STOP, LOOK, LISTEN! by Kathy Sherretts
Fake News in the Age of Mark Twain
When I am drawn into political discussions these days, I am sometimes presented with facts that seem to have been recently extracted from the lower alimentary canal. “Over half the players in the NFL are convicted felons.” “Most Puerto Ricans live without electricity anyway.” “Crime in the UK is up because of Radical Islamic terror." Wait, what?
In Chapter 62 of Roughing It, Mark Twain describes a fellow passenger on a ship to Hawaii who loved pushing political arguments with the aid of dubious sources and invented facts: “The Admiral seldom read newspapers; and when he did he never believed anything they said. He read nothing, and believed in nothing, but "The Old Guard," a secession periodical published in New York…”
Read it here, (paragraph starts on page 169)
Or listen here (start at 9:14, runs 11 min)
I can’t recommend passenger Williams’ approach—fortunately, we have better resources available. Snopes, Media Bias Fact Check and Politifact may not win your argument, but can at least reassure you that you're not going crazy.
NPR, Fresh Air: Understanding Mike Pence And His Relationship To Trump: 'His Public Role Is Fawning' (48 min)
Terry Gross interviews Jane Mayer, whose article "The Danger of President Pence,” runs in the current issue of The New Yorker. She discusses how Mike Pence became an evangelical Christian, a favored candidate of billionaire backers, Trump's running mate, and an influence in White House policy making.
The Atlantic: Will DACA Parents Be Forced to Leave Their U.S.-Citizen Children Behind? by Priscilla Alvarez
DACA was always supposed to be temporary, but ultimate outcome was meant to be legal status for its recipients, not deportation. A majority of DACA beneficiaries are in their 20s—and some of them have children of their own.
New York Times: EPA scrubs climate website of ‘climate change’ by Lisa Friedman
The “Energy Resources” website (formerly “Climate and Energy Resources”) is the first site which the E.P.A. has restored since removing its climate science information on April 28. Among the now-missing pages are those detailing the risks of climate change, different approaches states are taking to curb emissions, and examples of states' plans to adapt to weather extremes.
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