Tag Archives: fake news

Mark Caserta: So, what is fake news and how do I recognize it?

20 Aug




Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

August 20, 2018


The term, “fake news” has been bandied about a lot by both sides of the political spectrum.  Its definition seems to evolve based on its political expediency.

Discerning truth in reporting means being able to recognize fake news, so allow me to define the term as I see it applying to most media outlets today.

Fake news is information presented in a manner designed to disingenuously influence rather than inform.

There are basically three types of fake news.

The first is the “outright lie” or fabrication of a story or event. A perfect example would be the liberal Democrat procurement of a “fake” dossier on Donald Trump from Christopher Steele, of Fusion GPS, who was paid by the Democrat Party to do opposition research on Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign.

As the investigation repeatedly failed to produce a single shred of evidence of collusion between Trump and Russia, the salacious dossier was fabricated and used no less than four times to obtain Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) warrants to continue investigating Trump, hoping to “strike gold” in the progressive pursuit to cripple his presidency.

After all, liberals have already proven Trump’s failure will be more rewarding for their mission than America’s success.

The next example of fake news is “filtered reporting” that conveniently eliminates facts or details that would fail to support a desired narrative.

A good example is the recent story about a “training camp” at a New Mexico compound accused of abusing children while training them to commit heinous acts of mass murder in their schools.

The liberal media nearly “wet” themselves as they excitedly reported the story, detailing the assault style weapons, handguns, ammunition and a shooting range found at the facility. The reports included information regarding surveillance of the facility and one of the children successfully texting authorities they were all in need of food and water.

Anti-gun liberals immediately leaped on the story blaming gun rights activists and Second Amendment proponents like the NRA.  The reporting of the training facility was chocked full of details which supported the liberal narrative that “guns” were the problem and their availability was causing massacres in our schools.

But nay, nay.  The liberal media reports included some of the details of the horrific facility, but not all! Progressive pundits failed to report one critical piece of information that would have stifled their narrative in dramatic fashion.

The individuals running this training camp were Islamic jihadists!  One of the Islamists is the son of an unindicted co-conspirator in the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, Siraj Wahhaj, an Imam, who had formerly offered prayer at a Democratic National Convention event in 2012.

This information was “conveniently” left out of the reporting as it didn’t support the liberal, anti-gun narrative.

Truth and integrity never seem to stand in the way of liberal news reporting. Only propagating the narrative matters.

Finally, fake news can also include “lop-sided” reporting, where a news outlet overwhelmingly presents one side of an argument while offering a “token taste” of the opposition under the guise of “balanced” reporting.

I believe we see that now, locally, from the Herald Dispatch (HD) in Huntington, WV., which seems to have succumb to its liberal cravings.

In my 14 years as a regular contributor to the paper’s opinion page, I’ve never seen it present partisan, liberal opinion it does now.  And despite being plagued by numerous critics and dwindling readership, the Herald Dispatch leadership are determined to “stay the course” in allowing their personal opinions of President Trump to dictate the balance of commentary.

It seems that not only is the First Amendment no longer important (a clause the HD should humbly remove from the paper) but also the return to advertisers and even the prosperity of their employees have now taken a back seat to their progressive political ideology.

Admittedly, the 24-hour news cycle has changed the dynamics of reporting. Each news entity is struggling to survive by being assertive and even aggressive in their reporting.  In fairness, there are some that still honor truth and integrity in journalism. They’re just hard to find.

But it’s important for each of us to know we can’t place our trust in a single news outlet for “truth-in-reporting”.  We must do our homework.  We must be cognizant of the facts and be prepared to take a stand where needed.

If we fail to arm ourselves with the knowledge needed to recognize and counter fake news, we will lose to their artful deception – plain and simple.

Sadly, when the smoke clears, it’s our country and ultimately our children who will pay for our lack of engagement.





