How to Spot Fake News

❝ Fake news is nothing new. But bogus stories can reach more people more quickly via social media than what good old-fashioned viral emails could accomplish in years past.

Concern about the phenomenon led Facebook and Google to announce that they’ll crack down on fake news sites, restricting their ability to garner ad revenue. Perhaps that could dissipate the amount of malarkey online, though news consumers themselves are the best defense against the spread of misinformation.

❝ Not all of the misinformation being passed along online is complete fiction, though some of it is. has been exposing false viral claims since the mid 1990s, whether that’s fabricated messages, distortions containing bits of truth and everything in between. Founder David Mikkelson warned in a Nov. 17 article not to lump everything into the “fake news” category. “The fictions and fabrications that comprise fake news are but a subset of the larger bad news phenomenon, which also encompasses many forms of shoddy, unresearched, error-filled, and deliberately misleading reporting that do a disservice to everyone,” he wrote…

My advice, the advice of the folks at –

Consult the experts. We know you’re busy, and some of this debunking takes time. But we get paid to do this kind of work. Between,, the Washington Post Fact Checker and, it’s likely at least one has already fact-checked the latest viral claim to pop up in your news feed…

❝ On our Viral Spiral page, we list some of the claims we get asked about the most; all of our Ask FactChecks can be found here. And if you encounter a new claim you’d like us to investigate, email us at

Chart of the Day: Coal Mining in America

❝ OK, here’s a post with an image in it. And what better way than to visually deconstruct a Trump administration lie? Here is EPA chief Scott Pruitt this weekend:

Since the fourth quarter of last year until most recently, we’ve added almost 50,000 jobs in the coal sector. In the month of May alone, almost 7,000 jobs.

❝ And here’s the truth:

The actual increase since October is 1,700 jobs. But hey, that’s “almost” 50,000 jobs…

Not certain which strays furthest from truth and reality. Deliberate lies from thugs like Pruitt and his boss — or the self-delusion of Trump chumps, the folks who voted him into office and accept this crap as gospel.

Trump’s policy statements from the campaign “vanished” from his website

❝ The Trump campaign website got an upgrade this week. According to a news release from the president’s reelection campaign (yes, already), it’s now a one-stop shop for “fact-based information” that the mainstream media doesn’t want you to know about.

On, you can check out never-before-seen rally photos, buy merchandise and get the real, unfiltered scoop on what your president is up to.

❝ Sounds pretty handy. One problem: The website revamp also appears to have vanished every single news release and public statement issued during President Trump’s first campaign.

Gone is Trump’s call in 2015 for a ban on Muslim visitors… also his famous statement on “COMPELLING MEXICO TO PAY FOR THE WALL..he complained that no one read the bill enabling Obamacare – though eventually no one read the crap Trumpcare bill the House just passed – and that complaint also disappeared…

❝ You can read them all on the Internet Archive. There’s also a faster-loading cut-and-paste archive at the American Presidency Project.

I don’t know if he thought the only place people were linking to – to prove which lies happened when; but, lots of folks, even robots, keep records of everything posted to the Web. Even Trump’s fake news.

Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward celebrate the White House Press Corp

❝ Before comedian Hasan Minhaj got up to poke fun at the assembled White House press corps…Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein got up to celebrate it.

The legendary Watergate duo gave a speech evoking their investigative reporting of the Nixon administration and calling on the current generation of journalists to practice careful, thorough and relentless reporting on the current White House.

RTFA – the complete text – if you missed some point or want to copy it down. Worth listening to, remembering.

Trump says he saved $1 Billion on Jet – Air Force says “Huh, Wha?”

❝ The Air Force can’t account for $1 billion in savings that President Donald Trump said he’s negotiated for the program to develop, purchase and operate two new Boeing Co. jets to serve as Air Force One…Colonel Pat Ryder, an Air Force spokesman, told reporters…when asked how Trump had managed to reduce the price for the new presidential plane. “I refer you to the White House.”

A White House spokesman didn’t respond to repeated inquiries about Trump’s comments.

❝ “They were close to signing a $4.2 billion deal to have a new Air Force One,” Trump said at a rally…in Florida…Instead, Trump said, “we got that price down by over $1 billion, and I probably haven’t spoken, to be honest with you, for more than an hour on the project. I got the generals in, who are fantastic. I got Boeing in. But I told Boeing it’s not good enough. We’re not going to do it. The price is still too high.”…

❝ So far, the Air Force has budgeted about $1.6 billion through 2019 for the Air Force One program. It decided in 2015 to let Boeing build the jets without competition because it had the only U.S.-built passenger plane that could be adapted for the purpose. But the service said it would provide for bidding on specialized equipment such as advanced electronics and communications.

Fake news from a fake president is something our media seems to be finding means of accommodating. No doubt Congressional Republicans will eventually do the same – excepting the nutball TeaPublicans who call themselves the Freedom Caucus. Illicit – and mostly unchallenged – gerrymandering guarantees their members safe passage till the results of the 2020 census. That is, unless Obama’s rumored constitutional challenges to Congressional sophistry actually take place before then.