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Friday, September 13, 2019


Headlines for Sept. 13, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Sept. 13, 2019

#FakeNewsByOmission story of the week (the headline you didn’t read) —
*Twitter blocks accounts of Raúl Castro and Cuban state-run media outlets
Twitter on late Wednesday suspended the accounts of dozens of Cuban media outlets and individual journalists, along with that of others like Raúl Castro and Cuban Five Hero René González. Not one U.S. media outlet covered this outrage.

*‘I don’t blame Kim Jong Un’: In dismissing Bolton, Trump sides with North Korean leader — again
So wanting peace with DPRK, & acknowledging that Bolton deliberately sabotaged negotiations by talking about the “Libyan model”, constitutes “siding with Kim Jung-un”. This take was not limited to the WaPo, by the way; progressive Democrats like AOC used virtually the same language about “Trump siding with Kim Jung-un”.

Courtesy of FAIR contributor Alan McLeod, these four headlines in a 24-hour period from different cities across the country:
Pasadena police release videos, calls from deadly officer-involved shooting
Police: Suspect identified in Muskogee officer-involved shooting
GBI releases details in Clinch Co. officer-involved shooting
Police identify man killed in officer-involved shooting in north St. Louis
How was the officer “involved” in each of these four shootings? The officer shot (and in some cases killed) the other person, though you’d never know that from the absurd euphemism “officer-involved”. How come when someone shoots a cop it’s not also called an “officer-involved” shooting?

*As Bahamas Turn To Recovery, U.S. Worries About China Stepping In To Help
An entirely imaginary story. As far as I can tell, there was no Chinese relief effort in the Bahamas, certainly none that is described in this article. It's all speculation about what China "could" do. "Parts of the Bahamas are only about 50 miles off the coast of Florida, raising concerns about the potential for such a powerful economic and political adversary to gain a greater foothold in such proximity." "They could potentially one day have a base, a naval base or some sort of Chinese military base that close to our shore would pose a very significant national security issue for the United States."

Officers Said They Smelled Pot. The Judge Called Them Liars.
Gotta’ love this. Now if only judges would say the same thing when cops say they killed someone because they “felt their life was in danger”.

*Saudi Arabia's MBS Hosts Delegation of U.S. Evangelical Leaders on Eve of 9/11 Anniversary
On the eve of the day when 15 Saudis and 4 others killed 2977 people in the U.S. Churches are banned in Saudi Arabia; it is illegal to practice any religion other than Sunni Muslim in public. 

*Hillary Clinton, seated at a mock Resolute Desk, reads her once-controversial emails at a Venice art exhibit
Art imitates not life but Hillary’s fantasies.

Marianne Williamson defends idea ‘power of the mind’ could impact Hurricane Dorian
Trump isn't the only one who believes in doubling down on a mistake.

Trump warned Alabama about Dorian. So we sent someone to cover the ‘hurricane.’
WaPo trolls Trump, the article accompanied by a picture of people sitting on a beach next to the calm ocean on a sunny day.

Friday, September 06, 2019


Headlines for Sept. 6, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.


Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for Sept. 6, 2019

Joe Biden: I Had $280,000 Of Student Loans

No fan of Biden, but am a fan of non-misleading headlines. Seeing the headline you think it’s either a lie or another Biden gaffe, since obviously *he* didn’t have any such debt. But as the article eventually mentions in the 10th paragraph, this is debt from putting 3 kids through school.

*Biden claims he doesn’t take fossil fuel cash at NYC fundraiser co-hosted by fossil fuel company co-founder
Funny but totally true.

*It doesn’t matter if it’s sugary or diet: New study links all soda to an early death
The word “links” is totally misleading. Most people will take “links” to imply causality, but that is specifically denied by the study’s authors. And even the correlation which is claimed is unquantified, at least in this WaPo article. “Early death” is pretty strong language. Are we talking 10 years? 1 year? 15 minutes? No clue to support that ominous headline.

And another one, same problem:
*People with visible tattoos are more likely to act ‘reckless’ and ‘impulsive’: study
Reverses the causality. Should read "people who act recklessly and impulsively are more likely to get visible tattoos".

*Democrats Say Their Climate Plans Will Create Jobs. It’s Not So Simple.
Um yes, yes it is. Even the article admits (in the 6th paragraph) “Experts say Democrats’ assertions are accurate, to a point. Fighting climate change will create jobs.” Yes, there are wildly different claims about the number of jobs, and of course ultimately it depends on exact what eventually happens. And yes, some jobs (e.g., in coal mining) will be lost. But solar *already* employs twice as many people as coal mining, so it’s clear there will be a net gain.

