Trump Snubbed by Poland’s First Lady? Research It Before You Share

by Bill Brenner on July 8, 2017

Updated July 8, 2017:

People are losing their shit over a news clip showing Poland’s first lady, Agata Kornhauser-Duda, snubbing President Trump –passing by his outstretched hand and shaking First Lady Melania Trump’s hand instead.

But it didn’t happen that way.

Watch this UNEDITED clip and you’ll see that she did shake Donald’s hand. She simply shook FLOTUS’ first.

I’m reminded of the post below, written in 2014.

As I reread it, my tone comes off harsher than it probably should have. Perhaps I was just feeling high and mighty because this was before the 2016 election, when “fake news” became the rallying cry for everyone who read things they disagreed with.

Since then, I’ve probably fallen for a few. We like to paint people we disagree with in the worst possible terms. To liberals, people who voted for Trump are gullible, stupid and worse. To conservatives, liberals are universally slagged as overbearing, condescending, freedom-hating and the like.

There’s certainly some of that on both sides. But neither are universally true.

In the case of fake content on the Internet, a lot of people on both sides of the political divide fall for it daily — including those who fall into the reasonably intelligent category.

Fake news is still a relatively new thing, and we simply have some learning to do.

It drives home the importance of checking the facts on every meme, video clip and audio bit before sharing as truth. It’s more work than just hitting the like, share and retweet buttons. But people should put their beliefs to the test on a regular basis, anyway.



Original post, from June 24, 2014…

People on Facebook continue to say and do things that are so off the rails that it’s hard not to say anything.

I’ve mentioned it before, specifically the tendency of people to troll, share relationship troubles and re-post content that satisfies one’s need for outrage but doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.

Now there’s a fresh twist: People re-posting articles that are meant to be parody but labeling them as fact.

Mood music:

The most notable example is Duffel Blog, a new favorite of mine. It’s like The Onion, with a focus on military matters. Recent headlines include “After Reaching Baghdad, ISIS Militants Declare ‘Mission Accomplished’” and “Dick Cheney Negotiates No-Bid Contract to Maintain Insurgent Humvees.”

The most amusing item so far this week blazed across my newsfeed in all caps: “CIA ADMITS: EDWARD SNOWDEN WAS TOP ASSASSIN.”

I shared that one on my Facebook page because the article itself was pretty funny. But I’ve seen more than one person sharing Duffel Blog stories and commenting in a way that suggests they bought the headline as truth.

Let me give you a piece of advice: If you see a headline that looks crazy, there’s probably a reason for it.

  • It’s satire.
  • It’s a hoax.
  • It’s propaganda, which is always slanted, whether it comes from the left or right.

Parody items you can see for what they are simply by reading past the headline. Halfway through, the joke becomes obvious.

For hoaxes and propaganda, I recommend running headlines by the handy, which will tell you if something is true or fake.

Research can be hard. It can be a bother. It’s so much easier to just react and opine.

But unless you want to embarrass yourself, research is necessary.

Duffle Blog headline

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Tom Marley April 3, 2016 at 5:17 pm

Even research the researchers.

Who is watching the watchers?

jonie July 9, 2017 at 10:40 am

mood music…For What It’s Worth – Buffalo Springfield 1966
…the Dems certainly do seem to “universally” be hindering and lying (fake news) and disrespecting and refusing to accept our Pres. of the US . – to the detriment of our nation.

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