Newsweek did it again. They just keep making things up. I grew up on Newsweek and this surely isn’t the Newsweek of yesteryear. Its turned into quite a joke – more like Newsweak.
The graphic shows the equivalent square miles to the acreage burned in Australian wildfires. Its a huge mess of fires but this provides tremendous context to the scope. ABC (US) News ran a graphic implying that about one third of Australia was on fire 🙂 The accurate portrayal, in this Google Map, was created by the San Francisco Chronicle.
Update January 10, 2020: 1.1% of Australia’s land mass has burned, 98.9% has not yet burned. This compares to 15% of Australia’s total land mass burning in the summer of 1974-1975.
CNN and many media outlets falsely reported on a confrontation that occurred in Washington DC in January 2019. The media had the story backwards, reversed from what actually occurred, with many media outlets falsely accusing students of racism. Today, CNN has settled the lawsuit filed against them. Several related lawsuits remain pending.
We are faced with a constant bombardment of negativity – yet most of it is flat out false. We live in the best of times in human history, and even our environmental footprint is improving dramatically, contrary to the constant drone of fear mongering.
Reports of a polar bear spray painted with “T-34” on its side were greatly exaggerated. The tagging was done by scientists, not pranksters. The bear had been rummaging a garbage dump and scientists wanted to see if it was returning. They tagged it with a short duration ink; this was not graffiti by pranksters as initially reported. Typical of this type of report, the original source for the video was unknown, the back story was unknown, and the video was shared on social media by an environmental activist. Media then used social media as a primary source. What could possibly go wrong?
Last week, the news
reported speculated that “fears of an economic recession could derail the holiday season”. This week, that speculation is already old news as Black Friday broke shopping records.
In 2016, Newsweek recalled 125,000 copies of this cover, which had been distributed nationwide. You can find copies today on Amazon or EBay. Newsweek blamed a subcontractor saying they had printed two separate editions in order to be prepared but their vendor shipped the wrong one. Newsweek has a history of publishing creative pre-written news stories rather than reporting on events after they have occurred.
Newsweek reporter caught having manufactured a fictional news report, then calls it an “honest mistake” and keeps her job. Newsweek has a history of publishing fiction stories masquerading as actual news. This is not how to inspire confidence in the news media. (Update: Newsweek confirmed the report about what Trump did on Thanksgiving was written during the week prior to Thanksgiving. The reporter has been fired and the editor has been demoted.)
A Democratic party activist is launching a well funded fake local news operation, modeled to a degree, on the Russian Internet Research Agency, to deliver biased or news stories to targeted individuals on Facebook and other social media. The operation will collect data directly from Facebook on who is reading their fake news, and will data mine that to target more people. Do you feel like you are being manipulated yet?
I never knew – according to journalists we are expected to argue about inequality and victimization at the Thanksgiving holiday. Journalists have even prepared a handy guide detailing how to support the journalists’ own agenda! Who knew (besides journalists) that we are supposed to turn Thanksgiving into an opportunity for propaganda messaging?
Updated: Apparently this entire genre is a coordinated pseudo-news event intended to be shared on social media and get around Facebook’s algorithms that try to limit some news article distribution. It’s based on the pseudo-news event approach of creating a fake “us versus them” narrative. It is, in fact, 21st century click-bait and nothing more.