Bill Moore: Fake News and the War on the Press

15 Aug


bill moore photo

Bill Moore:  Local author and regular contributor to Free State Patriot

August 15, 2018


Over 100 newspapers from around the country are colluding to spread propaganda concerning our President, Donald Trump. Strong words, “collusion” and “propaganda”. They create images of spies or criminals in dark alleyways planning illegal activities. Or perhaps dropping leaflets or posting flyers giving a positive slant to an intolerable government.  In this case those words may not be strong enough.

On August 16th, 2018 at the behest of the Boston Globe the above mentioned 100 plus newspapers will run editorials denouncing what the Globe called a ‘‘dirty war against the free press.’’ We have all seen and heard the President call out different legacy media outlets as “fake news” or “failed such and such magazine”. Being called “fake news” is a far cry from a war on the “free press”. At no time has President Trump called for the destruction of the free press or the First Amendment which protects both free speech and free press. In other words, each newspaper that runs an editorial stating Trump has declared war on the press is creating more “fake news”. Basically, another day and another lie by the legacy media.

Collusion is defined has a “secret agreement undertaken for illicit or fraudulent purposes; conspiracy”. I will bet none of the papers will mention the editorials they publish were encouraged by The Boston Globe and “industry groups such as the American Society of News Editors and regional groups like the New England Newspaper and Press Association.” These groups encouraged all papers to unite against the “war” regardless of their own generalized editorial support or opposition of Trump’s policies.  That comment in and of itself is comical as Trump only receives 10% positive news coverage according to the Washington Times. Even Pew Research indicates Trump has double the negative press of Obama, Bill Clinton or George W Bush.

I highly doubt any paper actively supports our President in a meaningful way or with enough readership to matter. Given our improving status around the world, lower taxes, lower unemployment and improved GDP, why exactly is the news always so negative?

Propaganda according to my trusty dictionary is “information or statements of opinion that are deliberately circulated among the public to persuade the population to accept a particular point of view, esp. one in favor of or opposed to a particular movement, cause, or doctrine”. Clearly any editorial opinion is propaganda if it means to portray a situation or event in a manner to garner support for said opinion.

By collectively publishing editorials this week these newspapers are engaging in propaganda designed to convince the public that Donald Trump has declared war on the press and by extension the U.S. Constitution.

Calling a report “fake” or standing up for yourself and defending your reputation is a far cry from declaring war. War by its very nature must have some type of destruction. There has been no damage to the freedom of the press other than the self-inflicted variety. One could argue with all the un-named sources, uncorroborated tell all books and out right fiction published as news on an hourly basis, that the legacy media is doing a bang-up job of waging war against the First Amendment. In a real-world war propaganda is used to either by enemies of the state to inform the citizenry at large the current leadership is corrupt or by the state itself to defend its own policies drumming up support.

Next is for each side to repeat the lies until they are believed by enough people one way or the other. Once a critical mass of duped people is achieved, let the revolution (or impeachment ) begin.

The propaganda publishing newspapers include the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald, and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000. I believe this group of editorials will make the rounds of TV news shows as well. They may even try to pass all the different editorials off an organic “just kind of happened” movement.

Make no mistake this is a plan to further erode support of Trump and by association Republicans in the upcoming mid-term election. The legacy media is trying to neuter Trump’s impact on close races. All knowledgeable accounts indicate Trump rallies turned the tide for the Ohio race in favor of Republicans. Trumps coattails are proving to be strong. This has the Democrats and the left leaning media worried.

It is imperative Americans stay informed, support and protect each other while ferreting out the lies, fake news and propaganda running 24 hours a day on pretend news channels. 



Mark Caserta: Some mainstream reporting designed to influence people

29 Dec


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

December 29, 2017

fake news


Do Americans really believe politics is being poisoned by some form of conservative “manipulation” or “influencing” of the mind, perhaps a Jedi mind trick?

Laughably, if conservatives had that ability, we would certainly use “the force” to rehabilitate liberals.

