Fake News Watch

• While July 27 is a particularly important day for me, the planet Mars will not be making an approach close enough to make it appear bigger than the moon. Being that close would probably mean a Roland Emmerich movie is about to happen.

• Pretty soon I’m going to have to create a separate category for Hillary Clinton conspiracy theories. This week’s stupidity centers on the murder-suicide of FBI agent David Raynor, who was witnessed killing himself in front of police after stabbing his wife to death. He had absolutely nothing to do with the so-called Fast and Furious operation, which also had nothing to do with Clinton and the State Department. Also, he was not scheduled to testify in anything, much less a federal investigation.

• Wait, what? The meme spread that “for the first time in the 242-year history of the U.S., a one-year-old child appears in court as a defendant.” However, this is not true. It happens all the time  to immigrant children. And sometimes without an attorney.

• Former FBI attorney Lisa Page did not testify that China hacked the DNC server in contradiction of the Russian allegations. It was posted by Your News Wire, a well-known fake site, but Breitbart, The Daily Caller and others ran with it. Of course.

• Despite DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen’s statement that there are billboards in Central America on how to sneak into the U.S., there is no evidence of any such thing, much less one advising them to “grab a kid.”

• No, Clint Eastwood isn’t leaving his millions to the Trump 2020 campaign.  That would be illegal.

The mayor of San Juan is not facing fraud charges over disaster relief funds. Another mayor has been accused of fraud, but unrelated to disaster relief. Sabana Grande Mayor Miguel Ortiz-Velez allegedly took kickbacks for overestimating construction project costs. Why target Carmen Yulin Cruz with Ortiz-Velez’s alleged crimes? Cruz is a vocal opponent of President Trump and the relief efforts following Hurricane Maria, and that was apparently enough for Fox News.

• Last week the word “treason” was all over the interwebs, so Politifact dug into what actually is and is not treason. Legal experts say despite the plethora of memes, the legal definition of treason is far too narrow to be applied to anything that happened last week. It has to be during war, and while it doesn’t have to be a declared war (we haven’t declared war since WWII), just saying nice things about another country doesn’t count. Adam Gadahn was an American citizen charged with being an al-Qaeda spokesman, but was killed by a drone strike before trial. That was 2006, and the most recent indictment. As many pointed out, the Rosenbergs were convicted of espionage, not treason. And Trump’s appearance with Putin doesn’t count, according to a unanimous collection of experts.

• I’m embarrassed that this one is the third most-searched this week on Snopes. No, ABC News did NOT ban flag lapel pins after 9/11. Seriously??

• Pick of the Week: No, the Obama family did not wear Che Guevara shirts in Cuba. And yet, 20,000 shares on Facebook. Again: Seriously??

It’s Actually True: A Russian asbestos company actually did place a seal with the face of President Trump alleging it had been approved by him. Uralasbest is one of the world’s largest producers of asbestos, and apparently extrapolated from pro-asbestos comments in Trump’s 1997 book and pulling the EPA off asbestos control.

 

Note: This feature does not take a stance on political issues. It is solely in favor of fact over fiction, at least in the public discourse.

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