Posted by: Gregoryno6 | May 6, 2019

Spanners in the fake news machine.

Earlier in the year we saw Nick Sandemann targeted and vilified in a highly edited video. When the fuller picture emerged, Nick and his fellow Covington students were exonerated.

NIck’s legal team, led by Robert Barnes, have now filed three lawsuits worth hundreds of millions of dollars each, against CNN, the Washington Post, and now NBC/MSNBC.

Good. I hope the lawsuits stick, and those assorted media mugs howl all the way to the bank.

There’s one thing I don’t want to see here – the standard public statement that runs ‘the parties reached a mutual agreement and settled out of court’. Or words to that effect. No: make the numbers public. Paint them on the walls in letters ten storeys high.

The fake newsers had no hesitation in pouring the hot oil on Nick and his friends – now it’s their turn to take the bath. Fry them. Fry them in the middle of the town square where everyone can watch.

Because it’s obvious that the lesson has yet to be learnt.

Conservative philosopher Sir Roger Scruton has won a spectacular victory against the New Statesman…

The smear — a result of selective editing of the interview and malicious tweeting by the magazine’s deputy editor George Eaton — cost Scruton his job on a government advisory body.

Eaton fiddled and diddled to make Scruton appear racist and anti-Semitic. But Sir Roger has posted his recording of the interview online. It’s available for your listening here, with transcript. And as with the Covington boys, it’s clear that some doctoring has been done.

Fake News takes another fall. Delingpole again:

The mainstream media – including Conservative-leaning publications such as the Telegraph, the Mail and the Sun – also emerges with its credibility tarnished. None of these publications gave Scruton a sympathetic hearing.

Here in The Great South Land, the fight against fake news has been focused in the halls of academe. Professor Peter Ridd, sacked last year by James Cook University for daring to challenge the orthodoxy that climate change is killing the Great Barrier Reef, took his cause to court and won.

Link here to Watts Up With That?, which provides some background on the case, and links to the full text of the judge’s finding. WUWT features a few selected quotes, of which this one is eye-catching to say the least:

Whilst none of this makes any difference at all to my ultimate decision, the actions of the University in this respect are, quite frankly, appalling. They have had no regard for the anguish that Professor Ridd felt between 24 August 2017 and 19 September 2017. There has not even been an apology for what can only be seen as extremely callous behaviour. This is inexcusable.

On the other side of the fence, and of the country, Perth academic Andrew Priest has been identified as a significant contributor to the activist group Sleeping Giants. SG presents – rather, presented itself as the public face of a large community. That turned out to be some fake news right there.

Research conducted on February 22 by Sky News using social media intelligence firm Brandwatch reveals Mr Priest’s account @Aushiker is the most engaged in Australia in relation to the Sleeping Giants campaign.

His account was responsible for about 43 per cent of activity across the top 10 most engaged accounts between January 1 and February 21.

Sleeping Giants generally is a powerful example of how impressions can be manufactured. The Brandwatch study determined that it has a core tweeting group of 32 people. There is a wider group that retweets, but the real active core is just 32.

I have less concern for the targets of Mr Priest’s tweets, however, than I do for his students.

Mr Priest is a lecturer in the School of Business and Law at ECU and serves as a member of the school’s ethics subcommittee.


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