with a combination of Texas’s summer power outages and its new conceal-carry for all law?#AbbottFailedTexas
— Truth Integrity Logic Fully Vaccinated (@LogicIntegrity) June 14, 2021
ERCOT has issued a new warning to Cancun that Ted Cruz might be back sooner than expected.
— Richard Hine (@richardhine) June 14, 2021
If you listen closely, you can hear Ted Cruz booking a flight to Cancun https://t.co/gmPLkaeMXi
— Nunca Trumpismo (@NeverTrumpTexan) June 14, 2021
— Rachel (@Rachelmoor29) June 14, 2021
— ₚₒₗᵢₜᵢcₐₗ ⱼₒᵢₙₜ™ (@PoliticalJoint) June 14, 2021
We need Beto.
While Abbott prattles on about a bloody wall, we need our grid repaired now. This is going to a long, hot summer.
— ToutdeSuiteLaSinner (@ToutSuiteSinner) June 14, 2021
FBI Warns Congress of More Possible QAnon Violence Targeting Democratic Lawmakers
The FBI has briefed members of Congress that QAnon “digital soldiers” may become violent and engage in more acts of domestic violent extremism, like the January 6 insurrection. In an unclassified version of the threat assessment delivered to top lawmakers in April the Bureau warns that Democrats may be targeted.
Rather than walking away from the far right wing conspiracy movement that paints some top Democrats as part of a dark cabal of cannibalistic Satan-worshipping pedophiles being fought by Donald Trump, some QAnon cultists think “that individuals need to take greater control of the direction of the movement than before,” CNN reports in an exclusive.
The shift is fueled by a belief among some of the conspiracy’s more militant followers that they “can no longer ‘trust the plan” set forth by its mysterious standard-bearer, known simply as “Q,” according an unclassified FBI threat assessment on QAnon sent to lawmakers last week, which was obtained by CNN.
This might lead followers to seek to harm “perceived members of the ‘cabal’ such as Democrats and other political opposition — instead of continually awaiting Q’s promised actions which have not occurred,” according to the assessment.
CNN also reports FBI Director Christopher Wray “made clear the bureau is not investigating” the QAnon movement, but only crimes committed by its adherents.
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