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Right-Wing and Fake News Writers Are Now Going After Elon Musk (qz.com) 736

Fake news galvanized US president-elect Donald Trump's supporters, and sullied his enemies. Now it may be Elon Musk's turn. Quartz adds: The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has his fair share of detractors, but a new era in a public relations battle to discredit him appears to be taking shape. Bloomberg reports that hard-right groups are lining up to back misleading websites and fake journalists who attack Musk's business empire. Many of the attacks on Musk begin with something factual: His businesses were built, legally, with the help of billions in government contracts and incentives for renewable energy and space transport. But they go on to accuse Musk of fraud and wasting taxpayer dollars; some compare him to a convicted felon. At least three conservative sites have run negative pieces about Musk -- by a nonexistent writer named "Shepard Stewart" -- that include "Elon Musk Continues to Blow Up Taxpayer Money With Falcon 9" and "Elon Musk: Faux Free Marketeer and National Disgrace." Two later retracted the stories. "There's a very obvious precedent" for this, says Sam Jaffe, managing director of Cairn Energy Research Advisors. "That's Hillary Clinton." Musk tweeted this week, "Can anyone uncover who is really writing these fake pieces?"
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Right-Wing and Fake News Writers Are Now Going After Elon Musk

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  • What an empty life (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:12PM (#53357247)
    Folks that can't stand reality conflicting with their hate-based fantasies.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      I agree, the left wing needs a dose of reality, but there's no hate like liberal hate. There's a lot of left wing fake news, including:
      * Michael Brown shot in cold blood by a cop (Michael Brown attempted to steal the cop's gun and charged at him)
      * Trump campaign might not accept the election outcome (Trump's campaign considered legal challenges just like Gore did in 2000)
      * Hackers caused Trump to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania (No evidence of hacking, but demographics can easily explain the outco

      • Half of the things on the left does not even seem to be in contradiction with the things on the right. :-p
      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 25, 2016 @12:29AM (#53357619)

        There's a difference between fake news and biased takes upon it.

        It is subtle; but there is a difference.

        Michael brown: was shot by a cop; and the only "fake" part of this, is "in cold blood". But that is an interpretation of the news. the "Attempt to steal the cops gun and charged at him" is what the cop who shot him says right? So if the narative is the cop is lying, then it could easily be a true headline. What is being reported here, is that there is a dispute between what happened, and what is being reported. This is a case where there is some complexity. This is not fake news.

        Trump campaign might not accept the election outcome. Wheres the part where it was fake news? You agree that Tumps campaign considers legal action, the definition of not accepting the election outcome. So, you agree this is not fake news? PS. I'd like to point out that right now Clinton is considering legal action! would reporting that be fake news too? according to you, just because sometimes not accepting the election outcome is a thing that happens, that it is fake news!

        Hackers caused trump to win state X. This might be fake news. (Except, the news in this circumstance is more likely people reporting that Crazy person X says that hackers caused a Trump win - not "hackers caused it" but "crazy man says hackers caused it". I'm still calling it fake news so, thats something for you right?

        2016 is the hottest year on record. It is; according to the temperature data released by the scientists. Yes the scientists do modify the data to normalise it, that is how science works, if you don't understand it - please go and learn what they are doing. Is there room for different types of data manipulation? yes. That is what science does. Takes the figures; then normalise them to fix measurement errors. This is not fake news.

        Trumps economic plans to protect american workers were racist. OK, so your argument is Bernie had the same policies and wasn't called racist. But that isn't an argument against the headline. That is an argument about favourtism. As far as I can tell you fundamentally agree that Trump and Bernies plans were racist. Therefore, this is not fake news.

        As far as I can tell, you are 1/5. And that 1 is borderline.

      • by silentcoder ( 1241496 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @04:48AM (#53358407)

        >Michael Brown shot in cold blood by a cop (Michael Brown attempted to steal the cop's gun and charged at him)
        No he didn't. And even if he had it wouldn't mean anything. You can't disprove a pattern by claiming (truthfully or not) that one example doesn't fit the pattern. You may have had a point if there wasn't Tamir Rice (cop acquitted), If the NRA had even MENTIONED Philando Castile, if there was no Eric Garner, of if the list of unarmed black men killed by US police this year alone was not currently at 1039 - that's an average of more than 3 a day, every day.

