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Friday, February 17, 2017

AP wins the Fake News of the Day award (updated and bumped)

UPDATE: AP has now backtracked on its story. Still won't admit it faked the news. (Update follows the original post.)

It was the headline too good to be true posted at 10:22 a.m.:
An email to Matt Drudge and voila! Writer Garance Burke of the Associated Press had her Drudge link and her deluge of hits.

Within minutes she would regret the hits she received.
Drudge dropped his across-the-masthead inch-high-letter all-cap link like a bad blind date. Drudge has enough trouble without linking Fake News -- even if it comes from the Associated Press.

Later, Drudge linked a Daily Mail debunking the Associated Press story:
Drudge also linked a story from McClatchy that pointed out Presidents Bush 43 and Obama used far smaller contingencies of National Guardsmen to staff surveillance outposts, build fences, and the like -- but not to conduct raids.

Let's apply the test to the Associated Press report: Is the news story true? If not, it is Fake News.

The story began:
The Trump administration is considering a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.
So the story dropped from President weighing a plan in the headline, to his administration "considering a proposal" in the first paragraph.

That's when the BS meter hit P-U.

It got worse. As her story wore on it became more and more clear that far from a decision by the president being imminent to a story about a vague proposal to maybe have National Guardsmen in eleven states help the Border Patrol.

Garnace Burke sold her story on the basis of Trump making a final decision -- "weighs mobilizing" -- but all she delivered is his staff considering an idea.

Such a move would require the Chiefs of Staff at the Pentagon signing off on it, as well as Homeland Security.

The idea seems impractical to me. The government would disrupt the lives, again, of 100,000 people, train them to be Border Patrol personnel, have them round up millions of people, who would then need a place to stay pending judicial review of their status.

So this story had more holes than a pound of Swiss cheese, but Garance Burke posted it nevertheless. The biggest was a deal breaker in Paragraph Eight:
Requests to the White House and the Department of Homeland Security for comment and a status report on the proposal were not answered.
At that point, no editor should have allowed her to post that story until the White House returned her call. The editor should have told her that without the White House response to a such a serious claim, she had no story.

Because she did not.

This was not breaking news. Her duty was to be patient and await a response. She, her editor, and the Associated Press failed to be patient, published Fake News, and now should suffer diminished credibility.

On Twitter, Garance Burke described herself as: "I'm an Associated Press data journalist & truth sleuth. I tweet & code in several languages."

The truth is, she did not report the truth because Trump is not weighing mobilizing the National Guard.

Oh, someone may be preparing such a proposal. I don't know. It does not seem feasible, but we have plenty of plans. It is what the military does: plan. Somewhere in the Pentagon there very well may be a contingency plan to invade Freedonia.

The AP published Fake News today. The question is, why does Garance Burke still have a job? Why does her editor?

The only reason I can think for keeping either of them is that credibility means nothing to AP.

Web hits do.

Until there is a penalty for Fake News, we shall get more Fake News because it is so easy to manufacture.

UPDATE: AP updated its original story with a new headline and top part, which carries no apology or explanation for the Fake News:
The Trump administration considered a proposal to mobilize as many as 100,000 National Guard troops to round up unauthorized immigrants, including millions living nowhere near the Mexico border, according to a draft memo obtained by The Associated Press.
Staffers in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said they had been told by colleagues in two DHS departments that the proposal was still being considered as recently as Feb. 10. A DHS official described the document as a very early draft that was not seriously considered and never brought to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly for approval.
So it never got past Kelly, much less to the president to "weigh."

No wonder less than a third of Americans trust the media.

Fake News.

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  1. The DM says the memo (or at least the cove letter) was written by the director of the DHS. In terms of the news details, that's pretty darn specific. Moreover, it indicates that the "memo" went far beyond the pre-planning or discussion stage. So the question is, Who is lying about the matter (and it amounts not to a simple misunderstanding but an out and out lie)? And which government staffer in DHS released the document?

    Governors in the 11 states would have a choice whether to have their guard troops participate, according to the memo, written by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, a retired four-star Marine general.