*Hong Kong Was Once Passionate About China. Now, It’s Indifferent or Contemptuous.
A headline that presents Hong Kong as monolithic and completely erases the massive *support* for China in Hong Kong. Yes, that support may be a minority, but then again, so is Trump’s support.

*Here's how Trump could escape 'emoluments' claims that he's profiting as president
This absurd article claims that Trump's "out" on the emoluments clause wrt Pence's stay at his resort is that Trump wasn't personally turning down the beds or bringing up room service. Oh please. Is that really the "original intent" of the framers?
Actual text: "The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be encreased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them." He's receiving a salary for his "services". The prohibition against emoluments has nothing to do with those services.

Elementary school yanks ‘Harry Potter’ over claims it contains ‘actual curses and spells’
For real. “The curses and spells used in the books are actual curses and spells; which when read by a human being risk conjuring evil spirits into the presence of the person reading the text,” said the pastor at this Catholic elementary school.

Friday, August 30, 2019


Headlines for August 30, 2019

Click here to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio.  
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.

Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for August 30, 2019

*Hong Kong police draw guns and use water cannons on protesters
Changed to: Hong Kong Officer Fires Shot, and Police Use Water Cannons at Protest
Virtually identical headline appeared in dozens of media outlets.
How about: “Hong Kong police respond to protesters’ sticks, bricks and firebombs with tear gas and water cannons”? And does anyone remember a headline reading “Ferguson police draw guns and deploy tanks against protesters (who were not throwing bricks and firebombs)”? Of course not. Also reflected in coverage on my local FOX affiliate and on CNN, which showed ONLY police response with no footage of the protesters attacking (which was actually much more dramatic footage).

*Trump wanting to buy Greenland is yet another sign of Putin’s puppetry
Subhead: Greenland didn’t just bubble into Trump’s mind randomly – it’s very much on Russia’s radar for its unknown supply of oil, gas and rare metals
Richard Wolffe (not to be confused with the other Richard Wolff, a sometimes guest on Loud & Clear) op-ed. So Russia wants Greenland’s oil and gas so Putin told Trump the U.S, should buy it? Huh?

*Trump: Tax cut enriched everyone
The tax cut patently did NOT “enrich everyone”. But that doesn’t prevent newspapers, even a “liberal” one like the Mercury News, from running his false claim as a headline (the lead front-page story even!).

*Two women in a Michigan cul-de-sac fret over the Democrats’ leftward lurch and another Trump term
A classic example of how even the flimsiest of anecdotal evidence can be used to push the WaPo’s own agenda. And the most amazing thing about this article? Of the two women, one is a Republican, not a Democrat!

*Trump Again Accuses American Jews of Disloyalty
Talk about a headline burying the lede. He didn't accuse them of disloyalty to their own country (which would be the normal implication of the headline). He accused them of disloyalty **to Israel**: "If you want to vote Democrat, you are being very disloyal to Jewish people and very disloyal to Israel." In fact, assuming that people will assume the disloyalty of the headline is disloyalty to Israel is itself anti-Semitic, because it assumes “dual loyalty” as a norm.

*Israel Counters Iran in Flareup of Shadow War
Online: The Israel-Iran Shadow War Escalates and Breaks Into the Open
Following a series of attacks on Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq.
“Israel has carried out a series of attacks across the Middle East in recent weeks to prevent Iran from equipping its Arab allies with precision-guided missiles, drones and other sophisticated weapons that could challenge Israel’s defenses.”

Attacks in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq Add to Mounting Tensions in Middle East
No clue in the headline that these were *Israeli* attacks, and these aren’t “tensions”, they’re acts of war.

*The Amazon is burning. Bolsonaro says his critics are setting the fires, to make him look bad.
In paragraph *13*, we finally learn the fires are being deliberately set, and not by Bolsonaro’s critics or environmentalists: “Farmers & others burn the rainforest to clear land & maintain open space. Bolsonaro, trying to lift the country out of years of economic stagnation, is encouraging development in the region.”

Putin tried to smash the opposition. Instead protests have spiraled
“Smashing” the opposition consists of a 30–day sentence for Navalny for violating protest laws, and requiring candidates to actually have valid signatures on nominating petitions, something which is absolutely routine in the U.S. Remember when the U.S., in a coordinated nationwide effort, ended the Occupy Movement? *That* was “smashing” the opposition.