        >Trump campaign might not accept the election outcome (Trump's campaign considered legal challenges just like Gore did in 2000)
        He said he might not accept it. He SAID he would "keep you suspense". Oh, right, I forgot - it's a media smear if we quote him right ? You don't GET to consider legal challenges until AFTER an election. Even if you DO decide to raise one you STILL have to accept the results BEFORE you do. A legal challenge is a claim that the published result is not the ACTUAL result - it's is NOT a failure to ACCEPT the result - it's merely a quibble about what the result is. There's a massive difference.

        > Hackers caused Trump to win Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania
        A small number of people said that, had good reasons for saying that - which were trumped by people with more expertise pointing out something they miss. There's no "hate" there. Are citizens now no longer allowed to question whether voting machines are accurate ? Because people have been doing that on /. ever since I started reading this site in the previous century. We've had headlines over concerns that Diebold machines cheat in every election since 2000 ! Now all of a sudden asking if voting machines are trustworthy is 'hate' ?

        >2016 is the hottest year on record
        It is, your claim to the contrary is a lie. You are either a sucker or a liar yourself. Science doesn't stop being true because you don't like it.

        > Trump's economic plans to protect American workers were racist
        Nobody said that. We said his immigration plans and comments about refugees were racist. Well actually somebody DID say his economic plans were racist, but that only happened once, Friday - never before, and the person who said it was Bernie Sanders.

        >Trump's economic plans were virtually identical to those of Bernie Sanders
        Only on the surface, go read Bernies recent speech about them - and how he clarifies what the differences are and why those differences are extremely important. Indeed - HE says that THOSE differences makes Trump's version racist.
        You can't hold similarity to Bernie's plans up as proof he isn't racist when Bernie himself has pointed out racist differences in the plans. The plans also have, in reality, almost nothing in common anyway. Taking an example. Both claim to want to invest heavily in infrastructure. Sounds the same right ? Wrong, because HOW they want to do it has nothing in common.
        Bernie wanted to spend federal dollars fixing the infrastructure most in need of repairs - that would be the infrastructure in poor neighbourhoods and cities where there isn't any profit to be made and the local communities cannot afford to fund the upgrades themselves.
        Trump wants to set up an incentive scheme to encourage private companies to do infrastructure upgrade projects as for profit business ventures for tax breaks: that means they will only upgrade it where they can make money. In the wealthy neighbourhoods where the people can afford price hikes to pay them (and where the need for upgrades is smaller meaning they can spend less.
        While both would create jobs Bernie would have created a lot more, and his projects would have helped people like those in Flint Michigan. When you're only helping already rich, mostly white, suburbs due to the structure of your plan: that's pretty much the definition of a racist program. FDR had the same problem, many structures of the new deal excluded black people and a

    • by dickens ( 31040 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @12:18AM (#53357585) Homepage

      Make no mistake this is serious and these people are paid. It's about money and preserving the old energy business structure. Musk needs to hire massive PR and counterattack.

  • by dbIII ( 701233 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:18PM (#53357261)
    The same argument applies far more to Lockheed with their joint smoking fighter. Instead of going after real waste these cowards are attacking the little kid in aerospace.
    • The same argument applies far more to Lockheed with their joint smoking fighter.

      The USS Zumwalt is coming up strong on the outside in this category.

      • by Darinbob ( 1142669 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:51PM (#53357437)

        Every good patriotic defense contractor runs wings around Elon Musk when it comes to wasting the taxpayer's money. But that's ok, they make big weapons to appease the warhawks and bring the pork to their districts, whereas working with renewable energy is a serious sin in the culture wars.

    • I had to think of their fusion project when I saw Lockheed.

