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No, the NBA Has Not Canceled the 2017 All-Star Game in North Carolina Over Anti-LGBT Law

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Fake News Site Hoodwinks Many

The NBA has not announced it is moving the 2017 All-Star game out of Charlotte if North Carolina lawmakers and Governor Pat McCrory do not repeal an anti-LGBT law within the next month. A fake “news” site this weekend claimed NBA Commissioner Adam Silver told reporters in a news conference they had 30 days to repeal HB2 or he would move the game out of state.

“With this new law in place, Charlotte currently does not have any anti-discrimination protection in place, something that would be vital for a large event such as the All-Star Game,” the fake news site, ABCNews.com.co wrote, falsely quoting NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

Cleveland.com reported the fake story, including the same quote, in an article with an AP byline, without noting its source. PinkNews, an LGBT news site in England, also published the fake “news,” and also did not note its source. The Sun-Times network also reported the story, later.

It does not appear that NBA Commissioner Adam Silver held a press conference today.

“We are giving the state of North Carolina 30 days to repeal this law or they can expect the 2017 All-Star game to be held elsewhere. I want to make it clear that the NBA will not stand for this type of intolerance and hate,” the fake “ABC News” site wrote. 

The fake news site forced the NBA to tweet a response denying it:

But many on social media understandably thought the story was true, leading at least one local journalist to attempt to correct the record.

NCRM called the AP to in an attempt to get the story corrected, or verify its accuracy, but was transferred to a voicemail box by an AP telephone operator that was full. 

UPDATE I: 7:56 PM EDT –
The AP story has been taken down at Cleveland.com, with no explanation or correction. Other AP outlets have published it. Here’s a screenshot of the original:

1.jpg

And here is it at Archive.org.

UPDATE II: April 11 1:03 PM EDT –
The Associated Press reached out to NCRM several times since we first published this report. We offered to publish their explanation:

“The Associated Press did not publish the story and Cleveland.com erroneously published with an AP byline.”

Additionally, Chris Quinn, Vice President of Content, at Cleveland.com, the news site that published the story including the AP byline, Monday afternoon posted a lengthy mea culpa – something good publishers sometimes have to do (I speak from experience!) 

Quinn, in part, writes that “over the weekend, someone created a site that carefully mimicked the ABC news website and included a fake story about the NBA threatening to pull next year’s All Star Game out of Charlotte in protest of North Carolina’s new law. At cleveland.com, we saw that story, believed it to be real and decided to post the news on our website.”

That was our first mistake. This kind of news rarely is reported by a single national news organization. We should have found other sources, and, finding none, questioned how ABC would be alone in reporting this story. If we had done the basics, we would have figured out pretty quickly that we were seeing an impostor ABC website.

Our second mistake was in how we reported the fake news. We combined it with an Associated Press story about the North Carolina controversy but left the AP byline on what we published. That made it appear that the Associated Press had been duped by the impostor website. That’s not fair to the Associated Press, a valued partner for cleveland.com.

We have now updated this story in three ways, for accuracy and fairness, given this new information. First, we removed from the very first sentence at the top a reference to the AP. Second, we have added this update, and the one before it, both clearly marked. Third, we have adjusted the story to reflect that the Cleveland.com story was published with an AP byline, changing our statement that the AP appeared to have published the article – even though, clearly, it did appear so (screenshot above).

A few things more. First, NCRM published our story because it was clear the fake news story was being read by many people who understandably thought it was real. Out goal was to ensure the fake news was identified as fake, and before publishing our piece we called both the AP and Cleveland.com but were unable to reach live people who could help. Second, once they were aware, the AP appears to have worked hard to fix what they could in this event, and were gracious and earnest about working with NCRM. I’d like to thank Lauren Easton at the AP for her partnership.

Lastly, about fake news sites. We’ve all been duped. Sadly, the law does not require (to the best of my knowledge) fake news sites to identify their “articles” as fake. Hopefully, that one day will change, given the amount of false information some news sites and blogs publish, which only serves make our national conversation even more fraught with anger and disaffection.

 

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MERRY CHRISTMAS - EXCEPT FOR THE GAYS?

Watch: Ben Shapiro Demands LGBTQ People Leave Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and His ‘Fragile Flying Back’ Alone

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Right wing extremist Ben Shapiro is demanding LGBTQ people leave Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer alone. Shapiro, who runs the far right website The Daily Wire, says the popular children’s Christmas character has enough problems and doesn’t need any more.

“Can’t you just leave Rudolph alone?” Shapiro asked on his radio show. “Like, he’s got enough problems without you putting your own issues with sexual orientation on his fragile flying back.”

Shapiro, who is virulently anti-LGBTQ, was reading from Wednesday’s New York Times opinion piece, “‘Rudolph,’ the Queerest Holiday Special.”

“As for ‘Rudolph,’ the whole movie feels as L.G.B.T.Q. friendly to me as any episode of ‘Queer Eye’ or ‘Steven Universe’ or ‘The L Word.'”

