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Author: EdwardM

Journalism: When fictional news is life threatening – #CNBC earns an F for reckless errors in reporting

Journalism: When fictional news is life threatening – #CNBC earns an F for reckless errors in reporting

Perennial fictional news reporter CNBC tops them all in an article about the shortage of epinephrine auto-injectors (also known by the brand name Epi-Pen).

They illustrate the article with a photo of a child being injected with insulin in the arm – but falsely label it as a child receiving an EpiPen injection. Epinephrine auto injectors are used on the thigh muscle, not the arm.

CNBC made a reckless and dangerous error that could be life threatening by training the public to misuse an EpiPen. The original photo they used was clearly labeled as an insulin injection but CNBC intentionally and false changed it to say it is an EpiPen injection.

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Propaganda: Survey finds that after being told a recession is near, many think a recession is near :)

Propaganda: Survey finds that after being told a recession is near, many think a recession is near :)

Survey finds that people who are being constantly told that a recession is near, start to believe that a recession is near:) Numerous predictions of a near term recession, or some that proclaimed us to already be in a recession this past year, have proven wrong. In fact, no one has demonstrated any ability to accurately forecast future recessions. But constant fear mongering may actually create a recession! Fear mongering causes a reduction in spending, causing a reduction in economic activity and a slow down in business activity, leading to cut backs and layoffs.

Climate communications: Time Magazine changes headline three times, uses false headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”

Climate communications: Time Magazine changes headline three times, uses false headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”

Time Magazine engaged in deliberate, and false, propaganda messaging to influence readers to take action. After contacting the magazine, they did, at least, revise the headline (for the 3rd time). They began with the accurate headline “How Asthma Inhalers are Contributing to Climate Change” but immediately changed it and promoted this rude and 100% false headline: “How Asthma Inhalers are Choking the Planet”.

First, making crude humor of asthmatics “choking” is not funny and is rude and insensitive. Second, it is physically impossible for inhalers to be “choking the planet”. In homes where someone uses an inhaler, annual inhaler usage produces about 1% of the total CO2-equivalent gases emitted by the home and life activities during the course of a year. If all inhalers were eliminated tomorrow, there would be no measurable impact on weather or climate over the next 100 years. A worst case inhaler, using data cited by Time and BMJ, produces about half the CO2-equivalent GHC as does a person breathing and exhaling CO2. Seriously. Just breathing is a bigger threat than using inhalers.

Time eventually changed the headline to the better, but still misleading “How One Commonly Used Asthma Inhaler is Damaging the Planet”. Their fiction story also referenced the wrong gas used as a propellant, cited an exaggerated greenhouse gas effect multiplier from an environmental activist group rather than the more modest IPCC AR5 science-based estimate, and then omitted many article changes from their Corrections List. The text itself continues to climate shame asthmatics with the false “Choking the Planet” claim.

This is an example of garbage journalism and how not to do do climate communications.

Propaganda method: Recycle old stories that are years out of date-“The American Dream Is Killing Us”

Propaganda method: Recycle old stories that are years out of date-“The American Dream Is Killing Us”

Recycling an old opinion column by an author who focuses on persuading you that life is miserable, not fair and getting worse – is an interesting twist on propaganda. The date – its old -is not presented until a footnote at the very end of the very long column; the column was written during the recovery from The Great Recession, immediately after significant economic turmoil. This is the media’s usual focus on negativity by an author who makes his living on negativity.

Climate communications: Poll indicates messaging has led to untrue beliefs

Climate communications: Poll indicates messaging has led to untrue beliefs

A majority of those polled in most Asian/Pacific countries, and nearly half in Middle Eastern countries believe that humanity will go extinct due to climate change. There is no scientific or evidence-based basis for these beliefs – none. This illustrates the power of propaganda messaging to create beliefs that are unsupportable by evidence.

Climate communications: “Windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought”

Climate communications: “Windfarms kill 10-20 times more than previously thought”

“Windfarms kill 10-20 times more birds” sounds really scary – until you discover it is less than 1/1000th the number of bird kills caused by cats, crashing into buildings, vehicles and power lines each year. Seems that this item may be advocating against taking steps to reduce CO2-equivalent outputs, but like much propaganda, uses the method of cherry picking to give the target an incomplete picture.