Showing posts with label lies and lying. Show all posts
Showing posts with label lies and lying. Show all posts

Monday, 19 February 2018

Surprise, Surprise. Nationals appear to be telling pork pies to voters on the NSW North Coast yet again



Echo NetDaily, 15 Februaty 2018:

An animal activist has accused two National Party MPs of 'misleading the public' over claims the RMS has revegetated more than a hundred hectares of land along the Pacific Highway Ballina upgrade route with tens of thousands of koala feed trees.
In recent weeks both roads minister Melinda Pavey and north coast MLC Ben Franklin have made public statements regarding the re-vegetation of koala habitat at Meerschaum Vale to compensate for the damage caused by the highway upgrade construction.
On February 3, Minister Pavey said in a press release that 'the government had re-vegetated 130 hectares of land with 95,000 koala feed trees.'
Then on February 9, Mr Franklin said that 'about 110 hectares, equating to 80,000 koala food trees had so far been planted and there were plans to plant another 20 hectares as part of the Woolgoolga to Ballina Upgrade.'

Empty paddock

But co-ordinator of Australians For Animals, Sue Arnold, told Echonetdaily she took a field trip to the re-vegetation site earlier this week, which 'revealed an empty paddock with no koala feed trees planted in spite of a sign indicating that the planting was part of a "130 hectares of Koala Food Trees planted".'
Ms Arnold said she was unable to find any other planting sites in the vicinity.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Is this 'fake news' site on YouTube just American home-grown nutters or is this a Russian-backed bad actor?


Freedom Daily says of itself that it exists topresent a forum for discussing meaningful conservative American and world news,from a perspective that is not your normal agenda-based Beltway bull. Articles on Freedom Daily are posted by members who are warriors for America’s freedom.We post and decipher content to a level that is consistent with a common senseapproach and falls in line with the ideals of American liberty and freedom.

This is the text of one of the videos it displays on YouTube.


Published on Feb 5, 2018
Over the last several weeks, the walls have been closing in around Barack Obama and the rest of his liberal minions in Washington D.C., as more evidence is revealed to the public concerning the criminal acts committed under his watch. It is apparent that the pressure is getting to the Obama family as Michelle has distanced herself from her corrupt husband by taking long vacations overseas alone. A damning video has emerged that could be all the evidence President Trump needed to put both Barack and Michelle Obama behind bars for a long time, and there is nothing they can do about it. 
Over the last two Presidential terms, the American people have had to sit and watch as Barack Obama made a mockery of the constitution and our nation's laws. For too long Obama was able to get away with numerous crimes, and we as conservatives began to feel hopeless. However, that all changed the moment that Donald Trump stepped on the scene, breathing new life into our country and promising that those who were corrupt would face dire consequences. 
The left scoffed at the very prospect of a Trump presidency, but to be safe, they began to craft a devious plan to protect the criminal elite hiding in D.C., knowing that Trump would come after them all. After Trump won the presidential election, the left sprung into action ready with their plan to protect their own including Barack Obama and of course, Hillary Clinton. 
Trump is not anyone's fool and was well aware that when he stepped foot into the White House. Trump knew the White House would be teeming with swamp creatures poised and ready to attack. Trump bided his time and made sure he chose wisely on who to allow into his inner circle, and one man who made the cut was Inspector General Michael Horowitz. 
Horowitz is what you would call a police departments "internal affairs" field, where he investigates the FBI and DOJ to ensure that all are playing by the same rules and held to the same standard of integrity as everyone else. Also, it is important to note that Horowitz was not a fan of the Obama administration after witnessing the despicable crimes that these leftist rats thought they got away with, such as the Hillary Clinton email scandal. 
The Inspector General conducted a sting operation last year into the corrupt FBI and DOJ and what he found was astounding. In fact, the Hillary email scandal and the Russian-collusion false narrative is just the beginning of the horrific crimes that occurred under the Obama administration. 
The FISA memo is mere child's play compared to the rest of crimes Obama and his minions committed, which brings us to the damning video. 
Rep. Steve King recently found an interview with Barack Obama in April 2016, where he "guarantees" to the American people that there was no corruption occurring in the FBI and DOJ. Well, that is funny since the FISA memo states that members of Obama's administration signed off on warrants to wiretap Trump based on false information. It was not just false information, but it was information that was manufactured all lies in a fake Russian scandal in an attempt to impeach Trump if he did get elected. 
Of course, you know this is driving Obama and Michelle crazy since they see the writing on the wall. The Obama's still have some friends left in D.C., and the word on the street is that there will be an inditement for Barack coming at the end of March. Now, here is where some could say is just a coincidence, but I don't believe in coincidences and neither should you. 
According to recent reports, Barack Obama is planning on taking his corrupt tail to New Zealand in March to celebrate the opening of Air New Zealand's new route to the U.S. Here is more from New Zealand Herald: 
"Former US President Barack Obama will finally go ahead with his promise to visit New Zealand on a trip in March. 
The Herald on Sunday understands Obama will visit on about March 21 arranged by Air New Zealand. 
It is understood the contract is due to be finalised and the visit announced next week. 
The reason for the visit is unknown but there has been speculation Air NZ is about to launch a new route to the United States, likely Chicago which is Obama's hometown.
Snopes calls Freedom Daily a disreputable website. One can understand why.