“Except for the fact that,” Shapiro notes, “You know, Rudolph doesn’t have sex with any of the other male reindeer.”

Shapiro, like many other conservatives, boils being gay down to having sex.

“I’m particularly tired of the hijacking of children’s literature and children’s specials to promote political viewpoints on sexual matters,” Shapiro, who apparently is unfamiliar with LGBTQ people and culture, says. “Like, it’s a piece of children’s literature, cut it out.”

Related: Ben Shapiro Slammed as ‘Very Outspoken Bigot’ for Calling World Cup Champ Megan Rapinoe an ‘Outspoken Lesbian’

“The left likes to play this game a lot when it comes to TV,” Shapiro says, wrongly, accusing some LGBTQ people of “hijacking” SpongeBob SquarePants.

(It’s important to note that Shapiro is having this conversation with himself on his radio show while the U.S. House of Representatives is engaged in a debate over impeaching the President.)

He then went on to accuse “some members of ther LGBT community” in the early ’90s of “sugggesting that some of the Teletubbies were gay.”

“Jerry Falwell made a comment about, ‘Well, the Teletubbies aren’t gay,'” Shapiro insisted, falsely. “It’s silly to try and hijack children’s characters and the left was like, ‘A ha, trolled you, trolled you,” Shapiro said.

Except that’s not what happened, not at all.

Jerry Falwell is the far right religious extremist who is best remembered for these comments about the 9/11 terror attacks:

“I really believe that the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU, People For the American Way, all of them who have tried to secularize America. I point the finger in their face and say ‘you helped this happen.'”

And it was Jerry Falwell, not LGBTQ people, who said one of the Teletubbies was gay.

“Tinky Winky, one of four characters on the children’s TV show ‘Teletubbies,’ is gay and therefore a moral menace to American youth, the former Moral Majority leader Jerry Falwell warns,” The New York Times reported in May of 1999. “Mr. Falwell said the creators of the program intended for Tinky Winky to be a gay role model.”

”He is purple — the gay-pride color; and his antenna is shaped like a triangle — the gay-pride symbol,” he wrote. He also noted that Tinky Winky carries a purse-like bag.

Seems Shapiro just can’t seem to get anything straight.

And as for “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer,” yes, that New York Times opinion piece is correct.

Watch:

 

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COMMENTARY

Trump White House Already Scripting How Impeachment Trial Will Play Out? WH Counsel Just Walked Into McConnell’s Office

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Just how much control will the Trump White House have over the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump?

Consider this.

The White House Counsel, Pat Cipollone, just walked into Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office. Chances are good it wasn’t for a friendly game of checkers.

And Cipollone was accompanied by Eric Ueland, a former member of the Trump transition team who Trump tried to hand a top State Dept. job to but was forced to pull his nomination. A recent promotion has elevated him to now serving as the White House Director of Legislative Affairs, after spending years working for then-Senator Jeff Sessions.

One thing is clear: the Senate should not be working with the White House to pre-determine how the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will be conducted or will play out.

Remember, it was just six says ago that Cipollone sent this angry letter to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, effectively saying Trump and the White House would not participate in the House’s impeachment hearings.

Cipollone called the impeachment inquiry “baseless.” He insisted it was both a waste of time and should be done “fast” so Trump could win in the Senate.

Experts say Cipollone’s December 6 letter in conjunction with his repeated refusal to hand over any documents or comply with congressional subpoenas may have forced the House to add the obstruction charge to the Articles of Impeachment.

Which apparently is where we are today.

 

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DUDE

Matt Gaetz Probably Isn’t the Best to Go After Someone’s Drug Use: Internet Cautions Republican Congressman

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Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) probably isn’t the best person to make an argument against driving under the influence given his own arrests. Even Rep Hank Johnson (D-GA) cautioned against “the pot calling the kettle black,” during the Thursday House Judiciary Committee hearing.

Gaetz was arrested for a DUI in 2008 on suspicion of a DUI after he refused a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer test. Just two years later he was elected to the Florida state legislature and by 2016 he was in Congress.

According to the arrest report, Gaetz was driving home from a nightclub when he was pulled over for driving 48 in a 35 mile-per-hour zone, the Tampa Bay Times reported. He was driving a BMW that belonged to his father, state Sen. Don Gaetz. The case was subsequently dropped.

“I’m of the view that that is part of who I am,” said the Fort Walton Beach Republican, who in 2016 will seek the seat now held by his father, Senate President Don Gaetz. “I made bad decisions that resulted in an arrest, and that is sort of something that we all live with.”

Related: Top MAGA Congressman Mocked for ‘Threatening to Retroactively Impeach Obama’

It was something the internet cautioned should probably be addressed by anyone other than Gaetz if they’re going to somehow go after the former vice president’s son for drug use.

You can see Rep. Johnsons’ comments here.

You can read the tweets below:

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