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx ( 565205 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:18PM (#53357263)
    Wait - not everything on the Internet is true?
  • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:27PM (#53357293) Homepage
    I'm not sure what the motivation is for these attacks. Musk hasn't been particularly political and mainly stayed out of this election. As far as I can tell, the primary motivations are one of two things. Either one, the people behind this are simply hateful and without a major target like Hillary must choose another, or two, they hate Musk because much of his work (electric cars, solar cells, even wanting to use methane for rockets because methane is a potentially renewable resource) has been to deal with issues related to global warming. If the second is the motivator, then it says something really fascinating: that there are elements of the right which not only are convinced that global warming is some sort of evil hoax, but that they actively hate people who disagree with them and are trying to take steps to destroy someone who is trying to help. If that's the case, it is truly a frightening example of the depth that people can sink to, and the levels they'll go to not just ignore facts they don't like but to actively try to harm people who try to deal with those factual issues.
    • by JoshuaZ ( 1134087 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:31PM (#53357313) Homepage
      Actually, having thought about this slightly more, another possible motivation occurred to me: there is a fair bit of evidence of Russian meddling in this election and that some of the anti-Hillary propaganda came from Russian sources to try to push the election to the candidate they favored. By the same token, Musk is potentially a real danger to Russian interests, since Russia is heavily oil dependent and also has an advantage when the US is dependent on Russia for manned space launches. If they have the now existing resources and hooks into the US public, then using it to harm Musk is a natural thing.
    • I can think of two motivations: if it's not the regular tall poppy syndrome that most of the internet haters depend on then it'll be fossil fuel companies trying to keep their dying businesses alive.
    • by Fire_Wraith ( 1460385 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:34PM (#53357331)
      Are you really surprised? The opposition to global warming was never founded on the basis of pretty much anything but economic concerns, especially by the fossil fuel industry, because there's a LOT of money in it. At the very least, that's where the money to oppose it comes from. It's really not at all surprising to me that there are a few who think Elon Musk is a threat, probably more because of his push for Solar Power and usable Electric Cars/infrastructure.
      • by CaptainDork ( 3678879 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:47PM (#53357407)


        Fossil fuel is (I know it's hard to fathom) more desperate for survival than tobacco was back when, and the IP industry is now.

        I helped litigate tobacco and the conversation went like this:

        Scientists: Your shit is killing people.
        Tobacco: Jobs.
        Lawyers: Your shit is killing people.
        Tobacco: Jobs.

        Rinse, repeat.

        • by SvnLyrBrto ( 62138 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @03:13AM (#53358119)

          The "jobs" argument for fossil fuels just doesn't make sense though. There's already more jobs in renewables than in oil or coal (Either one by itself. Not combined, yet.). We hit that tipping point this year. Jobs growth in renewables has been crushing fossil fuels for the last several years. Investments in renewables are growing exponentially. And if you look out past five years or so (Yeah, I know, most MBA types are congenitally incapable of looking past the next quarter. Whatever.) we're close to profit growth; and not long after, profits being larger than fossil duels. Renewables ARE where the jobs are, and it's where the money is fi you play the long game.

          Clean-Energy Jobs Surpass Oil Drilling for First Time in U.S. [bloomberg.com]
          Wind and Solar Are Crushing Fossil Fuels [bloomberg.com]

          Governor Schwarzenegger put it brilliantly. Even if you *don't* believe in global warming (Which is still a stupid-ass position.) fossil fuels are eventually going to run out. Before they run out, they're going to become more expensive to extract. Renewables are the future. Renewables are where the jobs and investment opportunities are, moving forward. And what sort of moron wants to be the last investor in Blockbuster when Netflix is about to crush them?

    • Yes, global warming is treated as an absolute lie by a huge chunk of the country. They treat anyone falling for it as either a fool or a part of the conspiracy, internal sabateurs trying to destroy America.

    • If the second is the motivator, then it says something really fascinating: that there are elements of the right which not only are convinced that global warming is some sort of evil hoax, but that they actively hate people who disagree with them and are trying to take steps to destroy someone who is trying to help.

      Remember what's said about religion: heretics and apostates are hunted down not because they are wrong but because they could be right.

    • I'm not sure what the motivation is for these attacks. Musk hasn't been particularly political and mainly stayed out of this election.

      From the article linked in TFS:

      Jaffe says that whoever is behind the attacks is aiming at Musk personally because they fear he could go into politics. He cited the allegations of fraud (emails) and negligence (Benghazi) levied at Clinton during the presidential campaign, charges that cemented the public’s perception of her as shady. “It’s the exact same thing as Musk. There’s a portion of the political spectrum that is scared to death of Musk as politician. They see him as a threat. They’re starting that process.”

    • by brokenpineapple ( 892669 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @12:09AM (#53357537) Journal
      The motivation? Page views. Duh! It makes a lot of ad money. They don't give a damn about the consequences as long as the ad revenue keeps flowing.
    • ... or three: the writers are being paid (indirectly, naturally) by individuals and companies whose finances are closely tied to fossil fuels. *cough* Koch brothers *cough*.