Monday, 8 January 2018

Is lying now the default position in the public sphere?


Bald-faced lying and doing it very badly now appears so commonplace in the public sphere that one has to wonder if it is the new base line for politicians, diplomats and corporations.

Here is yet another American example….
Via @sunny_hundal

Note: Once this clip went viral US ambassador to the Netherlands Pete Hoekstra issued the standard short, facile apology of a public figure caught uttering falsehoods.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Can anyone believe anything Australian Human Services Minister Alan Tudge and his motley crew say?


The New Daily,  21 November 2017:

The Department of Human Services flagged the illegal sale of Medicare details on the dark web almost a fortnight before the illicit trade was exposed in a bombshell media report, The New Daily can exclusively reveal.

Internal emails, obtained under freedom of information laws, reveal that department officials discussed the security issue as early as June 22 – nearly two weeks before revelations that Medicare numbers were being sold online.

On July 4, The Guardian revealed that a dark web vendor was advertising the sale of any Australian’s Medicare number for the bitcoin equivalent of just $22 after exploiting a government system vulnerability.

In the wake of the revelations, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge said that he and his department had only learned of the illicit trade when contacted by a Guardian journalist on July 3.

However, high-priority correspondence within DHS shows that senior officials discussed the trade on the dark net, which is only accessible through a customised browser, nearly two weeks before it made the news.

On June 22, Rhonda Morris, national manager for serious non-compliance, raised the issue with Kate Buggy, national manager for internal fraud control and investigations, and Mark Withnell, general manager of business integrity, as well as several unnamed officials.

In a later email on July 3, Mr Withnell apparently connected The Guardian’s inquiries to the department’s earlier discussions on the issue, writing to colleagues: “This is the one I was mentioning last week.”

It is unclear exactly what DHS knew about the sale of Medicare details on the dark web prior to July’s media report.

Citing exemptions related to law enforcement and criminal investigations, the department redacted most of the content of the emails released to The New Daily.

It refused to release numerous other related emails entirely.

A DHS spokesman denied the department had knowledge of a specific breach in June and said its internal discussions had only related to general matters……

In September, DHS told the Senate that as many as 165 people may have had their Medicare numbers sold to unknown parties, although there had been no unauthorised access of any Australian’s health records.

Last month, a seperate review commissioned by the department recommended beefing up the authentication procedures required to access the online database used by healthcare professionals.

Although the AFP is continuing to investigate the source of the breach, the government has said it was likely the result of “traditional criminal activity” rather than a cyber attack.

In February, DHS was embroiled in controversy after it released the personal information of a Centrelink recipient to a journalist in order to diffuse claims she made in the media.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Here is the man Trump and his supporters have been calling a low-ranking volunteer, a coffee boy - since Papadopoulos' plea deal was revealed




Salon, 1 November 2017:

The credibility of Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been called into serious question after the Justice Department unsealed a plea deal taken by a former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump's campaign.

The documents revealed that former adviser George Papadopoulos attended a "national security meeting in Washington D.C.," on March 31, 2016, along with Trump, Sessions and others. In that meeting, Papadopoulos "introduced himself," and explicitly stated "in sum and substance, that he had connections that could help arrange a meeting between then-candidate Trump and [Russian] President Putin."

Trump tweeted a picture of the meeting the day it occurred, and he, as well as Sessions, sat at opposite heads of the table. Papadopoulos is pictured to the left of Sessions in the middle of the table.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Australian Employment Minister Michaelia Cash misleads parliament and the media


“She could not make eye contact with Doug Cameron when responding to his questions. She was as twitchy as a cockatoo on coke.” - @MSMWatchdog2013

BuzzFeed News, 25 October 2017:

Cash denied five times her office leaked the information, telling Senate Estimates her office was not informed about the raids until they had begun.

"I found out as it unfolded on the television after I returned from a meeting yesterday about 4.45pm on the ABC," Cash said on Wednesday morning.