But rest assured, it’s only liberals and the complicit mainstream media with the necessary presence to impact a nation’s sentiment to the degree some would suggest. If not for conservative Christians, Donald Trump would never have been elected president of the United States. Christians are the one demographic liberals will never capture in their exploited net.

Allow me to expound.

Have you ever noticed in multiple liberal news outlets you often hear similar terminology, phrases or “talking points”? This is often a result of shared information in a process called “collective intelligence.”

Collective intelligence, as described in the Financial Times lexicon, is a social media term used to describe a “shared” intelligence or viewpoint that “emerges from collaboration and competition of many individuals” which appears on social networks designed to “solve a problem.” In this case, the problem is conservatism.

In fairness, not all similar stories in the mainstream media are the result of “collaboration” but are simply the result of a shared ideology. Sadly, since the 2016 presidential election, some media outlets even seem willing to bypass certain standards of journalism just to be able to report a “hit piece” on our president or his supporters, only to have to retract the report.

Unfortunately, some retractions are severely “underreported” compared to the original piece.

Please understand, there are some terrific news outlets with some accurate reporting. But the unprincipled ones impact our ability to know who to believe – which is poisoning politics far greater than any “conservative collusion.”

A study by Harvard University’s Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy looked at the media coverage of President Trump, and the results were very telling.

Now, Harvard is certainly not a conservative institution. But the study found that in Trump’s first 100 days in office, the tone of the news coverage of the president was a whopping 80 percent negative compared with 20 percent positive. That, my friend, is truly an attempt to “influence.”

CNN and NBC struck a 93 percent negative tone on their Trump stories, with only 7 percent positive. CBS was third in the anti-Trump race, with a 91 to 9 ratio, per the study. The same study showed Fox News was 52 percent negative to 48 percent positive.

Here’s what to expect in 2018 and beyond:

As the disconnect continues to grow between liberal assertions of Trump’s failures and the reality of his successes for the American people, there will be a huge decline in voters’ perception of the integrity of the mainstream media. The most obvious and embarrassing reporting, to date, was the liberal media’s assertion that Hillary Clinton was a lock for president.

Talk about a liberal media “air ball.”

So, be vigilant and responsive to tactics designed to deceive you.

And understand, conservatives aren’t the ones using smoke and mirrors.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


Mark Caserta: Is hatred of Trump spurring fake news?

22 Jul


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor

Jul 21, 2017



Americans are being inundated with allegations of so-called “fake news.”

Are media outlets such as CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and The Washington Post really attempting to unethically influence how Americans feel about our country and our president?

Now, I believe most major media outlets have been guilty, at some point, of trying to “influence” rather than report. Frankly, politicians attempting to exploit the media’s increasing significance to their advantage may have actually sparked this conundrum.

But it’s my strongly held belief that the election of Donald Trump has so dramatically crippled the progressive movement in our country, we’re now seeing members of the mainstream media frantically attempting to gain some sort of relevant foothold as they slide down the slippery slope of “trumpery.”

Thankfully, some remain who covet the principles and ethics of true journalism.

A New York Times best-seller written by veteran journalist Sharyl Attkisson titled “The Smear: How Shady Political Operatives and Fake News Control What You See, What You Think, and How You Vote” exposes what Amazon Book Review called “diabolical tactics of Smear artists and their outrageous access to some of the biggest names in the political media.”

In the book, Ms. Attkisson shares antics of operatives corrupting the political process and “discouraging widespread citizen involvement in our democracy.” The following excerpt describes the world of the “smear artist” and how the mainstream media play an integral role:

“In the distorted world of the smear artist, things are very different. Up becomes down and down is up. It’s Alice in Wonderland and somewhere down the rabbit hole there’s a tea-sipping Mad Hatter stirring the pot.”

This “upside down” world sounds hauntingly familiar.