      Have you seem some of those right-wing news sites: some of them don't have a lot of ads, suggesting an alternative source of funding.

    • by daveschroeder ( 516195 ) * on Friday November 25, 2016 @08:23AM (#53359059)

      For the life of me, I can't figure out why people are in denial about Russia's involvement in attacking our electoral process.

      Sure, you can find Macedonian teenagers, and idiots in California who claim that "only conservatives fall for fake news" and that it "doesn't work with liberals" (...) but that's a side show.

      Start here, and read it until you grasp what is going on:

      Russian propaganda effort helped spread 'fake news' during election, experts say

      The flood of "fake news" this election season got support from a sophisticated Russian propaganda campaign that created and spread misleading articles online with the goal of punishing Democrat Hillary Clinton, helping Republican Donald Trump and undermining faith in American democracy, say independent researchers who tracked the operation.

      Russia's increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human "trolls," and networks of websites and social-media accounts echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.

      Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House. The sophistication of the Russian tactics may complicate efforts by Facebook and Google to crack down on "fake news," as they have vowed to do after widespread complaints about the problem.

      https://www.washingtonpost.com... [washingtonpost.com]

      Then continue here:

      A collection of articles on Russia influence operations in the United States:

      The threat from Russia
      22 Oct 2016

      How to contain Vladimir Putins deadly, dysfunctional empire

      FOUR years ago Mitt Romney, then a Republican candidate, said that Russia was Americas number-one geopolitical foe. Barack Obama, among others, mocked this hilarious gaffe: The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back, because the cold wars been over for 20 years, scoffed the president. How times change. With Russia hacking the American election, presiding over mass slaughter in Syria, annexing Crimea and talking casually about using nuclear weapons, Mr Romneys view has become conventional wisdom. Almost the only American to dissent from it is todays Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

      http://www.economist.com/news/... [economist.com]


      Belching smoke through the Channel, Russian aircraft carrier so unreliable it sails with its own breakdown tug
      22 Oct 2016

      The ageing Russian aircraft carrier that sailed through the English Channel escorted by the Royal Navy has been plagued by years of technical problems and is accompanied everywhere by a tug in case it breaks down.

      The plumbing is so bad on the 55,000 ton Admiral Kuznetsov that many of its toilets cannot be used, while it has had repeated problems with its power and a string of accidents, naval experts said.

      The Soviet-era warship is leading a flotilla of eight naval vessels to the eastern Mediterranean, where its aircraft are expected to join a renewed assault on the rebel-held city of Aleppo.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new... [telegraph.co.uk]


      Yes, 17 intelligence agencies really did say Russia was behind hacking
      21 Oct 2016

      Donald Trump

  • by RightwingNutjob ( 1302813 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:28PM (#53357299)
    WTF? Didn't you guys get the memo? Fake news was last week. This week it's hacked voting booths. Next week will be hacked fake news sites. Week after we will be voting for fake new hackers (they're actually middle aged).
  • We're entering the "Nothing is true, everything is permitted" stage of history. It's gonna be a fuckin' riot.

    Personally, I can't wait for CG to hit that sweet spot where one can make an absolutely convincing replica of anyone and make it do or say anything. Because who needs an objective reality anyway?

    Then again, AI replacing the human thought process is going to be pretty sweet too. IT'S NOT MY FAULT, THE COMPUTER TOLD ME TO DO IT!!!

    Oh boy, oh boy, we're living in the future folks. Hurrah!

  • Defamation, slander and libel laws are already on the books. I'm sure Mr. Musk can and will take care of himself.
  • by gravewax ( 4772409 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:38PM (#53357361)
    I doubt this is about pushing any agenda, Fake news drives large amounts of hits/click bait, which in return drives advertising revenue. Their are people all over the world who have realised this and their entire job is to generate fake news, not for any agenda, simply profit. The more controversial and topical the more likely to earn money. Up until a few weeks ago it was all about Hillary and Trump, now they need to move on.
    • However it's mostly uneducated/desperate/poor etc people who fall for this. That was exploited by Fox News, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh etc and now it's the same in the right wing echo chambers on Facebook, Twitter, Reddit & co that gave us Pizzagate.