"My understanding was that a phone call was made to my office once the search warrant was issued just before I saw it on the television ... 4.30, 4.45pm," she said.

When asked if she or her office advised any other person about the raid, Cash said: "No, as I said I literally watched it on the television unfold myself".

When asked again if anyone in her office had tipped-off the media, Cash said: "I said my office received a phone call from the Registered Organisation Commission notifying them that search warrants were being executed as the phone call was being made."

When asked a third time, Cash said her office fielded media calls for her to respond after the raids, but denied it had tipped-off the media.

"I have full faith in my staff," she said.

When asked a fourth time, Cash said she could "assure" senators that her office "did not find out about the raids until after they were being conducted".

Cash then refuted the claims for a fifth time saying:

DOUG CAMERON: Can you assure the Senate that no-one in your office called any media outlets about 3.30 yesterday?

MICHAELIA CASH: Yes I can and quite frankly I am offended on behalf of my staff as to those allegations. They are very serious allegations.

CAMERON: They are questions.

CASH: They are very serious allegations and I refute them.

Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull later told Question Time: "The minister for employment has assured me that she did not advise any journalists about the raid ... she is in estimates, I believe, this afternoon, and will no doubt have the opportunity to go into this in great detail."

BuzzFeed News has spoken to journalists who claim they received a phone call from Cash's office an hour before the raids, to make sure there would be cameras outside the AWU offices in Melbourne and Sydney.

The journalists say Cash's office phoned them around 3.30pm on Tuesday with the location and time of the raid, emphasising that it would take place at a union office.

The staffer pointed out the union in question, the AWU, used to be run by Labor leader Bill Shorten.

Labor has backed independent senator Nick Xenophon’s call for an independent inquiry to establish who tipped-off the media prior to the AFP raids. [my yellow highlighting]

The Minister's denials came unstuck once BuzzFeed published this article online, however she continued denying personal knowledge and instead blamed her media adviser.
Senator Cash is also allegedly denying knowing that BuzzFeed contacted her office for comment "well before" the article was published.

Is it imagination or is Michaelia’s nose getting longer?

The question remains as to exactly when, rather than if, Michaelia Cash knew there was to be an Australian Federal Police raid on Australian Workers Union premises on 24 October 2017.

Because neither the Registered Organisation Commission nor the police are likely to have bypassed this particular government minster and opted to directly contacted a staffer instead, when the minister herself is reportedly the original source of the complaint made against the union.

Whether or not the Australian Parliament choses to believe her deception was not deliberate, the average voter is unlikely to give this senator the benefit of the doubt - she has form and will turn a blind eye to unlawful actions if it suits her purpose.

BACKGROUND

Registered Organisation Commission Statement:


On 25 October 2017 the AWU successfully applied to the court to have union documents obtained by police frozen until the court ruled on the legality of the seizure.


Friday, 20 October 2017

Tony Abbott will never stop until he has destroyed Australia


“the shame and humiliation of losing high office drives him on, with the thinnest of rationalisations for his actions” [Judith Brett]