Attkisson shared one of her most memorable “smear attempts” she observed during her lengthy journalism career in a June column in Breitbart. Of course, it involved Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“It’s impossible for any outsiders to know exactly how the Clintons became adept at engineering smears to deflect from their controversies,” Attkisson said. “One of the earliest smear campaigns perpetrated by the Clintons began even before Bill announced he was running for president, when Hillary was busy devising a preemptive strike against women rumored to be involved with her husband.”

But even during that volatile period, my recollection of reporting was there was always a sense of “fair play” and fair reporting from most major news outlets. Some stories may have favored a player or two, but I can’t recall ever seeing a complete willingness to shed all ethical precepts to destroy a man.

Donald J. Trump didn’t need this presidency. He had everything he needed. He simply knew America would not survive four more years of liberal policies and decided to place everything on the line to save a nation from collapse.

Sadly, because of his patriotism, he and his family have been unabashedly attacked by liberals, so filled with hate, they can’t see straight.

I call that a political “hate crime” that should be punishable by viewer discretion.

Liberals: Either get on board, or get out of the way.

We have a country to save.


Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger and a Cabell County resident.

Mark Caserta: It’s time to hold fake news media accountable

30 Jun


Mark Caserta:  Free State Patriot editor





The success of the Trump presidency appears to be making liberals uncomfortable beyond “truthful” words.

“Trump haters,” unable to leverage facts in decrying the leadership of Donald J. Trump, have been reduced to propagating “fake news” in an effort to bring him down.

In my lifetime, I’ve never seen such disregard for the fundamental principles of journalism as Americans are seeing from major news networks, like CNN, where it appears “truth, accuracy and impartiality” are no longer prerequisite to reporting.

Last week, CNN was forced to retract an editorial column on Friday that connected Anthony Scaramucci, an associate of Donald Trump, to a Russian investment fund managed by a Kremlin-controlled bank, per a column in The Hill by Julie Manchester the following day.

“On June 22, 2017, CNN.com published a story connecting Anthony Scaramucci with investigations into the Russian Direct Investment Fund,” the news organization said in a statement. “That story did not meet CNN’s editorial standards and has been retracted. Links to the story have been disabled. CNN apologizes to Mr. Scarmucci.”

Per Ms. Manchester’s piece, “the retracted story had claimed that Senate investigators were looking at the activities of the $10 billion Russian investment fund in connection to Scaramucci,” who served on President Trump’s transition team.

Now, President Trump has been quick to identify CNN as fake news, even downgrading their status to “very fake news” during an exchange with CNN’s White House reporter Jim Acosta in February. And frankly, it doesn’t get much “faker” than this story, which was totally fabricated, designed to further the false liberal narrative of Trump’s collusion with the Russians.

And it appears, Acosta and the “Clinton News Network,” as it’s been called, still harbor a grudge against the president.

Following the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., and two Capitol Police officers by a leftist gunman during a GOP baseball practice, Scalise was taken to a Washington hospital where he was visited that evening by President Trump and first lady Melania. The president tweeted after the visit: “Just left hospital. Rep. Steve Scalise, one of the truly great people, is in very tough shape – but he is a real fighter. Pray for Steve!”

But apparently, without taking the time to verify his sources, CNN’s Acosta jumped on a “big scoop” that the president really did not visit Scalise and tweeted: “WH official on hospital visit: ‘President Trump did not meet with Scalise and did not go into the room where Scalise is being treated.'”

Acosta was forced to delete his tweet and report the exact opposite “but not before it was captured by several Twitter users; many accusing the CNN reporter of spreading fake news,” according to a column in Breitbart, by Jerome Hudson.

Truth is a defining attribute of any individual or organization, but certainly a news provider. When a news organization can no longer be trusted to deliver the truth, they become ineffectual.

CNN has chosen to place itself in that category.

It’s time for Americans to hold fake news organizations accountable by withholding viewership and support.

Mark Caserta is a conservative blogger, a Cabell County resident and a regular contributor to The Herald-Dispatch editorial page.


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