Tag Archives: fake news

Exclusive Interview With President Trump

BY STEVE BATES

The following is a transcript of the In Sight blog’s exclusive interview with President Trump, conducted during a two-minute presidential bathroom break aboard Air Force One. It has not been edited or censored in any way except to paraphrase 23 expletives inappropriate for adult readers.

Thank you for your time, Mr. President. How are you today?

Pass me the toilet paper.

Uh, the only paper I see is the New York Times.

Yes, that’s what I use.

Here you go. Let me congratulate you for your victory in the Missisippi Senate race. Your candidate won by a strong margin.

Yes, I can take full credit for that. I encouraged her to use that “public hanging” phrase. Really fired up the base.

I see. Can I ask you about the climate change report that your administration just issued?  It painted a pretty bleak picture.

There is no climate change report.

Well, I read it.

I don’t believe it. The climate can’t change, because there is no climate. It’s just something made up by radical Hollywood elites.

No climate? Then what causes weather, like rain and hurricanes?

That’s just fake news.

Good to know. What about your daughter’s use of a private email server to conduct government business. Isn’t that the same thing that Hillary Clinton did?

Not at all. Hillary revealed state secrets, like the nuclear missile codes and the location of the Confederate treasury. Ivanka was just sending out Christmas greetings. This whole fake witch hunt is part of the War on Christmas. Christ, it makes me sick. Hand me another section of the Times.

I’m interested in your plans to build a border wall. Where will you get the money?

It’s already under way. Prison inmates, children taken from migrant families, and aliens who have been sequestered at Area 51 all these years are building it now. Even little old ladies who live near the border are knitting razor wire fences. It’s inspiring.

Wow. What about the Mueller investigation? Are you concerned about what he might claim?

Not at all. I have seen the report, and I can say proudly that it concludes that there was no collusion. No collusion!

How did you get a copy, if you don’t mind me asking?

Why should I tell you?

Well, no one reads my blog, so your secret is safe with me.

My staff is finishing work on the report right now.

Your staff? I though Mueller was writing it.

The real Mueller has been undergoing extreme interrogation at Guantanamo for six months. We created a body double to take his place. (Flushes.) Your time is up. Get out of here.

One last question.

Don’t push it, pal. I can make one call and a bunch of Saudi friends of mine will make sure this column is you last.

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Welcome to the Hysteria Channel

BY STEVE BATES

It’s big, it’s bold, it’s chock full of Fake News.

Today I am unveiling a new cable network, The Hysteria Channel, which will titillate viewers with loosely researched episodes depicting conspiracies and secret societies throughout man’s time on Earth.

hysteria

Sure, some TV networks purport to recount history. Others offer us Fake News programs one after the other. But this new channel goes far beyond, documenting the worst in human endeavor over the ages. Here are some of the episodes planned for Season 1:

INTERNMENT CAMPS: History books tell us that the U.S. government forced people of Japanese ancestry into crowded camps to prevent them from acting against this country during World War II. Our investigation proves that this is far from the truth. Instead, our forward-thinking leaders went out and found people of Asian descent who showed promise in math and the sciences. Instead of prison camps, they were installed in comfortable settings where they started work on modern computers and the Internet.

WATER FLUORIDATION: Yes, most municipalities added chemicals to our drinking water starting in the 1940s. But no, the chemicals were not designed to strengthen our teeth and deter cavities. The subtances were designed to control our minds, to make us susceptible to propaganda. The greatest proof came in 1969 when a majority of the population actually believed that humans set foot on the moon.

THE BERLIN WALL: The effects of the chemicals began to wear off by 1989, but not before a much-publicized November evening in which average people were photographed knocking down sections of The Berlin Wall. The so-called wall, which was designed to keep people from escaping East Germany for West Germany, was never built because of budget cuts. Instead, the East Germans erected a fake barrier out of painted paper and cardboard left over from World War II munitions shipments. The photos of people supposedly busting up the wall were shot at crumbling sections of the Great Wall of China.

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OBAMA: Much was made about the proposition that Barack Obama, our first African American president, was born in Kenya. Our investigation has proven his Kenyan birth certificate to be a fake. In reality, Obama was born on Ganymede, a moon of Jupiter, to a space alien couple visiting the solar system to determine how to destroy our civilization. How else can you explain the abomination of Obamacare?