La Trobe University Emeritus Professor Judith Brett writing in The Monthly, August 2017:
Once again Tony Abbott has wrecked the chances of Australia achieving a bipartisan policy on emissions reduction. When, at the end of 2009, he successfully challenged Malcolm Turnbull for leadership of the Liberal Party, the catalyst was Turnbull’s co-operation with the Rudd government over the introduction of an emissions trading scheme. Winning by one vote, Abbott immediately announced a secret ballot on whether the party should support the Labor government’s legislation. The result, 54 against to 29 for, spelled the end of the Opposition’s co-operation with the government on its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme. When the scheme reappeared in 2011 as a price on carbon under Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her climate change minister, Greg Combet, Abbott made this “great big new tax on everything” the centrepiece of his campaign against the government. And when he won the election in 2013 he repealed the legislation.
To be sure, others have also contributed to the long-running disaster of Australia’s climate policies: the Greens under Bob Brown, who, in a fit of self-indulgent high-mindedness, refused to support Labor’s legislation in the Senate; Kevin Rudd, who walked away from the “great moral challenge of our generation” when the going got tough; and Julia Gillard, with her culpable naivety in promising that there would be no carbon tax in a government she led, and then agreeing that the scheme her government introduced could be called a tax. But it has been Abbott’s continuing belligerent prosecution of what shadow environment minister Mark Butler calls in his new book the Climate Wars that has turned going slow on emissions reduction into a Liberal cause. It is Abbott who has given focus and a voice to the motley collection of climate sceptics in the Coalition party room and kept alive the delusion that coal has a viable long-term future. For even if it were not the case that burning coal is contributing to global warming, the rapid development of renewables and their plummeting price would be numbering its days. If one can make energy from the sun, wind and tides, why would anyone bother digging up and transporting coal?
And he is at it again. For a brief moment early in June, the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market, chaired by Australian Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel, held out the hope that Australian politics might reach a bipartisan consensus on a scheme to both reduce emissions and increase energy supply, by providing the certainty the private sector needs to invest in new energy generation. Fearing Abbott and his troops, Prime Minister Turnbull had already ruled out an emissions intensity scheme, despite its widespread industry support. Finkel knew he couldn’t consider it, even if it were a better option than the clean energy target he eventually recommended. The clean energy target seemed like clever politics. As it was “technology neutral” it did not explicitly rule out coal. Labor promised to work with the government to hammer out a deal it could live with when it returned to government. Business welcomed the possibility, finally, of a bipartisan agreement that would provide the certainty needed for new investment in energy generation. The Business Council of Australia, the Australian Industry Group, the Energy Users Association of Australia and energy retailers Origin, AGL and Energy Australia were all on board, and argued that the clean energy target would lower prices for consumers.
Not so, said Abbott, whose special contribution to the debate has been to reduce complicated, technical arguments to simple cut-through slogans with little connection to reality. The clean energy target is a tax on coal, he declared. Since the Finkel review was delivered, Abbott has upped his profile and his attacks on the government. Setting out his conservative manifesto to the Institute of Public Affairs at the end of June, he called for a moratorium on new wind farms, a freeze on the renewable energy target at its current level of 15% and the construction of another “big coal-fired power station”. Contrary to the evidence in the Finkel review and the assertions of the energy providers, Abbott claimed that the renewable energy target was causing people’s power bills to increase by making coal uneconomic, and that if private investors would not build a new coal-fired power station, then the government should step in and make good this market failure “as soon as possible”. Just why this last suggestion is either a liberal or a conservative one is hard to fathom. It sounds much more like an old-fashioned socialist argument for re-nationalisation of the power supply.
But consistency has never been Abbott’s strong point. His major preoccupation has always been product differentiation, drawing up the battlelines between the Liberal Party and its major enemy the Labor Party and winning the fight. From this perspective the main problem with the proposed clean energy target is that it is too similar to Labor’s policy. Abbott believed, he told Paul Kelly in early July, that energy policy was “the best hope for the government to win the next election”. Attacking the big fat carbon tax worked in 2013, so why wouldn’t it work again? Peta Credlin, whom Abbott described as the fiercest political warrior he had ever worked with, has since admitted on Sky News that Labor’s climate change policy was never a carbon tax, but that by pursuing “brutal retail politics” the Coalition made it one in the minds of the electorate, replacing fear for the future of the planet with a fight about the hip pocket.
Read the full article here.
www.tonyabbott.com.au, 11 October 2017

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sacked former Australian prime minister Tony Abbott was in London this month and 'Daring to Doubt'


"Primitive people once killed goats to appease the volcano gods, we are more sophisticated now but are still sacrificing our industries and our living standards to the climate gods to little more effect"Liberal MP for Warringah Tony Abbott, 9 October 2017

On 9 October 2017 a former Australian prime minister sacked by his party before he had completed one term in office was speaking at a Global Warming Policy Foundation event held at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London.

It appears that Tony Abbott made sure that no journalist from the Australian Broadcasting Commission was present to hear his anti-climate change lecture, “Daring to Doubt”.

One could understand his motive – after none of the venue rooms available can seat more than 210 persons.

Such a small number is hardly a good reason to sock Australian taxpayers for costs associated with this annual lecture – which on past behaviour he is highly likely to attempt.

In the last calendar year Abbott spent $29,444.13 on overseas travel as a backbencher without any additional parliamentary responsibility. He was reimbursed this money by the Dept. of Finance.

Readers should click on the link to the transcript of his ‘lecture’ and enjoy the irony of him of all people telling the British:

“In Australia, we’ve had ten years of disappointing government. It’s not just the churn of prime ministers that now rivals Italy’s, the internal divisions and the policy confusion that followed a quarter century of strong government under Bob Hawke and John Howard. It’s the institutional malaise. We have the world’s most powerful upper house: a Senate where good government can almost never secure a majority. Our businesses campaign for same sex marriage but not for economic reform. Our biggest company, BHP, the world’s premier miner, lives off the coal industry that it now wants to disown. And our oldest university, Sydney, now boasts that its mission is “unlearning”.”

