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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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‘We’re Not Gonna Fix It’: TN Republican Says Congress Can Do Nothing to Stop Gun Violence – Calls for Christian ‘Revival’

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U.S. Rep. Tim Burchett (R-TN) says there’s nothing the 535 elected officials in the House and Senate can do to reduce gun violence and gun deaths.

“We’re not gonna fix it,” Congressman Burchett said on the steps of the Capitol.

“I don’t see any role that we could do other than mess things up, honestly,” he said in response to Monday’s school mass shooting in Nashville, where three nine-year olds and three adults were shot to death by a shooter with two AR-15 style assault rifles and a handgun.

READ MORE: Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting

Instead of Congress enacting stricter gun laws, background checks, and a ban on assault weapons, Congressman Burchett said, “you’ve got to change people’s hearts,” as he called for a Christian revival.

“As a Christian, we talk about the church. I’ve said this many times, I think we really need a revival in this country.”

Monday’s shooting at the Covenant Presbyterian Elementary School was the 130th mass shooting this year in America, bringing the death toll from all gun violence across all causes to 9989, including 403 children 17 or younger, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

Congressman Burchett is a member of the far-right Republican Study Committee, which has strong ties to the National Rifle Association (NRA).

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

On Monday, Burchett released a statement saying, “Kelly and I are praying for everyone at The Covenant School, especially the families of the shooting victims. No one should have to go through that kind of horrific event or lose a loved one like that. I’m so thankful to those brave folks who brought down the shooter and took care of the students and their families.”

Earlier this month Rep. Burchett was one of 26 House Republicans on the Oversight Committee who refused to sign a simple two-sentence statement denouncing white supremacy.

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Trump Trying to ‘Pollute the Jury Pool’ With ‘Gibberish and Obstruction’: Analysis

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Donald Trump has been hurling ominous warnings and racist insults against Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg ahead of a possible indictment, and legal experts fear those threats could provoke violence in the same way his rhetoric fueled the Jan. 6 insurrection.

The former president has attacked state and federal prosecutors “thugs,” claimed two Black district attorneys are “racist” and used anti-Semitic tropes to suggests he’s the victim of a “globalist” conspiracy and cast doubt on the legitimacy of the prosecutors who are investigating him, reported The Guardian.

“Trump cannot stop the judicial process, although he can try to slow it,” said Stephen Gillers, a New York University law professor. “But he can undermine its credibility through his charges and by mobilizing his supporters. I see what he’s doing now as aimed at them, just as he tried to discredit the election returns in their eyes and anger them with baseless charges over the ‘steal.'”

Trump’s legal defenses have recently weakened after federal courts required some of his top aides, including former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, to testify in the Jan. 6 grand jury investigation, and compelled the testimony of his current lawyer Evan Corcoran in the classified documents case, and prosecutions in Manhattan and Georgia also appear to be nearing conclusion.

READ MORE: David Pecker is a ‘critical witness’ who could get Trump charged with a ‘second crime’: former prosecutor

“If I were on the prosecution teams in Manhattan or Georgia, I would expect Trump to assert every defense he can think of, including accusing the prosecutors of misconduct,” said Barbara McQuade, a former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of Michigan.

“None of these accusations about the motives of prosecutors, however, will negate the evidence of Trump’s own crimes,” McQuade added. “A jury will focus on the facts and the law, and not any of this name calling. The Trump strategy may work in the court of public opinion, but not in a court of law.”

Trump’s lawyers are using his trusted stalling tactic by raising “specious” objections in Georgia, according to former Watergate prosecutor Phlip Lacovara, and Trump is “trying to pollute the jury pool” with attacks on Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg.

“All he needs is one juror who believes this is all a concocted plot,” Lacovara said.

Trump used many of the same tactics in his attempt to overturn his 2020 election loss, which ultimately led to the deadly U.S. Capitol attack.

“This is more of what we saw during the election,” said Donald Ayer, who served as deputy attorney general in the George H. W. Bush administration. “He throws up gibberish and obstruction.”

 

Image: Hunter Crenian/Shutterstock

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Tennessee Governor Slammed After ‘Praying’ for Nashville School Community Without Mentioning Mass Shooting

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Governor Bill Lee quickly drew tremendous outrage in the wake of a school mass shooting where six people including three young children were shot to death. Social media users criticized the Tennessee Republican, who had signed a permit-less gun carry law, for declaring he was “praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community,” without posting any mention of the mass shooting.

Tweeting he was “closely monitoring the tragic situation at Covenant,” Gov. Lee said, “As we continue to respond, please join us in praying for the school, congregation & Nashville community.”

There was no mention of any loss of life, and, as Moms Demand Action founder Shannon Watts passionately noted, the “situation” was a mass shooting.

“If thoughts and prayers alone worked to stop gun violence, there wouldn’t have been a shooting at a Christian elementary school. It’s your actions – including weakening the state’s gun laws – that’s killing kids in Tennessee,” Watts also tweeted. “SHAME ON YOU.”

Gov. Lee signed a permit-less carry bill into law in 2021, at a Beretta gun manufacturing plant.

According to the CDC, as of 2020 – one year before the permit-less carry bill was signed into law – Tennessee ranked tenth in the nation in per-capita firearm mortality.

READ MORE: ‘Our Children Deserve Better’: First Lady Jill Biden Speaks Out After Six Die in Nashville School Mass Shooting

Meanwhile, others took notice of the gun culture Gov. Lee has fostered in “The Volunteer State.”

MSNBC analyst and Bulwark writer Tim Miller commented, “Tennessee governor Bill Lee issued a statement recently about how the drag ban in Tennessee ‘protects children.’ If only he would have instead focused on laws that might have prevented the mass murder of children in his state today.”

Historian Kevin Kruse pointed to an article from last year, after the Uvalde, Texas school shooting, titled: “Rep. Clemmons Seeks Renewed Gun Laws, Gov. Lee Requests Prayer.”

“You chose prayer over gun reforms last year after the Uvalde massacre,” Kruse wrote. “And now here we are.”

The progressive website Tennessee Holler pointed out that Gov. Lee, along with GOP lawmakers, “just appointed Jordan Mollenhour to the [state] board of education— whose company was sued for selling ammo to an underage mass killer (SANTA FE) and sold ammo to at least one more (AURORA) He has ZERO education experience.”

Let’s Give a Damn founder Nick Laparra tweeted, “We are 86 days into 2023. So far, 9859 people have died by gun violence and there have been 128 mass shootings. Meanwhile, @GovBillLee spends his days being outraged over drag queens and CRT and book bans. This is Bill Lee’s and the GOP’s fault.”

See the tweets and video above or at this link.

READ MORE: New WSJ Poll Is Devastating for DeSantis and His ‘Anti-Woke’ Policies

 

 

 

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