ELECTION MEDDLING: Some members of the so-called intelligence community have claimed that Russian hackers—acting on their own or possibly with the direction of top Russian leaders—tried to influence the 2016 elections. Newly released texts prove that two FBI agents invented the whole thing to try to divert attention from their illicit affair. These are the same two agents who set up a secret society to try to fire President Donald Trump. Lock them up!

Have any ideas of your own for episodes that will depict conspiracies and cover-ups? Send your ideas to this blog. And don’t bother trying to disguise your identity. We know who you are and where you live!

Take the Fake News Quiz

BY STEVE BATES

Welcome to the October Fake News Quiz, in which we challenge our readers (or, some months, our reader) to determine which of these news items are true and which are fake. Here is this month’s lineup. Good luck.

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  1. Drew and Jonathan Scott, aka the Property Brothers on HGTV, are actually robots built by craftspersons working for the network. After trying unsuccessfully to cast a pair of human brothers with the necessary skills, Hollywood looks and aw-shucks demeanor, the HGTV team spent months secretly perfecting this pair of androids. The first attempts failed; the bad bots were re-purposed for other shows, notably the unfortunate remake of “Will & Grace.” Now that the robotic Property Brothers are fixtures on all-day TV, they are demanding better salaries and perks, like an upgrade from diesel fuel to refined plutonium.
  2. Aloof Acres, a gated community in the Hamptons, is offering buyers of new multi-million-dollar homes the option of additional utilities that will bring liquor directly into the residences. Along with water, gas and electricity, purchasers can choose from pipelines delivering scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka and–for the kiddies—chocolate milk. The meters can monitor the commodities remotely because electronic sensors measure consumption right down to the molecule. Temperature controls do pump up the price tags of these consumables, experts point out. However, as the president of the homeowners’ association puts it, “Don’t judge us just because we are rich and frequently drunk. Someone has to set standards.”
  3. Yoga for Pets, the franchise created by an out-of-work Zeppelin polisher and his wife in their Toledo, Ohio, basement, has spread to 43 states plus much of Europe and several of those countries that end in “-istan.” The secret to the success of the business is getting the pets’ owners to leave and not watch what happens during the yoga sessions. It would be too painful for the owners to realize how little their pets need them and how relaxed the animals become once the lights go down, the music comes on and it’s time to streettttcccchhhh. The business does have some mixed classes (dogs and cats); however cats and birds are required to take separate classes after several unfortunate incidents.
  4. Marijuana stores in the states where recreational use of pot is legal keep selling out of the new strain of dope that improves memory and decreases appetite. Most varieties of marijuana are known for impairing the memories of users, sometimes causing sleepiness. And, of course, most strains cause users to want to eat things that they otherwise would never think of consuming, like dippin’ dots and that carton of leftover Chinese food that has been in the back of the fridge for weeks. I mean, don’t even think of opening it. It could be—I’m sorry, what were we talking about? Oh God, I’m so hungry. I could almost eat quinoa. Oh, no, I think this is the wrong….
  5. The Unites States remains the only large developed country where military-style weapons and ammunition are allowed in virtually unlimited quantities in the hands of almost any resident, including nut jobs and potential terrorists. Despite the fact that a majority of Americans favor modest controls on the kinds of powerful killing machines that were never imagined by the backers of the Second Amendment to the Constitution, the National Rifle Association and the members of Congress they control through threats and contributions continue to ignore the will of the people. And every week, more Americans are shot to death needlessly, including children.

ANSWERS: Of course, all five of these items are fake. Who would believe any of them?!

Fake News Lesson One: Facts

BY STEVE BATES

Welcome to the first lesson in my course on mastering fake news. Today we examine four prominent fake news stories and analyze their strengths and weaknesses. In all four cases, the merits of the fake story centered on the use of facts.

Let’s start with the most famous fake news story of 2016, the “Pizzagate” conspiracy:

Hillary, Top Democrats Linked to Child Sex Organization
(Washington; Oct. 30, 2016)–Internal Democratic Party emails released today by WikiLeaks demonstrate that top party figures knew of—and might have participated in—child trafficking and prostitution.
The emails allegedly authored by party official John Podesta identify several pizza restaurants in Washington where children were kept and abused. The emails hint at secret tunnels connecting some of the locations, apparently allowing the Democrats the move between them with impunity.
One source said that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is among….