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Study finds Trump, right-wing extremism and fake news won the media battle during the 2016 US presidential election campaign


In which Facebook Inc is identified as a major commercial player in the media landscape and a significant purveyor of fake news, as well as giving page space to highly partisan and clickbait news sites.

Excerpts from Harvard University, Berkman Klein Centre for Internet and Society, Rob Faris et al, Partisanship, Propaganda, and Disinformation: Online Media and the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, 16 August 2017:

Both winners and losers of the 2016 presidential election describe it as a political earthquake. Donald Trump was the most explicitly populist candidate in modern history. He ran an overtly anti-elite and anti-media campaign and embraced positions on trade, immigration, and international alliances, among many other topics, that were outside elite consensus. Trump expressed these positions in starkly aggressive terms. His detractors perceived Trump’s views and the manner in which he communicated them as alarming, and his supporters perceived them as refreshing and candid. He was outraised and outspent by his opponents in both the primary and the general election, and yet he prevailed—contrary to the conventional wisdom of the past several elections that winning, or at least staying close, in the money race is a precondition to winning both the nomination and the election.

In this report we explore the dynamics of the election by analyzing over two million stories related to the election, published online by approximately 70,000 media sources between May 1, 2015, and Election Day in 2016. We measure how often sources were linked to by other online sources and how often they were shared on Facebook or Twitter. Through these sharing patterns and analysis of the content of the stories, we identify both what was highly salient according to these different measures and the relationships among different media, stories, and Twitter users.

Our clearest and most significant observation is that the American political system has seen not a symmetrical polarization of the two sides of the political map, but rather the emergence of a discrete and relatively insular right-wing media ecosystem whose shape and communications practices differ sharply from the rest of the media ecosystem, ranging from the center-right to the left. Right-wing media were centered on Breitbart and Fox News, and they presented partisan-disciplined messaging, which was not the case for the traditional professional media that were the center of attention across the rest of the media sphere. The right-wing media ecosystem partly insulated its readers from nonconforming news reported elsewhere and moderated the effects of bad news for Donald Trump’s candidacy. While we observe highly partisan and clickbait news sites on both sides of the partisan divide, especially on Facebook, on the right these sites received amplification and legitimation through an attention backbone that tied the most extreme conspiracy sites like Truthfeed, Infowars, through the likes of Gateway Pundit and Conservative Treehouse, to bridging sites like Daily Caller and Breitbart that legitimated and normalized the paranoid style that came to typify the right-wing ecosystem in the 2016 election. This attention backbone relied heavily on social media.

For the past 20 years there has been substantial literature decrying the polarization of American politics. The core claim has been that the right and the left are drawing farther apart, becoming more insular, and adopting more extreme versions of their own arguments. It is well established that political elites have become polarized over the past several decades, while other research has shown that the electorate has also grown apart. Other versions of the argument have focused on the internet specifically, arguing that echo chambers or filter bubbles have caused people of like political views to read only one another and to reinforce each other’s views, leading to the adoption of more extreme views. These various arguments have focused on general features of either the communications system or political psychology—homophily, confirmation bias, in-group/out-group dynamics, and so forth. Many commentators and scholars predicted and measured roughly symmetric polarization on the two sides of the political divide.

Our observations of the 2016 election are inconsistent with a symmetric polarization hypothesis. Instead, we see a distinctly asymmetric pattern with an inflection point in the center-right—the least populated and least influential portion of the media spectrum. In effect, we have seen a radicalization of the right wing of American politics: a hollowing out of the center-right and its displacement by a new, more extreme form of right-wing politics. During this election cycle, media sources that attracted attention on the center-right, center, center-left, and left followed a more or less normal distribution of attention from the center-right to the left, when attention is measured by either links or tweets, and a somewhat more left-tilted distribution when measured by Facebook shares. By contrast, the distribution of attention on the right was skewed to the far right. The number of media outlets that appeared in the center-right was relatively small; their influence was generally low, whether measured by inlinks or social media shares; and they tended to link out to the traditional media—such as the New York Times and the Washington Post—to the same extent as did outlets in the center, center-left, and left, and significantly more than did outlets on the right. The number of farther-right media outlets is very large, and the preponderance of attention to these sources, which include Fox News and Breitbart, came from media outlets and readers within the right. This asymmetry between the left and the right appears in the link ecosystem, and is even more pronounced when measured by social media sharing…..

Our data suggest that the “fake news” framing of what happened in the 2016 campaign, which received much post-election attention, is a distraction. Moreover, it appears to reinforce and buy into a major theme of the Trump campaign: that news cannot be trusted. The wave of attention to fake news is grounded in a real phenomenon, but at least in the 2016 election it seems to have played a relatively small role in the overall scheme of things. We do indeed find stories in our data set that come from sites, like Ending the Fed, intended as political clickbait to make a profit from Facebook, often with no real interest in the political outcome…..

