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January 17, 2018 - 6:56am

Today's Poll: Do you consider news that is factually accurate but critical of a politician to be 'fake news'?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.
Dan King
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I voted no. But when the media only reports some of the facts, and not all the fact, then it's fake news.

Howard B. Owens
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The only time it is fake news is when there is an intentional act to deceive.

It's pretty obvious when that's the case -- fake news site, outlandish stories that aren't reported by legitimate news sources.

News from a professional news outlet that a person disagrees with is not fake news, no matter how the person thinks it should have been reported.

Candace Bower
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Partial news, taking a statement out of context or saying something that has not been substantiated is fake news and misleading. For instance, reporting only the negative things a person does and not balancing it with the positive things he does is biased reporting. It gives the viewer only a biased view. Reporters should report ALL the news so the viewer can make up their own minds.

Rich Richmond
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Well, said, Candace Bower. See the once professional news outlets such ABC for example, and Brian Ross, and his blockbuster, exclusive report about Michael Flynn. There are lies, damn lies, and partial facts to promote a political narrative.

Randy Smart
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So Howard,
Is the following Fake news or not, since it was reported by a legitimate news source and provides the facts, but has a very misleading headline, which it could be argued was meant to deceive, especially since a lot of people would only see the headline and not read the article:

http://www.newsweek.com/melania-trump-orders-removal-near-200-year-old-t...

Jeffery White
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How is that headline misleading exactly? That's just a factual statement. It's within her purview to make those decisions.

As to the other point, about people not reading the articles, maybe that's not actually the medias fault? Maybe it's just an unpopular opinion that you should, you know, actually read articles instead of just the headline.

Howard B. Owens
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None of the descriptions above are fake news.

You may not like it. You may not agree with it, but nothing listed qualifies as fake news.

Nor is it proof of any malicious actions on the part of any journalists.

Ed Hartgrove
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"The only time it is fake news is when there is an intentional act to deceive."

Really, Howard? If memory serves me correctly, several "legitimate news sources" have been raked over the coals (in recent years) for reporting stories without fact-checking the reliability of the sources (before publishing the story). Which is why we now use the "fake news" label.

Unless a specific reporter owned up to KNOWINGLY using false facts, we have no way of knowing if there was "an intentional act to deceive". The "legitimate news sources" might have relied on their employees integrity when they ran with the story. That doesn't make it any less "fake news".

Jeffery White
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Ed, we use the "fake news" label because it's a 'meme', not because of any real tangible event (or set of events) that has occurred.

It's just a joke on the internet that apparently went over the head of at least 30% of the population of this country...

Sorta like 'supply side economics'.

Howard B. Owens
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A fake news site publishing a story for social media saying the Pope has endorsed Donald Trump (example from the campaign) is fake news.

A reporter making a mistake is not fake news.

News flash: reporters are human.

In cases where reporters are dishonest -- Judith Miller, Stephen Glass, Janet Cooke, Jason Blaire -- they get hounded out of the business. The vast, vast, vast majority of news professional take seriously their obligation to be honest and accurate.

Candace Bower
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Last week it was reported that Trump was mentally ill. His doctor refuted it yesterday. Where do "reporters" get off taking someone's opinion and making it "news"? Reporters have become haters and this hatred skews their " so called" news reporting. It is irresponsible journalism. When they do make a mistake, do they correct it on air? Calling someone a racist is not journalism. It is an opinion.

Jeffery White
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"Where do "reporters" get off taking someone's opinion and making it "news""

Generally when the person giving the opinion has some sort of qualifications to give that opinion. I'd wager having an M.D. was pretty much all it took.

How many experts did Fox pull together to talk about whether or not Obama was a US citizen?
I don't remember a heck of a lot of crying about 'Fake News' back then from the right, odd that right?

Lots of news sites/papers have bias, that's always been the case and always will be. That's up to YOU to sort out, by reading/watching critically.

Howard B. Owens
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Where was it reported that Trump was mentally ill? Find me a link.

