Donald Trump sends his own plan to transport stranded marines, ISIS endorses Hillary Clinton and she sold them weapons, and Rage Against the Machine gets back together. Yep, this year had more fake news than fact-checkers had ever seen before, thanks to the gullibility of the American public, the absurdity of Trump, and the efforts of people who have been working hard to create fake news for the purpose of exploiting those first two things. This article talks briefly about 6 brief stories that fooled enough people to cause a news-storm. It wasn’t pretty… but it was ridiculous.
- Pizzagate – Such a stupid conspiracy theory. Hillary Clinton and the case of the underground pedophilia ring… it was so stupid that one gullible idiot shot up a pizza place. Because he… wanted to protect children?
- Israel threatens Pakistan – A nonsense fake news article claims that Israel boasted that it could destroy Pakistan with a nuclear attack. The Pakistani Defense Minister responded with a tweet that said “Israeli def min threatens nuclear retaliation presuming pak role in Syria against Daesh. Israel forgets Pakistan is a Nuclear state too.” The Israeli Defense Ministry of course responded by saying that the news story was fake.
- Pope Francis endorses Trump – Pope Francis specifically said that he doesn’t discuss electoral campaigns, but that didn’t stop fake reports of him endorsing someone (some of them also claimed that he supported Clinton… whatever).
- Bernie Sanders Supporters Are Violent – In the Nevada State Democratic Convention, mainstream media perpetuated a rumour that Bernie Sanders’ supporters were incredibly dangerous, even throwing a chair. They lied for weeks that there was even video of the event. But it came to a point where they realized that every angle of the event was caught on camera, and the closest thing to throwing a chair was one individual who lifted a chair up, immediately put it down, and then hugged someone else. And of course, that was on camera. When the damage was already done, media outlets quietly apologized for getting the story wrong.
- Ted Cruz’s father was complicit in killing JFK – I watched the fictional account of an increasingly authoritarian political figure in the TV show “House of Cards,” and I was thinking that it was getting to be a bit far-fetched. Now, I’m sad to say that it is not outside the realm of possibility. This Trump-derived lie was one of the more absurd ones he said, but the list of ridiculous lies is too long to write here.
- Trump’s inauguration crowd was the biggest ever – Come on… does anyone believe this? I don’t even know if Trump himself really believes this. Just look at the pictures and know that if you believe him, then you are deluded.
It seems the past 12 month’s bout of fake news was dominated by American political stories. Considering that the US has such a major influence on cultures of countries around the world, this is not a good thing. But with a little bit of common sense, some of these stories should be easy to spot.