      • by HBI ( 604924 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @02:07AM (#53357943) Journal

        The truth is that the vast mass of the public is stupid and taken in by false narratives. The mainstream media has been benefiting from this for decades. The fact that someone else cracked the code and found an alternative delivery system is the "problem" here, not the existence of dishonest media.

        Jayson Blair. Dan Rather's "fake but true" documents. Brian Williams in general...the list goes on and on and on. Hell, Walter Cronkite was often giving out palpable untruths in regards Vietnam on the evening news when I was a kid. The problem then was that we didn't find out the stuff was actually untrue until 25 years later with the research tools available via the Internet.

  • Buuuuuullshit (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Sartr ( 4784565 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:38PM (#53357363)
    I am a right winger. We like Elon Musk. He produces a quality product at a decent price. He is against over regulation in his industry. This fucking epidemic of stories about fake news this week is ridiculous. The Liberal media lost big, predicting a Hillary landslide, and they NEED a scapegoat to blame for their own idiocy. Trust in the media is at an all time low, and people aren't fooled by the MSM putting on a different hat and calling themselves "impartial fact-checkers" anymore. So the new plan is to declare any website we don't like as "fake news" and tie them into the other demonized group we made up, the "alt right". They are the enemy and they must be stopped.
  • Musk has flaws and his businesses have flaws, but they should be faced and corrected. There is no use for a smear campaign, or for ass-kissing on the other end.
  • You have to realize just how much the recent election shocked the shit out of the media. Wow, there is a whole world out there and they have NO IDEA what is going on. They have been living in a bubble and that bubble was burst, badly, on election night. They are deep hurting [youtube.com] and this isn't any kind of fake crocodile tears hurt. It's for real and they are going to engage in the kind of defense mechanisms that humans engage in when they are hurt this badly.

    So, what should their reaction be to the fact th

    • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Thursday November 24, 2016 @11:53PM (#53357439) Homepage
      You say "don't believe the mainstream media!" and recommend going to Breitbart for news? That's so wrong and laughable that I can't even come up with a car analogy for it.
  • Musk and his scientific/engineering teams landed a rocket vertically- more than once. Something that NASA engineers said could not be done and was impractical. They were wrong.

    Show me something like that from the right wing guys. Anything? What have they accomplished? Anything? Bueller?

    Might be Tucker all over again. But every single thing Tucker designed ended up in modern automobiles. Every single thing NASA has designed has resulted in a new products. And every single thing Musk develops will also end u

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      It's a bit much to assume that none of the scientists and engineers are conservative. That's like "all blacks ____", "all Muslims ___", etc.

    • Musk and his scientific/engineering teams landed a rocket vertically- more than once. Something that NASA engineers said could not be done and was impractical.

      Why do people think NASA engineers are the Gold Standard for engineers? Plenty of equally, if not not better, qualified people work elsewhere (probably for higher pay too). Not trying to dis NASA, just sayin'.

    • Re:Riiiight.... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by DNS-and-BIND ( 461968 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @01:10AM (#53357743) Homepage

      This is the kind of crazy that comes from existing in an echo chamber where everything good is left-wing and the right are scary enemies. It's self-reinforcing and is quite ignorant as well.

      The entire space program was thoroughly right-wing and patriotic from the beginning. It was a giant dick-waving competition with the Soviet Union over who was better, communism or capitalism. The few leftists in the space program were engaged in trying to steal the tech and deliver it to the Soviets. Wehrner von Braun, the father of the Saturn V rocket, was a Nazi and you can't get more right-wing than that. Science and STEM occupations in general are regularly attacked by the left for being exclusionary, unwelcoming to women, and all of the other crimes that we know so well. Now suddenly the right can't do calculus?

      The really crazy part is the sudden left-wing identification with weapons. The left has long been hoplophobic and now they suddenly overnight lost their fear of guns? These are people who won't even be in the same room if an unloaded pistol is lying on a table. They'll leave the building, it freaks them out.

      You also notice in this post there is no difference made between the right wing (most people in America) and the alt.right (a few thousand people). They are put together in the same bucket so that the odious beliefs of the alt.right may contaminate the entire right. The principle is: add a thimble of wine to a gallon of sewage and you've got a gallon of sewage, but add a thimble of sewage to a gallon of wine and you've got a gallon of sewage. This is just plain ignorant, but it's the new philosophy of the ctrl.left and sadly it has a good chance of working.