-- Where do "reporters" get off taking someone's opinion and making it "news"?

That's what I do every day. I go to a meeting, somebody says something, and I report it. That's how news works. If reporters didn't do that, there would be no news.

-- Reporters have become haters and this hatred skews their " so called" news reporting.

Simpley not true.

"When they do make a mistake, do they correct it on air?"

Yes.

-- Calling someone a racist is not journalism.

Find me any news reporter, who as a matter of reporting -- not quoting anybody saying it but in their own words, and not acting as a pundit or who is a pundit -- who has called anybody a racist?

Candace Bower
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Listen to CNN lately? Don Lemon and others. How about MSNBC? Howard.. Are .you are living in lala land? Everything I said happens every day on main stream news and cable. I personally witnessed a CNN consultant say Trump had mental issues. It was all over the news. If this was Obama.. you would be all over the conservative news reporters if they did this. As a history teacher, I would never come out and say the things that I hear on news stations. My job is to present both sides. That is what a good journalist on TV or print should do too. It is sadly missing in today's world and why mainstream Americans have such derision for these so called journalists. You are entitled to your opinion but I guarantee I represent many of your readers in western NY state.

C. M. Barons
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The significance of "fake news" is that substantial numbers of people haven't a clue how to distinguish fact from fiction. ...And that includes people who don't want to know- who prefer to believe something untrue rather than accept an uncomfortable truth. Aside from that, our neologist-in-chief has invented a new phrase: fake news. It joins past phrases of deflection such as "a small and unelected elite," "reporting failures" and "the press is the enemy." "Fake news" is not meant to be definitive; it is meant to be defensive. Like a first-grader at the front of the class for Show and Tell, rattling off the greatest whopper of all time, Donald hikes up his cheeks in a childish smile, shrugs his shoulders and relegates the unconvinced to the fake news pile.

Howard B. Owens
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I don't watch TV news (except for the CBS Evening News when Billie and I are able to watch it together). I do see a lot of stuff from CNN online and have never seen any news reporting that wasn't accurate, fair and balanced, and where they have made factual mistakes, they've corrected it.

"I personally witnessed a CNN consultant say Trump had mental issues."

A consultant is not a reporter so that is not a good example of the false narrative you're trying to push about news reporeters.

I asked you for an example of a news reporter stating that Trump had mental issues and you haven't provided that example.

Professional journalists, just like history teachers, present the facts as known to them at the time. You have not provided one example to support any assertion otherwise.

Howard B. Owens
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C.M., the president did not invent the term "fake news." He appropriated it after reports surfaced about individuals setting up websites during the campaign -- perhaps some with Russian ties -- that looked like news sites but posted entirely fictional stories. It happened on both sides, but the stories favorable to Trump seemed to get the most traction on social media. That's the etymology of "fake news" and why calling anything you don't like "fake news" is factually wrong.

Rich Richmond
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I agree Candace, and another example is the Brian Williams scandal at NBC News.
The man promoted himself as a Professional Journalist. We now know this Professional Journalist, working for NBC is a liar.

How many other lies did he tell that were covered up by NBC?

They didn’t fire him. Instead, they retained him at a lower salary after he apologized-so much for the integrity and credibility of NBC News.

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/22/business/media/brian-williams-scandal...

Tim Miller
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I notice that everybody arguing with Howard about “fake news” is referencing CNN, ABC, etc. Not a single one of you are referencing Fox and their “journalists” who spewed birtherism BS, or proclaimed President Obama was a muslim, etc.

Gosh - I wonder why.

Howard B. Owens
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Richard, Brian Williams was caught and disciplined, proving the system works.

Tim, I noticed the same thing.

Rich Richmond
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Howard, he was caught and not fired. The system at NBC News is broken. There should no tolerance for deliberate lying. This is nothing more than NBC News circling the wagons and protecting their own.

david spaulding
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I can feel the passion from everyone's posts..... I do learn a lot with the back and forth dialog. There have been times when your points of view have changed mine..
I love this place.... keep up the good work Howard and the rest of you Batavians...

Howard B. Owens
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He lost his anchor chair for a single lie in an otherwise respectable career. That ain’t chopped liver.

Thanks, David. That’s very nice.

Julie Morales
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Yes, Trump can draw a clock and can tell the difference between a camel and a lion. We can all rest easy.

Trump does have mental issues. It’s obvious. He’s a pathological liar. He instigates childish schoolyard arguments, makes ridiculous grandiose claims and taunts everyone he doesn’t like, including dangerous leaders of nuke holding countries. He makes up nicknames like a spoiled toddler. He may have gone too far now that “Sloppy Steve” has a date with Robert Mueller.

There is a difference between reporting news and editorial opinion.

A person who takes responsibility for his error and has the decency to apologize for it demonstrates more integrity and credibility than a man-baby who blatantly lies with impunity.

Just because Fox “news” assumes no responsibility for their lies doesn’t mean they report truth. Why not mention “pizza gate” or Seth Rich’s “murder”? His parents begged Sean Hannity to lay off the lies about their son and he refused to. Is that your idea of integrity and credibility?

I do agree there should be no tolerance for Fox deliberate lying. I’m sure they always report “both sides.”

Rich Richmond
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Pizza Gate, Pizza Gate, and Pizza Gate, the debunked conspiracy theory that started during the 2016 United States presidential election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pizzagate_conspiracy_theory

Shawn Hannity is a talk show host on Fox News. Talk shows are for opinions.

Brian Ross and Brian Williams are disgraced Journalists.

Brian Graz
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Wow... Candice#14, you nailed it pretty good.
I haven't had a TV in my home for 3-4 years now. I rely on radio [am,fm,sw], and of course the internet, and still the Main Scream Media pukes permeate the news I try to screen. Do a web search and look for a reputable source other than the MSM alphabet networks... then you need to try and verify the credibility of the secondary sources. I have a dossier [thanks Hillary] of reputable sites that I reference.

Randy Smart
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Unless you are a licensed mental health professional who has conducted a face-to-face psychiatric evaluation of President Trump, then you are in no way qualified to make a judgement on his mental health. Shakespeare said it best in Hamlet "Though this be madness, yet there is method in ’t." I would argue that everything Trump does is well thought out and calculated. He says what he does for a reason, and while the majority of people may not see his true intent and while the media (not just the news media) have latched on to any little statement he makes that they view controversial or offensive and spend an insane amount of time analyzing it (or hand-picking 'consultants' to analyze it) he has been able to achieve more in his first year as President than President Obama did in his 8 years, whether or not you want to acknowledge that or whether or not you agree with his agenda. News can be used to influence people's thinking, people's opinion. How journalists choose to word their headlines can have an effect on whether or not someone will be upset about the (perceived) injustice done or elated that something good happen. Take for example (the fictional) headline: "US Marine attacks African refugee and steals his lunch." Most people would be outraged at reading that, but what if the story was about a US Marine, who jumped into the lion's enclosure at the zoo to rescue a 2 year old boy who had fallen in and had been grabbed by the lion and the Marine had to use physical violence against the lion to free the child? That was the point behind my earlier post. The article headline didn't appropriate reflect the story. The story was that a 200 year old tree on the grounds of the White House needed to be removed because after extensive efforts to save it was deemed unsafe by specialists at the United States National Arboretum, who also determined the tree must be removed, Melania Trump's role in the whole situation was minor, yet she was the headline. Whether by design or not the title of the article was worded in such a way as to elicit a negative feeling toward the first lady. The majority of the news out there today may not be "fake", but it is also a far cry from "genuine". There was a time when the news would cover both sides of a story and ask engaging questions designed to better inform the public. Now it seems like they are displaying their biases without shame, at least that is my opinion, which in this great country of ours I am entitled to have and to share.

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