Our observations suggest that fixing the American public sphere may be much harder than we would like. One feature of the more widely circulated explanations of our “post-truth” moment—fake news sites seeking Facebook advertising, Russia engaging in a propaganda war, or information overload leading confused voters to fail to distinguish facts from false or misleading reporting—is that these are clearly inconsistent with democratic values, and the need for interventions to respond to them is more or less indisputable. If profit-driven fake news is the problem, solutions like urging Facebook or Google to use technical mechanisms to identify fake news sites and silence them by denying them advertising revenue or downgrading the visibility of their sites seem, on their face, not to conflict with any democratic values. Similarly, if a foreign power is seeking to influence our democratic process by propagandistic means, then having the intelligence community determine how this is being done and stop it is normatively unproblematic. If readers are simply confused, then developing tools that will feed them fact-checking metrics while they select and read stories might help. These approaches may contribute to solving the disorientation in the public sphere, but our observations suggest that they will be working on the margins of the core challenge……  

In this study, we analyze both mainstream and social media coverage of the 2016 United States presidential election. We document that the majority of mainstream media coverage was negative for both candidates, but largely followed Donald Trump’s agenda: when reporting on Hillary Clinton, coverage primarily focused on the various scandals related to the Clinton Foundation and emails. When focused on Trump, major substantive issues, primarily immigration, were prominent. Indeed, immigration emerged as a central issue in the campaign and served as a defining issue for the Trump campaign.

We find that the structure and composition of media on the right and left are quite different. The leading media on the right and left are rooted in different traditions and journalistic practices. On the conservative side, more attention was paid to pro-Trump, highly partisan media outlets. On the liberal side, by contrast, the center of gravity was made up largely of long-standing media organizations steeped in the traditions and practices of objective journalism.

Our data supports lines of research on polarization in American politics that focus on the asymmetric patterns between the left and the right, rather than studies that see polarization as a general historical phenomenon, driven by technology or other mechanisms that apply across the partisan divide.

The analysis includes the evaluation and mapping of the media landscape from several perspectives and is based on large-scale data collection of media stories published on the web and shared on Twitter……

Immigration emerged as the leading substantive issue of the campaign. Initially, the Trump campaign used a hard-line anti-immigration stance to distinguish Trump from the field of GOP contenders. Later, immigration was a wedge issue between the left and the right. Pro-Trump media sources supported this with sensationalistic, race-centric coverage of immigration focused on crime, terrorism, fear of Muslims, and disease.

While coverage of his candidacy was largely critical, Trump dominated media coverage…..

Conservative media disrupted.
Breitbart emerges as the nexus of conservative media. The Wall Street Journal is treated by social media users as centrist and less influential. The rising prominence of Breitbart along with relatively new outlets such as the Daily Caller marks a significant reshaping of the conservative media landscape over the past several years…..  

Donald Trump succeeded in shaping the election agenda. Coverage of Trump overwhelmingly outperformed coverage of Clinton. Clinton’s coverage was focused on scandals, while Trump’s coverage focused on his core issues.
Figure 1: Number of sentences by topic and candidate from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

On the partisan left and right, the popularity of media sources varies significantly across the different platforms. On the left, the Huffington Post, MSNBC, and Vox are prominent on all platforms. On the right, Breitbart, Fox News, the Daily Caller, and the New York Post are popular across platforms.

Table 1: Most popular media on the right from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

Table 2: Most popular media on the left from May 1, 2015, to November 7, 2016

Disinformation and propaganda are rooted in partisanship and are more prevalent on social media.

The most obvious forms of disinformation are most prevalent on social media and in the most partisan fringes of the media landscape. Greater popularity on social media than attention from media peers is a strong indicator of reporting that is partisan and, in some cases, dubious.

Among the set of top 100 media sources by inlinks or social media shares, seven sources, all from the partisan right or partisan left, receive substantially more attention on social media than links from other media outlets.


These sites do not necessarily all engage in misleading or false reporting, but they are clearly highly partisan. In this group, Gateway Pundit is in a class of its own, known for “publishing falsehoods and spreading hoaxes.”

Disproportionate popularity on Facebook is a strong indicator of highly partisan and unreliable media.

