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PolitiFact Awards ‘Lie of the Year’ to Fake News, Readers Choose Entire 2016 Election

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‘Fake News, the Phenomenon That Is Now Sweeping, Well, the News’

Every year the editors at PolitiFact scour the past tweleve months of stories to determine what they see as the “Lie of the Year.” Sarah Palin’s “death panels” lie won in 2009, while ObamaCare opponents’ claim the Affordable Care Act was a “government takeover of healthcare” won in 2010. This year, the “Lie of the Year” has been awarded in a rare bipartisan, equal opportunity fashion: Fake News gets the crown.

The fact checking organization explains why “fake news, the phenomenon that is now sweeping, well, the news,” won.

“Fake news is made-up stuff, masterfully manipulated to look like credible journalistic reports that are easily spread online to large audiences willing to believe the fictions and spread the word,” PolitiFact reports, offering these examples:

Fake news: Hillary Clinton is running a child sex ring out of a pizza shop.

Fake news: Democrats want to impose Islamic law in Florida.

Fake news: Thousands of people at a Donald Trump rally in Manhattan chanted, “We hate Muslims, we hate blacks, we want our great country back.”

Meanwhile, PolitiFact readers voted to award the “Lie of the Year” award to the entire 2016 election.

But the PolitiFact fact-checkers also devolved into a typical practice that they don’t call out: false equivalency. 

“Fake news found a willing enabler in Trump, who at times uttered outrageous falsehoods and legitimized made-up reports. Clinton emboldened her detractors and turned off undecideds with a lawyerly parsing of facts that left many feeling that she was lying. Her enemies ran wild.”

Notice how Clinton presenting the facts she wanted to, while, as Trump did too, ignoring those she didn’t care for, is positioned to equate to Trump’s blatant lies, like saying he won the popular vote – if you take out the 3 million illegal votes. 

There is no comparison.

And in fact, PolitiFact’s own examination of Trump’s comments vs. Clinton’s comments show Trump told the truth, to varying degrees, just 30% of the time, while Clinton told the truth 75% of the time, based on the comments PolitiFact editors checked.

Still, it’s good that this fake news plague America is besieged by is at least getting attention, and news consumers are growing more careful. 

That’s a win.

 

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Madison Cawthorn Retains High-Powered GOP Attorney for Case Seeking to Disqualify Him as an Insurrectionist

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U.S. Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) is facing several six challengers to his seat in the House of Representatives this year. Two Democrats will face off, with one becoming their party’s nominee. Four Republicans are primarying the far-right freshman lawmaker, one of those five will go on to face the Democratic challenger.

But Congressman Cawthorn is facing an even great challenge, and he’s taking it seriously.

A group of attorneys is looking at both the 14 Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and North Carolina law, in an attempt to have him declared an insurrectionist and therefore unfit to serve.

“No person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress,” the 14th Amendment reads, “who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress…shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof.”

The New York Times Tuesday night reports “Mr. Cawthorn, 26, who is in his first term in Congress, has denounced the case as an egregious misreading of the 14th Amendment, but he has retained James Bopp Jr., one of the most prominent conservative campaign lawyers in the country, as counsel.”

Bopp, known as being one of the attorneys who won the democracy-damning Citizens United case at the Supreme Court, flooding American politics with millions (billions?) in dark money. He’s also been a vice-chair of the RNC, and is recognized as a top conservative lawyer.

The Times adds that “North Carolina’s election statute offers challengers a remarkably low bar to question a candidate’s constitutional qualifications for office. Once someone establishes a ‘reasonable suspicion or belief’ that a candidate is not qualified, the burden shifts to the officeseeker to prove otherwise.”

Other Republicans are likely worried, which should have some wondering who’s footing the bill for Bopp.

“If Mr. Cawthorn is labeled an ‘insurrectionist,’ that could have broader ramifications. Other Republican House members, such as Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, Mo Brooks of Alabama, Paul Gosar of Arizona, and Lauren Boebert of Colorado, face similar accusations, but their state’s election laws present higher hurdles for challenges to their candidate qualifications. If one of their colleagues is disqualified for his role in encouraging the rioters, those hurdles might become easier to clear.”

Read the entire Times report here.

 

 

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Chasten Buttigieg Slams Florida GOP’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ Bill for ‘Pushing LGBTQ Families Back Into the Closet’

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Former school teacher Chasten Buttigieg is slamming Florida legislation dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which would ban discussion of LGBTQ issues in public schools under the guise of “parental rights,” saying it will “kill kids.”

Appearing on CNN Buttigieg asked, “what kind of country we’re building, or in Florida, what kind of state are you building where you’re essentially pushing kids back into the closet, you’re saying we can’t talk about you? We can’t even talk about your families.”

“And you know, as a kid who grew up for 18 years, being told, ‘you don’t belong, something about you is wrong.’ Sometimes you take that trauma to heart and unfortunately there are a lot of kids in this country who do the worst because we tell them, ‘something about you is twisted and you don’t belong here.'”

Buttigieg railed against the bill over the weekend, posting a tweet pointing to a Trevor Project study that he says found “42% of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide last year.”

The bill, sponsored by freshman Republican state Rep. Joe Harding, in part reads: “A school district may not encourage classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in primary grade levels or in a manner that is not age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Buttigieg, who is married to Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, said, “if kids come into the classroom Monday morning, and they’re all talking about their weekends, and hypothetically a kid like mine says, ‘I had the best weekend with my dad. We went to the zoo, we went and got ice cream,’ is the teacher supposed to say, ‘hey, we don’t talk about things like that in this classroom’? You know, and not only what does that do to kids like mine, but also do to a kid in the classroom [who is] starting to realize that they’re different.”

Watch:

Image by Pete for America via Flickr

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Psaki Schools Doocy on Trump’s Infamous Twitter Tantrums After He Whines About ‘Hashtag’ Diplomacy

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White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki responded to a question from Fox News correspondent Peter Doocy on Tuesday by reminding him that former President Donald Trump had a history of conducting diplomacy through tantrums on Twitter.

At a White House press briefing, Doocy asked why Secretary of State Antony Blinken had expressed support for Ukraine on Twitter with the hashtag “#IStandWithUkraine.”

“Has that ever worked in stopping an authoritarian regime from doing anything, a hashtag?” Doocy wondered.

“I will have to say that, unlike the last administration, we don’t think Twitter is the only means of engaging or negotiating or discussing important topics,” Psaki replied. “But it is important for us to convey to the Ukrainian people who do view commentary through a range of forums.”

Watch the video below from Fox News.

 

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