    1. Your last paragraph is only partly true, and incomplete, thus, unreliable.

      Your first paragraph is unsupported. Show us the memo. Put a link on farcebook or TWTR and trend it.

      This whole thing is right out of the DNC leaks.

    2. You don't mean "mine". The second paragraph is a direct quote from the DM on-line article, but I forgot to include quotation marks when I copied and pasted it into my comment.

      I have no idea why you say "my" first paragraph is unsupported. It's merely a statement of what the article asserts and the quite obvious implications that MUST follow from such a highly specific claim by the DM. Am I misunderstanding your post? Is your remark directed at me or at the DM?

  2. The AP is pissed that they no longer get called on first at pressers. Maybe they should clean up their act. They've slanted their news in subtle ways for decades, now they are just flat printing fabrications.

  3. Credibility means nothing to AP. Same with NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, NPR, MSDNC. Same with the New York Slimes (Motto: All the news that's fit to fake) and WaPo. What's important is to get Trump and to make him look bad. They hate him more than they hated Nixon.

    1. What happened to GOC?

    2. Same question... Below.... V V V

    3. I was hacked and malware was installed on my site. I've been taking some downtime before searching for someone who can fix my site for me. - GOC

  4. They hate him, but I believe their hatred is an anodyne for their fear.

  5. It's as if the media is controlled by a cabal of its enemies that is desperately trying to destroy its credibility. After the Trump press conference yesterday they go and run this?

    -Mikey NTH

    1. Good observation. One of Conquests laws.

  6. Ah, the AP. There are so many words starting with A that we could substitute for Associated. You can think of enough for yourselves.

  7. Meanwhile in Fredonia, Texas people are building tank traps using mesquite scrub brush and there has been activity at the Union Soldiers Cemetery. A large piece of heavy equipment has been seen digging a large hole.....possibly a bunker to defend Fredonia from roving bands of federalized National Guardsmen from the famed 36th "Arrowhead" Division. In nearby Voca, Texas a local resident just shrugged his shoulders and went on feeding his cows when asked if he was aware of the danger.

    1. Where's Harpo?

    2. With the other Marx Brothers---Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Aleppo.

  8. Denny, what's up with the GOC site. It's been offline for a couple of weeks and I was worried about you. I know you had written of the site having been hacked. Has the site been transitioned to a new location?

    1. I've been wondering the same thing. I hope GOC will be back soon!

  9. So the infochick claims to be a truth sleuth, huh? Just because it rhymes doesn't make it true.
    Kinda like fun run.

  10. "I tweet & code in several languages."

    Bullshit is the official universal language of the AP. Esperanto for the 21st century fake media.

    1. BOOM. Schlongy wins in a first round knockout. Mike Tyson had nothin on you, brother.

  11. Maybe it was all a misunderstanding. Maybe "NAT GUARDS" referred to a certain journo's ever-protective groupies, also know as "The Silverados ".

  12. The story is undoubtedly true. The President, or CEO, says "get me input on this problem". People and departments with any responsibilities for the problem write memos and send them to the Chief of Staff. The COS weeds them out and sends the most relevant up for a decision.

    The guard memo probably got a 30 second quick look and was discarded. But it WAS considered. Technically true.

    1. 30 second consideration? Hardly, He'd have been laughing for at least five minutes.

    2. I've seen a rumor on the web that the memo was actually a sting operation. More than one memo was drafted with different details and made available to different leak suspects.

      Who knows? All I know is that I haven't been this entertained in many a year.

  13. What I hate is how radio stations always run with AP stories. While listening to Chris Plante's show yesterday the national news feed at the top and bottom of the hours ran this b.s. Same thing when I listened to Rush's show on a different station later in the day. The AP used to be the gold standard for news, but now it's just dross.

  14. Now AP and other FakeNews outlets are claiming that the NG memo was a clever trap devised by the diabolical White House to do a gotcha on them. Pretty clever for a White House which is "in chaos" according to the FakeNews meme of this past week.