A distinct set of websites receive a disproportionate amount of attention from Facebook compared with Twitter and media inlinks. From the list of the most prominent media, 13 sites fall into this category. Many of these sites are cited by independent sources and media reporting as progenitors of inaccurate if not blatantly false reporting. Both in form and substance, the majority of these sites are aptly described as political clickbait. Again, this does not imply equivalency across these sites. Ending the Fed is often cited as the prototypical example of a media source that published false stories. The Onion is an outlier in this group, in that it is explicitly satirical and ironic, rather than, as is the case with the others, engaging in highly partisan and dubious reporting without explicit irony.


Asymmetric vulnerabilities: The right and left were subject to media manipulation in different ways.

The more insulated right-wing media ecosystem was susceptible to sustained network propaganda and disinformation, particularly misleading negative claims about Hillary Clinton. Traditional media accountability mechanisms—for example, fact-checking sites, media watchdog groups, and cross-media criticism—appear to have wielded little influence on the insular conservative media sphere. Claims aimed for “internal” consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem were more extreme, less internally coherent, and appealed more to the “paranoid style” of American politics than claims intended to affect mainstream media reporting.

The institutional commitment to impartiality of media sources at the core of attention on the left meant that hyperpartisan, unreliable sources on the left did not receive the same amplification that equivalent sites on the right did.

These same standard journalistic practices were successfully manipulated by media and activists on the right to inject anti-Clinton narratives into the mainstream media narrative. A key example is the use of the leaked Democratic National Committee’s emails and her campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails, released through Wikileaks, and the sustained series of stories written around email-based accusations of influence peddling. Another example is the book and movie release of Clinton Cash together with the sustained campaign that followed, making the Clinton Foundation the major post-convention story. By developing plausible narratives and documentation susceptible to negative coverage, parallel to the more paranoid narrative lines intended for internal consumption within the right-wing media ecosystem, and by “working the refs,” demanding mainstream coverage of anti-Clinton stories, right-wing media played a key role in setting the agenda of mainstream, center-left media. We document these dynamics in the Clinton Foundation case study section of this report.

The New York Times, 6 September 2017:

Fake Russian Facebook Accounts Bought $100,000 in Political Ads

Providing new evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election, Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that it had identified more than $100,000 worth of divisive ads on hot-button issues purchased by a shadowy Russian company linked to the Kremlin.

Most of the 3,000 ads did not refer to particular candidates but instead focused on divisive social issues such as race, gay rights, gun control and immigration, according to a post on Facebook by Alex Stamos, the company’s chief security officer. The ads, which ran between June 2015 and May 2017, were linked to some 470 fake accounts and pages the company said it had shut down.

Facebook officials said the fake accounts were created by a Russian company called the Internet Research Agency, which is known for using “troll” accounts to post on social media and comment on news websites.

The disclosure adds to the evidence of the broad scope of the Russian influence campaign, which American intelligence agencies concluded was designed to damage Hillary Clinton and boost Donald J. Trump during the election. Multiple investigations of the Russian meddling, and the possibility that the Trump campaign somehow colluded with Russia, have cast a shadow over the first eight months of Mr. Trump’s presidency.

Facebook staff members on Wednesday briefed the Senate and House intelligence committees, which are investigating the Russian intervention in the American election. Mr. Stamos indicated that Facebook is also cooperating with investigators for Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel, writing that “we have shared our findings with U.S. authorities investigating these issues, and we will continue to work with them as necessary.”….

In its review of election-related advertising, Facebook said it had also found an additional 2,200 ads, costing $50,000, that had less certain indications of a Russian connection. Some of those ads, for instance, were purchased by Facebook accounts with internet protocol addresses that appeared to be in the United States but with the language set to Russian.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

This isn't the first time Coalition MPs have lied about costings


“FEDERAL Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's populist "tax grabs" would cost Australians an eye-watering $150 billion over 10 years, the Federal Government will reveal today……Independent modelling by the Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) and Treasury shows that under a Shorten government small business, mum and dad investors, older Australians and higher-income earners would be slapped with higher taxes.” [The Northern Star, 14 August 2017]

The Parliamentary Budget Office exposes the lie………


This is not the first time a Coalition MP has uttered political lies about costings. Tony Abbott, Joe Hockey and Andrew Robb became rather famous for it.

ABC News, 11 October 2010:

The Federal Government says the Coalition did not tell the truth before the last election when it claimed to have had its costings audited.
The Opposition did not submit its costings to Treasury before the election, but said they had been audited by a big accountancy firm.
Fairfax newspapers quote letters between the Liberal Party and the accountants saying the work would not constitute an audit in accordance with Australian standards.