This story has been largely debunked. While it might be true that “pizza” is code for “child sex” in some circles, operating a massive child sex ring in secret right under the noses of a million Washington area residents would be difficult. Particularly for Democrats, who are historically inept at keeping secrets or managing large projects of any kind.

While it’s true that the Democratic Party supervised the construction of secret tunnels connecting its offices with several popular pizzerias in the city, this was done to prevent embarrassment at the pizza addiction afflicting many left-leaning politicians in town.

What went wrong here? By identifying the pizza parlors by name, the conspiracy theorists allowed local police to search the facilities and rule out the kind of sex trafficking that was alleged. Using fake names for the restaurants—or not identifying them—might have given this bogus story a longer life.

Let’s turn to a trickier fake news piece:

5-Year-Old Boy Gets Last Wish; Dies in Arms of Santa Claus
(Knoxville, Tenn.; Nov. 20, 2016)–A 5-year-old Tennessee boy with a terminal illness had just one last wish: He wanted to meet Santa Claus. Not long ago, he got that wish.
But the story has a bittersweet ending. The boy, whose name is being withheld at the request of his family, died in the arms of Santa.
The encounter began when a nurse at a local hospital called a professional Santa, Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who rushed to the hospital to be at the boy’s bedside in time to grant his wish.
Schmitt-Matzen said this week that although he could not locate the Hatchable toy that the boy requested, seeing the young man smile at him as the disease claimed his life was….

This one fooled a lot of us. Maybe we just wanted to believe it. Or we couldn’t accept the possibility that anyone would invent such a tale. Apparently, there was no such dying boy, according to local hospital officials.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the story, and then retracted it. Schmitt-Matzen stuck to his account. However, the Santa reportedly declined to identify the family or even the hospital where the encounter purportedly happened, stating the he wanted to protect the family.

This fake news item could have been salvaged if the author had simply refused to identify the fake Santa or the town where this occurred. Or if he or she had written that the real Santa Claus had visited the dying boy. Try to disprove that one!

Now, a fascinating fake news item from a couple of years ago:

Texas, 3 Other States to Permit Executions by Lightsaber
(Austin, Tex.; June 17, 2014)–Texas has joined three other states that will execute convicts using lightsabers instead of a cocktail of drugs. The Legislature voted 898 to 2 today to approve the new execution method. The two dissenting legislators wanted more information about the cost of the lightsabers.
In recent years, attempted executions in Texas, Louisiana, Indiana and Nevada have been delayed by a shortage of the drugs typically used to kill those sentenced to death. Some states tried home remedies, often to no avail.
Gov. Rick Perry hailed the shift to lightsabers, terming them “an elegant weapon”….

This one was relatively easy to debunk. The crystals that power real lightsabers can be found only on one distant planet. And not every local corrections officer can operate a lightsaber properly. It takes training under a Jedi Master.

Finally, this classic fake news article:

Man Walks on the Moon
(Houston, Tex.; July 21, 1969)–Two men from Earth set foot on the Moon for the first time last night.
As he exited the Apollo spacecraft and stepped into the gray lunar dust, astronaut Neil Armstrong declared: “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He was soon joined by fellow astronaut Buzz Aldrin.
The moon landing was hailed as an historic event….

People who claimed at the time that the moon landing was staged in Hollywood were laughed down. But we now know that they were right. Sending a spaceship to the Moon? If it were possible, Elon Musk would have done it.

The Fake News Quiz

BY STEVE BATES

There’s so much fake news out there, it’s getting more difficult every day to determine what is true and what is manufactured out of thin air. Some fake news is designed to influence elections. Other fake news is created to market products or simply draw attention to its egotistical authors. But whatever the reason, it’s bothersome. At times, it’s embarrassing to get fooled by it.

So, the In Sight blog is providing this quiz to help you separate fake news from the real thing.

Here are several recent news stories. See if you can determine which one of these is fake. Answer at the end. Good luck.