Friday, August 16, 2019


Headlines for August 16, 2019

Click here (and go to 42:40 in the show) to listen to this week's segment on Loud & Clear Radio which, for this week only, was part of a longer "Week in Review" hour.
Headlines with an * are the ones we managed to fit in in our allotted time slot.
Worst, Most Misleading & Funniest Headlines for August 16, 2019

*Wyatt Detention Facility correctional officer put on leave after truck drives into protesters; 64-year-old Warren man seriously injured

Just to emphasize the headline, the first line: “One protester was seriously injured after a black pickup truck drove into a crowd demonstrating at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility Wednesday night.” One of those self-driving trucks, evidently. Reminiscent of one of the most infamous NYT headlines during the 2014 Israeli assault on Gaza: “Missile at Beachside Gaza Cafe Finds Patrons Poised for World Cup”. No Israelis involved, apparently. (http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/11/world/middleeast/missile-at-beachside-gaza-cafe-finds-patrons-poised-for-world-cup.html?_r=0 )

*Jeffrey Epstein Commits Suicide at Manhattan Jail
Modified to (but not any better):
*Jeffrey Epstein Dead in Suicide at Jail, Spurring Inquiries (or, Officials Say)
Definitive pronunciation, no ”apparent” or any qualification. This was before even an autopsy had been performed, much less an investigation.

*Epstein Suicide Conspiracies Show How Our Information System Is Poisoned
Perhaps, but the fact that the NYT and many others immediately branded Epstein’s death a suicide before even a coroner’s report was out, much less an investigation, reflects just as poorly on our information system.

*Putin’s private army — Russia tightens grip on Africa, but Moscow doesn’t want to admit it
The “Africa” of the headline is basically one country, the Central African Republic, and that “grip” consists of 250 Russian mercenaries training army recruits. Evidence this has anything to do with Putin or even the Russian government? “Analysts say it’s inconceivable that Wagner  [the Russian mercenary company] would exist without Putin’s approval.” And the fact that there are 34 (known) U.S. military bases in Africa and an entire command (Africom)? Unmentioned in this article about “Russia’s grip” on Africa.

*Venezuela’s Maduro Cracks Down on His Own Military in Bid to Retain Power
The article talks about people who were accused of participating in coup plots including attempted assassinations of Maduro. Calling that “cracking down on the military” is absurd; it hardly constitutes “turn[ing] a brutal apparatus of repression against its own military” as the article alleges. And Maduro doesn’t need to make a “bid to retain power”; he is in power. 

Israel bars Democratic congresswomen from entering country
[NYT used the same headline on its home page although the actual article used a different headline]
At the time this happened, there were 41 Democratic members of Congress (along with 31 Republicans) in Israel, some of them surely women. Omar and Tlaib weren’t barred as “Democratic congresswomen”, they were barred as pro-Palestinian (or pro-BDS) congresswomen, just as so many other “regular” Americans have been.

Barring two U.S. lawmakers from Israel is un-Israeli. Trump’s cheering for it is un-American. [WaPo editorial]
Israel has been barring BDS supporters like Medea Benjamin for years, and Palestinians for decades. So the barring of Omar and Tlaib is hardly “un-Israeli” [The same edition of the WaPo actually carried an article headlined “Reps. Omar and Tlaib join a list of prominent figures barred by Israel” https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/08/15/reps-omar-tlaib-join-list-prominent-figures-barred-by-israel/ ]. And American support for Israel’s discriminatory actions has also been going on for decades, so Trump’s action was hardly “un-American”.

Trump wants to focus on the ‘real threat’ to elections: Not Russia, but imaginary voter fraud
Wrong on multiple levels. First, the real threat is not Russia, as implied by the headline, but voter suppression including crosscheck, along with money in politics, gerrymandering, rules which suppress third party access, and more. And second, the author talks about Trump pushing voter ID, but rather than noting that voter ID is being pushed as a voter suppression tool, he merely notes how useless it is against the almost imaginary voter fraud.

Why Bernie Sanders Stood Out at the Iowa State Fair
Subhead: Most candidates go to the fair to establish human connections with voters. Mr. Sanders’s approach underscored how his campaign is focused primarily on championing ideas.
From the headline, you’d think this was a positive article about Sanders. Anything but. He gave a speech. So did every other candidate! So he didn’t spend as much time schmoozing as some others. OMG, he’s done!

US calls China a 'thuggish regime' for 'harassing' Hong Kong-based American diplomat
A U.S. diplomat meets with protesters in Hong Kong, protesters who are waving British flags and calling for the recolonization of Hong Kong — that’s the real “thuggish” behavior. The personal information? “the names of her husband and children.”
Interestingly enough, Julie Eadeh’s Twitter account has been deleted, she has no Wikipedia entry, a State Dept. profile of her from 2011 can be found archived on the web, but no longer exists, nor does any information on her.
*Workers line up for jobs opened by ICE Raids
Changed to: Citizens line up for Mississippi jobs but fear the impact of ICE raids
The real story, which should be in the headline, is how the workers who showed up expressed sympathy for the workers eliminated by the raid, even though they might have been expected to resent them for "taking 'their' jobs".

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