And conservative politicians wonder why the general public perceives such a yawning credibility gap.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

The list of US President Trump's outright lies and falsehoods gets even longer


The New York Times,  23 June 2017:

President Trump’s political rise was built on a lie (about Barack Obama's birthplace). His lack of truthfulness has also become central to the Russia investigation, with James Comey, the former director of the F.B.I., testifying under oath about Trump's “lies, plain and simple.”

There is simply no precedent for an American president to spend so much time telling untruths. Every president has shaded the truth or told occasional whoppers. No other president — of either party — has behaved as Trump is behaving. He is trying to create an atmosphere in which reality is irrelevant.

Read the article with its long list of lies here.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

U.S. Trump Regime's Anti-science Stance Hardens aka Where To Get Basic EPA 2016 Climate Change Data While You Can


Searching with Google for https://www.epa.gov/ on 29 April 2017 and clicking on link to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Climate Change Basic Information - Causes of Climate Change - Great Plains, this webpage appeared:

The change appears to have occurred on or about 21 April 2017.

The ‘explanation’ for this change is expanded at https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/epa-kicks-website-updates:

News Releases from Headquarters› Office of the Administrator (AO)

EPA Kicks Off Website Updates

WASHINGTON – EPA.gov, the website for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, is undergoing changes that reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt. The process, which involves updating language to reflect the approach of new leadership, is intended to ensure that the public can use the website to understand the agency's current efforts. The changes will comply with agency ethics and legal guidance, including the use of proper archiving procedures. For instance, a screenshot of the last administration’s website will remain available from the main page.

“As EPA renews its commitment to human health and clean air, land, and water, our website needs to reflect the views of the leadership of the agency,” said J.P. Freire, Associate Administrator for Public Affairs. “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

The first page to be updated is a page reflecting President Trump’s Executive Order on Energy Independence, which calls for a review of the so-called Clean Power Plan. Language associated with the Clean Power Plan, written by the last administration, is out of date. Similarly, content related to climate and regulation is also being reviewed.

While Twitter showed a link this in the official EPA timeline on 29 April 2017.

Fox News Insider, 27 April 2017:

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said on "The First 100 Days" tonight the United States should exit the Paris climate agreement because it's a "bad business deal" for America.

Pruitt said the U.S. "front-loaded" our costs under the Paris accord, while countries like China, Russia and India can continue to pollute and not take steps that our country already has.

He noted that U.S. carbon dioxide emissions are at pre-1994 levels, thanks to innovation and technology.

"What we should be talking about is how we export innovation, how we export technology that we've already deployed here," Pruitt said.

He said that the Obama administration's Clean Power Plan and the Paris deal represented a $2.2 trillion reduction in gross domestic product over a ten year period for the U.S., in addition to $292 billion of compliance costs and up to 400,000 lost jobs annually.

"That's a bad business deal for this country," Pruitt said, calling it a prime example of the previous administration's "America last" strategy.

To date there are an est. 14,481 EPA webpage captures on the Wayback Machine between 18 Apr 1997 and 28 Apr 2017.

So before Donald Trump rewrites U.S. climate change history and smothers the EPA website with 'alternative facts' I suggest interested readers download what data they can while they can.

EPA's Climate Change Indicators in the United States was published in 2016 and here is the Wayback archive of that document:


2016 full report (PDF)(96 pp, 20 MB, August 2016)
2016 fact sheet (PDF)(2 pp, 2 MB, October 2016)


EPA has developed comprehensive technical documentation that describes the data sources and analytical methods for every indicator presented in the Climate Change Indicators in the United States report. A PDF version of the technical documentation is provided below for each indicator, along with an overview that describes EPA's process for selecting and evaluating indicators.

Additional files you can download from other pages:

High-resolution figures and the numerical data underlying the figures (on each indicator page)

You may need Adobe Reader to view files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.

Technical documentation overview (PDF)(15 pp, 339 K, August 2016)
Arctic Sea Ice technical documentation (PDF)(11 pp, 382 K, November 2016)
Drought technical documentation (PDF)(9 pp, 273 K, August 2016)
Glaciers technical documentation (PDF)(8 pp, 260 K, August 2016)
Lake Ice technical documentation (PDF)(9 pp, 270 K, August 2016)
Ocean Heat technical documentation (PDF)(5 pp, 195 K, August 2016)
Sea Level technical documentation (PDF)(11 pp, 301 K, August 2016)
Snow Cover technical documentation (PDF)(6 pp, 210 K, August 2016)
Snowfall technical documentation (PDF)(7 pp, 212 K, August 2016)
Snowpack technical documentation (PDF)(6 pp, 223 K, August 2016)
Wildfires technical documentation (PDF)(13 pp, 548 K, August 2016)