      • Wehrner von Braun, the father of the Saturn V rocket, was a Nazi and you can't get more right-wing than that.

        Wehrner von Braun, the father of the Saturn V rocket, was apolitical. That doesn't make him a good person, but he was willing to make rockets for anyone who would help him build a rocket that would go into space.

        The really crazy part is the sudden left-wing identification with weapons. The left has long been hoplophobic and now they suddenly overnight lost their fear of guns? These are people who won't even be in the same room if an unloaded pistol is lying on a table. They'll leave the building, it freaks them out.

        Lots of us liberals have been gun owners since forever. Gun ownership is a liberal value. A lot of fake-ass liberals who are actually neocons have been trying to convince us otherwise for decades, hypocrites like Barbara Feinstein who carried a purse gun (and probably still does, but in any case she

  • FUCK YOU! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ichthus ( 72442 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @12:05AM (#53357517) Homepage

    Fake news galvanized US president-elect Donald Trump's supporters

    Surely, it couldn't have been all of the FACTUAL information obtained from Hillary's email server, and the DNC's and Podesta's hacked accounts that "galvanized" the Trump supporters. And, of course, it couldn't have been Hillary's march toward globalization and the further degrading of US sovereignty. No, it was the FAKE NEWS boogeyman. OOoohhhh!

    Here's a clue: Trump won the presidency because of the continued efforts of the leftist media to muddy the waters with lies, and play interference for Hillary. Welp, we don't like being lied to, and it was apparent where the lies were coming from and who they were meant to benefit. So, on election day, we said "FUCK YOU!" to the liars. We said "Fuck you" to the perpetually scandalous Hillary, and we said "FUCK OFF" to the infantile, shrill, triggered little assholes that continue to plague the streets in protest of the process they claim to support.

    And now, as we repeatedly hear the drums of "fake news" and "hate speech" beat to the rhythm of the same lying lefty news orgs, we see it for what it is: an attempt to silence the voice of opposition. Racism, hate, white supremacy... it's so sad that these words have lost all meaning. These words call out ugly ideals and behavior, but the klaxon blowhards of the left have been crying wolf for too long. Now, it's time to eat crow, motherfuckers.

  • Guy that rich can afford *real* assassins.

  • Hello,

    News sites (fake or otherwise) should be extremely cautious of running salacious news stories about Elon Musk, given that fellow tech mogul Peter Thiel helped sue a media outlet into oblivion. Presumably, Elon Musk has the same capability.


    Aryeh Goretsky

  • Rage news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by buss_error ( 142273 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @02:53AM (#53358069) Homepage Journal

    I've noticed over the last 15 years that news reporting appears to deliberately incite rage in it's consumers. I conclude the reason is because happy news doesn't cause interaction that can be measured, while outrage causes people to post comments, link, and send to friends. These actions can be tracked, and if it can be tracked, it can be monetized. An example is Info Wars site. Most of their news is extremely slanted and almost seems to jerk the froth out of their average reader's mouth, while simultaneously reporting things dishonestly. When one bothers to fact check and independently confirm their stories, it is my opinion that they are almost without exception false to fact or put in the worst light possible. Nor is it confined to such fringe lunatic sites, this is found in Fox, Breitbart, Drudge, and to a lessor extent in CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS, and NPR.

    TL;DR: News is worthless. They all have an agenda and they all push it.

  • by ooloorie ( 4394035 ) on Friday November 25, 2016 @05:30AM (#53358527)

    In case you missed it, NPR tracked down a major source of fake news [kqed.org]

    Coler is a soft-spoken 40-year-old with a wife and two kids. He says he got into fake news around 2013 to highlight the extremism of the white nationalist alt-right. “The whole idea from the start was to build a site that could kind of infiltrate the echo chambers of the alt-right, publish blatantly fictional stories and then be able to publicly denounce those stories and point out the fact that they were fiction,” Coler says.

    That is, a left-wing agitator produces large amounts of right wing bullshit online and then left-wing media use that to support their view that there is a massive problem with fake news and "alt-right" views.

    This is similar to to the fake post-election hate-crime-wave that we are supposedly experiencing, and to the death threats people fake on Twitter. The left wing outrage machinery is largely fed by self-created fake stories.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake