You'll Be OUTRAGED at What BreachBangClear Has To Say About Fake News!

[Today’s op-ed was brought to you in its entirety by Daniel Defense, a member of Joint Task Force Awesome. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the views held by any member of JTF Awesome]

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You’ll Be OUTRAGED at What BreachBangClear Has To Say About Fake News!

Chris Hernandez

I identify as semi-conservative, but I’ll admit something: my fellow conservatives seem to constantly fall for stupid, ridiculous, fake news articles. Whether it’s some load of evidenceless crap in articles with titles like “This PROVES Obummer is a secret mooslim!”, a hoax web site like “abcnewsgo.co” that tries to trick people into thinking it’s the real ABC site “abcnews.go.com”, or random videos of any fighter in Syria being sniped by anyone but headlined “US Delta Force sniper kills ISIS terrorist!”, conservatives just love to fall for fake news. Even worse, they love to share it.

Before the election, President-Elect Trump’s campaign shared a fake news story originally from Russia, and General Mike Flynn, Trump’s pick for National Security Adviser, shared a fake story about Hillary Clinton being involved in child sex abuse. Recently some dumbass who believed another fake story about Hillary Clinton’s involvement in child sex trafficking walked into a pizza place, pointed a rifle at an employee and fired a shot into the ceiling. Another dumbass who believed “Sandy Hook was faked so Obummer could take our guns!” was arrested this month for threatening the parent of a child murdered in the Newtown massacre.

I frequently find myself telling my conservative friends to fact-check stories before sharing them, and countering their claims with real articles based on real facts. I also, on occasion, get tired of being reasonable and instead verbally beat up on fools who believe incredibly stupid articles claiming things like “Jade Helm is an invasion of Texas! They’re gonna take our guns and put us in Wal-Mart FEMA death camps!” (Someone remind me, did Obama invade Texas, take our guns and genocide all true Texas patriots? Jade Helm ended September of last year, and I can’t remember if I got rounded up and murdered or not.)

No, this isn't Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi. This picture has been on the net since at least 2009 and was shared in a blog post five months before the Benghazi attack. Save the image, then do an image search before you share ridiculous, lying crap like this.

No, this isn’t Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi. This picture has been on the net since at least 2009 and was shared in a blog post five months before the Benghazi attack.

Many liberals have noticed the conservative propensity to embrace fake news. Major media outlets like the New York Times, LA Times, NPR, Wall Street Journal and CNN have published stories about fake news, and the totally-unbiased site Salon even created a “tool for stopping fake news”. In fact, Trump’s election has been declared the beginning of “The Post-Truth Presidency”. I’ve seen gallons of liberal tears, driven by the horrible and brand-spanking-new scourge of fake news shared by evil conservatives. I see the liberals’ point, and I’m happy to see such concern over fake news.

But I have a question: How does everyone feel about stories that originated as gigantic lies, but were seized upon because they confirmed what many people already believed, and were spread by almost every media outlet in America?

Does anyone remember a fake news story with the cute title of Hands Up Don’t Shoot”?

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Shortly after committing a strongarm robbery, Michael Brown was reportedly shot in the back by a police officer while his hands were up in surrender (according to his petty criminal buddy). People across America – mainly those left of center – embraced the “racist cop murders an unarmed black teenager trying to surrender” narrative, which was broadcast over and over, for well over a year. And this narrative didn’t just cause outcry and protests; it caused riots, assaults, arson, and may have contributed to at least eleven murders.

In December 2014, two NYPD officers were murdered by a man seeking revenge for the killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. In July 2016, a former Soldier motivated in part by the Black Lives Matter movement, which was created in response to the Michael Brown shooting, murdered five police officers in Dallas. The following day another man angry about alleged police murders of innocent black people shot three white civilians and a police officer in Tennessee, killing a 44 year old woman. Nine days later Gavin Long, a former Marine angered by what he viewed as unjustified killings of black men, murdered three police officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge.

No, “hands up don’t shoot” wasn’t invented to get stupid people to click on articles full of ads, or to trick voters. But it was invented by a criminal and had all the hallmarks of a lie. And holy cow, a reasonable person might have held a bit of skepticism toward an outrageous story about what a wonderful person a dead robber was.

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All the investigations of the Michael Brown shooting – including the DoJ investigation overseen by Eric Holder, who shortly after the incident joined former Ohio Governor Ted Strickland in comparing Brown’s shooting to the racist murder of Emmitt Till – showed that the shooting was justifiable. Brown did commit a robbery and attack a police officer, and was not shot while surrendering. The DoJ’s report on the actual facts of the case was so different from the hysterical public outcry, even black liberal Washington Post reporter Jonathan Capehart was compelled to write an article and publish a video statement titled “Hands Up Don’t Shoot Was Built On A Lie.” Shouldn’t the people crying over fake news also be up in arms about Hands Up Don’t Shoot?

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Hands Up Don’t Shoot was just ONE fake story enthusiastically spread by non-skeptical media and a large portion of the population. Rolling Stone spread a fake story about a brutal campus gang rape that never happened, because it confirmed what many social justice types believe about “campus rape culture”. After riots broke out over the justified police shooting of an armed criminal in Milwaukee, CNN not only refused to report that the criminal’s sister called for rioters to burn down the suburbs, they changed her call for violence to “a call for peace”. Multiple media outlets keep reporting on the supposed avalanche of racist harassment of minorities like me since Trump’s election, without trying too hard to tell the public when some of those harassment reports turn out to be false.

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A man posted this on November 23rd, 2016. HOWEVER…

The picture he used was taken from an incident that occurred almost three years earlier. He's since removed the post and apologized "for causing doubt and discomfort".

The picture he claimed was from his garage was actually from an incident that occurred almost three years earlier in a different state. He’s since removed the post and apologized “for causing doubt and discomfort”.

Then there are the stupid lies shared by both sides, for different reasons. Alicia Watkins, a supposed Air Force Afghanistan and Iraq vet, claimed she was wounded by an IED and lost a friend in the 9/11 attack. In 2015, the Huffington Post shared her story because it confirmed everything they like to believe about veterans, especially female veterans: “She was wounded, she was raped in the military, and she was homeless after discharge!” In 2016 Watkins wore a press badge at a press conference for Donald Trump’s new hotel, and asked Trump if he would hire vets. Trump offered her a job on the spot. Conservatives spread her story because it was proof Donald Trump supports “the veterans”.

Guess what? According to Air Force records, Watkins was never in Iraq, never wounded and never in combat. She also wasn’t a reporter. But she was useful to both sides, so both sides were happy to share her “fake news”.

Alicia Watkins wearing a Purple Heart she never earned and discussing an injury she never received. From Guardian of Valor.

Alicia Watkins wearing a Purple Heart she never earned and discussing an injury she never received. Photo credit GuardianofValor.com.

Speaking of actual fake news that was swallowed hook, line and sinker by many on the left, please read this anonymous confession by a man who claimed “alt-right poison nearly turned me into a racist.” How did he nearly turn into a racist? He watched videos from people like Sam Harris and Milo Yiannapoulos, and concluded “Well, I’m more a left-leaning centrist. PC culture has gone too far, we should be able to discuss these things without shutting down the conversation by calling people racist, or bigots.” His reasonable open-mindedness meant that “The indoctrination was complete,” he was almost a racist, and the “online radicalization of white men” was here.

The British website The Guardian published it. Then Godfrey Elfwick, an English student who frequently (and masterfully) trolls social justice philosophy, produced evidence that he wrote it.

It should have been easily recognizable as Onion-type satire, but The Guardian didn’t see it. Why not? My guess is that it confirmed their staff’s general opinion: any criticism of progressive thought or recognition of the threat of radical Islam is racist and Islamophobic.

So fake news isn’t exclusive to the right. But please, conservatives, stop sharing links to BS articles on web sites full of ads for erectile dysfunction pills. Next time you see an article that “PROVES Hillary is selling Guatemalan children to Siberia as slave labor!”, maybe you should, oh, fact check it or something before sharing it. Any outrageous story that proves everything you already believe is probably too good to be true.

Fake news isn’t exclusive to the left either. But please, liberals, stop accepting every claim of racism, sexism or rape at face value. Next time you read a story claiming “Trump supporter tears hijab off Muslim woman while screaming ‘build the wall!’”, maybe you should, oh, check to see if it’s an uncorroborated, baseless accusation. Any outrageous story that proves a racist is hiding under every rock, like you already believe, is probably too good to be true.

And if you’re like me, and disgusted by the river of utter crap and propaganda from both sides, hang in there. Call out the lies, even if they’re from your own side, every time you see them. If enough of us do that, we’ll create the change we need.

-CH



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breachbangclear.com_site_images_Chris_Hernandez_Author_BreachBangClear4Chris Hernandez Mad Duo Chris, seen here on patrol in Afghanistan, may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-ClearHe is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog. You can find his author page here on Tactical 16.

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More about Daniel Defense: Chances are that if you’re reading this page, you’re at least familiar with AR-15’s. Most all of us here at BreachBangClear have carried AR’s or M4’s in professional capacities the world over, and we’ve even managed to learn a thing or two about guns along the way. We won’t sell you a line of shit–Daniel Defense is definitely a go-to manufacturer for us and has been for a long time. It’s easy to go cheaper (note that we didn’t use the term ‘inexpensive’) but much harder to do better. We are proud and enthused to have them in JTF Awesome, and it’s through JTF Awesome we make this all possible. Read about our exploits with them at SHOT Show, be sure to visit their homepage here, and give them a follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Chris Hernandez

Chris Hernandez may just be the crustiest member of the eeeee-LITE writin’ team here at Breach-Bang-Clear. He is a veteran of both the Marine Corps and the Army National Guard who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also a veteran police officer of two decades who spent a long (and eye-opening) deployment as part of a UN police mission in Kosovo. He is the author of White Flags & Dropped Rifles – the Real Truth About Working With the French Army and The Military Within the Military as well as the modern military fiction novels Line in the Valley, Proof of Our Resolve and Safe From the War. When he isn’t groaning about a change in the weather and snacking on Osteo Bi-Flex he writes on his own blog.


Chris Hernandez has 112 posts and counting. See all posts by Chris Hernandez

9 thoughts on “You'll Be OUTRAGED at What BreachBangClear Has To Say About Fake News!

  • December 21, 2016 at 2:33 pm
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    Anyone else noticed the Mil-Spec Monkey patch in the riot pic?

    Reply
  • December 19, 2016 at 12:52 am
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    IMHO the real problem is that people have no idea how to research anything these days because outside the hard sciences and serious colleges such skills are no longer taught to the general public.

    I am of the opinion that this is part of the intentional dumbing down of the school system in an effort to produce good little drones but that’s another topic.

    Either way, it’s plainly obvious when you see some of the things that people say and do that they have no idea who to logically collect and analyse evidence when it comes to claims being made on the internet or other media. Rarely will they look at sources and when they do they will often only give them a cursory glance to see that there are some. I’ve had people present things to me that simply must be authoritative because sources. Yeah, well every source is the author citing their own non-peer reviewed work. That original article isn’t a good source, it’s bullshit opinion where the author references their own opinion to back up their opinion. You can see a lot of this kind of thing on both sides of the global warming/climate change argument.

    Linked to this is the modern tendency to place “feelz” above all else. People feel something so it must be true and you have no right to intrude on their safe space with mean-ass facts and logic and shit. (To which I generally respond “Well, I feel you’re full of shit so we’re at an impasse here since we both feel it and therefore can’t be wrong”.)

    I don’t know what came first, the requirement for self affirmation of awesome status or the lack of rigorous, fact based analysis but the rise of the former certainly seems to be affecting the demise of the latter. The result is a bunch of ignorant people who “feel” things and unfortunately manage to pass or help the passage of policies that affect the rest of us. Did you know that a Mercury thermometer being broken requires a Haz-Mat team? It doesn’t but that’s the law in a lot of states because someone felt Hg can be dangerous (which it can) and then enacted a bunch of public policy based on their feelz rather than the real facts surrounding the dangers of Mercury. Now we have people collecting signatures to ban such thermometers and switches. If you attempt to engage them about the negligible danger of such devices as compared to say the improper burning of Hg heavy coal they look at you like I imagine a sheep would look at you if you explained basic calculus to it.

    Long story short: fake news thrives because people have been intentionally made ignorant of proper research methods when it comes to source material. They are incapable of determining a good source from a bad one and now everything is based on how they feel about the topic at hand.

    Reply
  • December 18, 2016 at 6:09 pm
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    The issue is not FAKE NEWS. The issue is there are very, very few professional journalists or for that matter ethics in journalism…for the most part.

    95% of the readers here likely have no idea who Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Chet Huntley were. Regardless, their reporting was fair and you would never have known one was a staunch liberal Democrat from MA. The one I write of was fair and tough on ALL political interviewees.

    CNN (Clinton News Network)…you really think that is unbiased political news reporting, not bordering on fake news? CNN loves to report/repeat unsubstantiated reports by other, less than reputable, news outlets. And by doing so, doesn’t make it any less fake.

    NBC (News By Clinton)..again you think an organization that offers up Nerf ball questions to Democrats yet grills (even argues with) Republicans over any issue of that might be a trigger for their progressives/liberal viewers?

    FNN has become an offset to all the liberal outlets and has its issues as well. Just not as glaring as CNN and NBC.

    Be careful what you wish for…I see a much more serious threat then “fake news”.

    I see the “Fake News” claim by H. Clinton (and POTUS) as a shot across the bow of the First Amendment (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”) clause regarding “a freedom of the press”. Standby for progressives in Congress to attempt to enact legislation bleeding 1A like they have the 2A. I have even heard several members of Congress calling for creating a government agency to determine what is and what is not fake news…that is very, very scary.

    Reply
    • December 20, 2016 at 9:22 pm
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      I’ll agree with you about Huntley & Brinkley (I reminded myself to put in the ampersand; I think of them as Huntley-Brinkley). I disagree strongly on Cronkite. “Uncle Walter” was biased to a degree most people never learned. “The news” was all mainstream then, & his excesses were never reported on. Who would dare call out Cronkite? They’d never have worked again, news being very much a tightly-controlled union shop back then.

      I have to disagree with Chris, as well. What he says is true, but I’ve seen & heard a lot more leftists falling for BS stories than those in the center or on the right. Most folks I know don’t commit to belief in a story until after looking into it from multiple sources & thinking awhile. maybe I’m just fortunate in my choice of friends; actually, I am, but not necessarily for that reason.

      Reply
  • December 18, 2016 at 2:12 pm
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    I don’t remember nearly this level of outrage when CNN helped the DNC promote their candidate by giving out the questions before the exam. I don’t remember it when we found out that DNC operatives were actually sent to Trump rallies to incite physical violence nor do I remember CNN and that gang actually reporting on that news.

    I don’t remember hearing any reason why Russia would have preferred Trump nor why they would have taken the immense geopolitical risk to do so. I don’t remember seeing any evidence or hearing any evidence to support the allegations that they caused *actual* interference of any kind.

    So tell me: who is really the perpetrator of “fake news?”

    Reply
  • December 18, 2016 at 12:46 pm
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    Well said as always.

    I am very amused at how “Shocked! Shocked that fake news is used to affect politics!” the MSM is, since many of them published stories from the KGB’s dezinformatsiya program in the 80’s with little to no vetting while anything from US government sources (unless it was a leak that fit the narrative) was subject to extreme scrutiny.

    And no, I’m not saying the NYT, WAPO,CBSNBCABC were KGB agents (well, not all of them anyway 😉 . Most were simply useful idiots IMHO). Those stories were often planted in obscure non-US media and then were picked up by western news services as coming from other journalists. Sound familiar?

    And Russia injecting itself into US elections? Don’t remember near the outrage from the NYC/DC media circuits when the Soviets made blatant appeals to the US electorate that if Regan won over Mondale all sorts of treaties were in danger and nuclear warfare was a very likely result.

    Of course at the same time there were all sorts of conspiracy theorists and “fake news” on the right , but you had to go looking for them. The left leaning stuff was inescapable.

    Frankly, the biggest change I see now from the 80’s is that the left no longer has a monopoly of mass dissemination of information. I can’t help to think that much of the outrage from the ususal suspects is more a temper tantrum at no longer being the only game in town as opposed to actual outrage at the “news” itself.

    Nothing is really new, it just seems the pace has picked up

    Reply
    • December 20, 2016 at 10:22 pm
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      Mad Dog 2020

      Reply
  • December 18, 2016 at 10:27 am
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    Well done. There were quite a few fake articles with dubious sources that people have posted on Facebook over the last year and they have fanned the flames of these horse shit stories.

    These people should be called out every time. For the people that do call them out, watch how they respond. If the response is lol; you’re FB friend is a is a useful tool of whichever side he/she is championing and should be admonished for being a Shill and then unfriended.

    Reply

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