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Right Wing’s ‘Smear Machine’ That Attacked Parkland School Shooting Victims Wins ‘Lie of the Year’ Award



They called Parkland, Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas student David Hogg a “crisis actor.”

They said MSD student Emma González was a communist who has ties to Cuba.

They accused her of ripping up the U.S. Constitution.

They claimed Hogg was actually brought in from California and wasn’t even at the school that day.

These were all lies.

They lied. Repeatedly. About children who had just suffered a horrific act of violence.

Donald Trump Jr. liked a tweet by a conservative TV show host Graham Ledger that linked to a story by the Gateway Pundit website stating that David Hogg was ‘coached on anti-Trump lines.'”

So says PolitiFact, the Pulitzer prize winning fact-checking group created by the Tampa Bay Times (it’s now owned by the Poynter Institute). PolitiFact has just named the “smear machine” that attacked the Parkland Students its “Lie of the Year.”

They write: “the lies against the Parkland students in the wake of unspeakable tragedy were the most significant falsehoods of 2018. We name them PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year.”

PolitiFact attempts to claim the push back to these lies was “bipartisan,” offering up remarks from Florida GOP Senator Marco Rubio was proof, but that’s at best a stretch.

The lies, the attacks, the smears all came from the right and the far right.

In the month after the Valentine’s Day massacre at Parkland that stole 17 lives and forever changed those who survived, The Guardian published a report: “How rightwingers have attacked Parkland students with lies, hoaxes and smears.”

A sampling:

Alt-right social media company Gab was one of many that disseminated a doctored animation of Gonzalez in which she falsely appeared to be tearing up the US constitution. Cartoonist and Trump sycophant Ben Garrison depicted Hogg as an assault rifle, wielded by CNN, and loaded with Marxism. Breitbart re-published a round of tweets accusing Hogg of throwing a Nazi salute.

On Front Page – an outlet led by David Horowitz, whose main stock in trade is virulent Islamophobia – Bruce Thornton decried Hogg’s “profanity laced tantrums” and reduced him and his fellow students to political “shock troops” being manipulated by a progressive “ideology of melodrama and moral exhibitionism”.

Alex Jones thought it wise to continue his dispute with Hogg over whether chemical additives in water really turn frogs gay. The website WND simply called him “Vile Hogg”.

Image by Phil Roeder via Flickr and a CC license

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Trump Issues Stunningly False Statement Criticizing Biden for ‘Attack’ on US Oil Reserves



Donald Trump, the disgraced, former president who is reportedly planning a third campaign, on Tuesday released an exceptionally false statement criticizing President Joe Biden for taking action to combat increasing gas and home heating oil prices.

President Biden Tuesday morning announced he has authorized 50 million barrels of oil to be sold from the U.S. Strategic Oil Reserves, a move that should help lower oil and gas prices that have risen because of OPEC+ policies. Biden is making the move in conjunction with similar moves by five other countries: China, India, Japan, South Korea and the U.K.

“We expect the industry to be passing through these savings to consumers as quickly as possible,” a White House official said, as The Wall Street Journal reports.

“The president stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic,” the White House added.

Trump, in a statement released to the press, outright lied about Biden’s move, and about his own performance and that of other U.S. Presidents.

“For decades our Country’s very important Strategic Oil Reserves were low or virtually empty in that no President wanted to pay the price of filling them up. I filled them up three years ago, right to the top, when oil prices were very low. Those reserves are meant to be used for serious emergencies, like war, and nothing else,” Trump falsely claimed.

As The New York Times’ Peter Baker notes, the Strategic Oil Reserves (technically the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,) were far from empty when Trump took office, but they were far less full when he left:

That’s not the only lie Trump told.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is authorized to hold up to 714 million barrels (in 2009 it was 727 million barrels), so they were nearly full when Trump took office. He also exposed his ignorance about how the federal government “buys” the oil. The oil is effectively traded to the government as payment (royalties) for drilling leases so presidents not wanting to “pay the price of filling them up” is false as well.

Here’s a graph from the U.S. government showing how many barrels of oil are in the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves, starting in 1980. At no time were they “low or virtually empty,” not ever. The chart is highlighted to indicate the day Trump was sworn in to office:

The Reserves have been tapped about 20 times since they were first created in 1975, including to reduce the deficit in 1996 and 1997, in 2011 during the Arab Spring, and as loans to oil companies.




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‘We Literally Ran Out of Toilet Paper’: ‘Ghoul’ Kellyanne Conway Slammed for Lying ‘No Supply Chain Crisis’ Under Trump



Kellyanne Conway is being criticized and mocked after lying that the U.S. saw no supply chain crisis under Donald Trump.

“I worked in that White House for four years,” the former Senior Counselor to the President said on Fox News’ “Hannity” Monday night. “We never even heard of a such of a thing. There was no supply chain crisis.”

People on social media went ballistic, remembering all the products they could not get, including essentials.

“Nurses were wearing goddamn trash bags,” said one Twitter user.

A former senior spokesperson for Hillary Clinton, Jesse Ferguson, went off on Conway: “Doctors and nurses couldn’t get masks and gloves,” he tweeted. “Americans couldn’t even get toilet paper. This is another set of Alternative Facts cooked up at the Bowling Green Massacre.”

“Except when you couldn’t buy toilet paper. Or canned goods. Or dehydrated food. Or masks. Or milk. Or flour,” tweeted Mark Banker.

“Most people will mention the toilet paper drama, but I remember Doctors and Nurses begging for PPE and Trump went on TV to call them liars and thieves, and how many of them died as they caught a virus they might not have if they had the correct equipment. This woman is a ghoul,” said another Twitter user.

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‘Lying a Lot’: CNN Fact Checker Busts Trump Spokesperson’s False Election ‘Fraud’ Claims Attacking Democrats



The current spokesperson for the former president is being criticized for “lying a lot” after she posted false statements about the California recall election, which failed Tuesday night. Voters by an overwhelming majority clearly chose to retain Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, and there are no credible reports of fraud.

That fact did not stop Trump spokesperson Liz Harrington from spreading the false claims of fraud – false according to CNN’s Daniel Dale, the unimpeachable fact checker who documented and debunked most of the lies Donald Trump said as a 2016 candidate and as president.

“The spokesperson for the former president is out here lying a lot about American elections. It is not good,” Dale tweeted Wednesday morning, including screenshots of Harrington’s false statements. Her tweets were posted at 4:50 PM ET and 5:10 PM ET on Tuesday, about six hours before the polls had even closed. She also offered zero proof for her claims.

Harrington, according to The Independent, was hired by Trump after being “editor-in-chief at War Room, an influential far-right website and podcast from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, where hosts and guests regularly supported conspiracy theories about a ‘rigged’ 2020 election, skepticism about vaccines, and the idea that Covid came from a lab leak in China. The show’s YouTube channel was removed for spreading false claims about the election, but it consistently ranks as a top podcast on the Apple charts.”

Here’s Dale’s tweet with the screenshots of Harrington’s false claims:

Not only are Harrington’s claims baseless, the recall results were called by every major news organization in about 30 to 60 minutes after the polls closed, proving her conspiracy theory not only baseless but impossible.

Despite Twitter permanently suspending Donald Trump’s account, the social media giant has come under fire for allowing Harrington to continue to promote Trump’s words, including his press releases.

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