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SCIENTISTS BELIEVE THEY HAVE
FOUND MISSING ‘DARK MATTER’

“Dark matter,” the mysterious stuff that makes up a majority of the matter in the known universe, has eluded scientists for decades. But, thanks to a sensitive new instrument, they might have located a significant portion of it. And in our own back yard, cosmically speaking.

A new machine that scans the universe for fluctuations in the space-time continuum found a large distortion of gravity centered about five miles west of Provo, Utah. After consulting Google Maps, a team of scientists in moon suits traveled to the source of the phenomenon, a sprawling ranch home in which the Peavy family lives.

“We’re not hoarders,” Mrs. Peavy reportedly told the scientists when they knocked on her door. “We just don’t like to throw away things. You know how one thing leads to another.”

Scientists say the family has added on to the house repeatedly over the past 34 years; it now covers more than 120 acres, every room stuffed to the rafters with junk. “There’s an original Guttenberg Bible in here somewhere. And the first Superman comic. Now if you just bear with me, we can go look….”

TRUMP UNVEILS DEATH STAR
TO REPLACE BORDER WALL

President-Elect Donald Trump said he will enhance his Mexican border wall plan by adding cutting-edge technology. Instead of building a physical wall across the border of U.S. and Mexico, Trump said, he will create a “Death Star” that will enforce security from orbit.

Trump would not provide a cost estimate for the project, stating only that it will be “huge.”

The president-elect said that the revised project will create jobs in all red states, whereas focusing on border states would have provided employment to many residents of notoriously Democratic California. “We will draw on the technological expertise of Americans from around our country to build and launch this new enforcement mechanism.”

Trump aides said that the orbiting station will have high-powered cameras and lasers to zap people attempting to cross the border illegally….

POLAR BEARS TERRORIZE
RESIDENTS OF MIAMI, FLORIDA

Police in Miami and surrounding counties say they are baffled by the recent onslaught of marauding polar bears. Authorities say that as many as 100 of the bears have been spotted on city streets and in suburban neighborhoods, traveling in packs or wandering individually.

Traffic has been disrupted in the central business district; trash cans have been overturned in several communities; and public swimming pools have been inundated with the polar bears, which normally limit their activities to colder regions. The average daily high temperature this week in Miami was 87 degrees.

While some children have been delighted to see the snow-white creatures, several parents have reported maulings. The Coca-Cola Co. said that none of the polar bears they use in holiday commercials is missing.

Government scientists said they see no possible connection between the polar bear invasion and the much-debated theory of climate change….

HACKERS MIGHT HAVE RIGGED
COLLEGE FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

The College Football Playoff Selection Committee came under heavy criticism today after its IT director said that the results of the panel’s voting might have been influenced by computer hackers.

There were some raised eyebrows in the sports world when the much-anticipated playoff results were revealed at a morning news conference. While undefeated Western Michigan secured the first of four playoff spots, the number two selection was Moscow State University, the number three choice was Russian State University for the Humanities, and the final playoff spot went to Trump University.

The Selection Committee chairman said he was confident that the results will withstand any audit. “While three of the chosen teams do not have players, equipment or a fan base, we feel that the choices will add a new element of excitement to the playoffs,” he stated.

The football team from the KFC commercial finished fifth, just out of the playoffs. A KFC spokesman threatened to….

ELVIS, JACKIE FOUND ALIVE;
COUPLE FAKED THEIR DEATHS

Elvis Presley and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis have been found alive and living in a remote village in Ecuador.

The celebrities, long believed to be dead, were discovered accidentally by a Girl Scout troop that became lost in a jungle while playing Pokemon Go, according to the U.S. State Department. While no DNA tests have been conducted to verify the identity of the famous pair, and officials in Ecuador would not comment, the Girl Scout leader said she had no doubt about the finding.

“They have aged well,” said the scout leader. “They asked us not to disclose their exact location, for the sake of their seven children, and we will of course comply.”

The scout leader said that Jackie refused to talk to her but Elvis seemed relieved to have his secret relationship with the former first lady revealed at last. “I’m in love,” Elvis reportedly commented, adding: “I’m all shook up.” …

ANSWER: It turns out that all of these news stories are true. Keep reading the In Sight blog to make sure that you get the news you need from the source you trust.