Tag Archives: criticism

National Press Club raises concerns about Trump’s ‘fake news’ label

The National Press Club raised concerns this week about President-elect Donald Trump’s continual use of the phrase “fake news” to criticize news stories that he disagrees with or that displease him.

In his Jan. 11 news conference, Trump refused to field questions from certain reporters, accusing one journalist of working for a “terrible” organization and referring to an outlet represented by reporters at the event as “fake news.”

For the record

National Press Club president Thomas Burr responded with the following statement:

With the proliferation of false news stories dotting the Internet, it is important for American leaders to discern the difference and not intentionally conflate misleading and fake stories from dogged and investigative news that is fundamental to our country.

It is dangerous and unhealthy to declare a news item as “fake news” to distract from facts that you may not like or don’t favor your perspective.

Our incoming president must treat the news media as the vital cornerstone of our democracy that it is. To label something as “fake” in an effort to undermine news outlets endangers the trust granted journalists by the public and is antithetical to our country’s values.

To be sure, news organizations make honest mistakes and when they learn they’ve done so, they correct them.

That is entirely different from web sites that deliberately disseminate false information.

The president-elect appears to be conflating the two in an attempt to discredit news organizations whose coverage displeases him.

Doing so may foment a dangerous disrespect for journalists who, however flawed, are merely doing their best to inform the public.

Presidents shouldn’t get to pick and chose which reporters’ questions they will answer based on what news outlet for which they work. Doing so now is inappropriate and will do unprecedented damage to our democracy.

About the National Press Club

The National Press Club is the world’s leading professional organization for journalists.

Through its Press Freedom Committee, the club works to promote freedom of expression and transparency at home and abroad.

The National Press Club Journalism Institute, a nonprofit affiliate, equips news professionals with the skills to innovate, leverages emerging trends, recognizes innovators and mentors the next generation.

News with twist, NARAL’s pussycat Tees and Eva’s Hello Kitty flights

Your choice

NARAL Pro-Choice America recently held a design contest to determine its new T-shirt. The winning design, by 53 votes, is a blue T-shirt with white letters that reads, “I am pro-choice America.” NARAL also decided to sell the edgier runner-up: a blue T-shirt with white letters that reads, “Keep your laws off my” beside an image of a pussycat. Yep.

Like totally stupid

This came to WiGWag’s attention courtesy of Right Wing Watch: WorldNetDaily pundit Jane Chastain says Hillary Clinton becoming the first woman president would be anti-climactic because “we’ve already had a girly-man president. More correctly, we’ve had a valley girly-man president.” Chastain was complaining that President Barack Obama concentrated in his recent speech in Milwaukee on immigration and the minimum wage instead of ISIS and Russia: “That’s tantamount to a valley girl chewing gum and doing her nails.” Yes, she totally was aware that the president’s speech about labor issues was on Labor Day.

Fly the kitty skies

Now that the world has had time to grieve over the shocking revelation that Hello Kitty is not really a cat but rather a third-grade English girl, Taiwan’s EVA Air has rolled out a fleet of Hello Kitty planes. In addition to Hello Kitty images decorating the planes’ exteriors, the passenger area is “tricked out to the max,” with Hello Kitty headrests and drink coasters, Hello Kitty soap in the litter-box area toilets, and Hello Kitty luggage tags. In-flight meals include melon slices, cheeses and cakes shaped — you guessed it — just like precious little Hello Kitty heads. Hello Kitty flights from Taipei to Paris begin three times weekly on Oct. 29.

Counting the batty

Conservationists conducting a bat population survey in Arizona filed a police report after being ambushed by three armed and camouflaged militia members who mistook them for illegal immigrants or smugglers. Tucson News Now reported that the nighttime encounter occurred near a popular camping area where armed vigilantes have been flocking in response to an increase in migrant children. 

Rent boys with iPhones?

A new service called “Selfie-less Travel” offers gay travelers a “social media travel assistant” who will photograph their vacations and then post photos, along with travel descriptions and itineraries, on social media. ALT by Bruvion, which developed the service, said it allows travelers to spend more time enjoying their vacations and less time worrying about capturing the perfect moments. “Assistants are well versed in both photography and photo editing to make sure clients look their absolute best in their posts,” the company promises.

The cost of a 24/7 assistant is $500 per day plus all travel expenses.

What the devil?

A statue of Satan briefly popped up in a small square in Vancouver, British Columbia. Officials removed the striking statue — red, at least 8 feet tall and with a full erection — several hours after it went up, so to speak. At one time, the pedestal that Satan stood upon held a statue of Christopher Columbus.

And the plot thickens

In federal court, Mormon author Rachel Ann Nunes is accusing Mormon teacher Tiffanie Rushton of plagiarizing her Christian romance novel, adding graphic sex scenes and self-publishing the erotica as her own. Nunes’ book about two art dealers who compete for a Buddha statue and fall in love was first published by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Rushton’s book is about an art dealer, a gallery owner, a rare sculpture, love and sex. Before she could sue, Nunes had to figure out that Rushton also is erotica author “Sam Taylor Mullens.”

Take notice, Sheboygan

Volunteers in Belleville, Illinois, are in training to grill — and presumably eat — a 200-foot-long bratwurst. They gathered in the Silver Creek Saloon to practice with a 100-foot brat, which broke in several places because it was turned too quickly and the grill was too hot. The real test comes during an Oktoberfest celebration Sept. 21.

GOP grooms

James Richardson, a former spokesman for the Republican National Committee and prominent political adviser, came out as gay in an op-ed for The Washington Post. He and his partner live in Georgia, just two men envious of the conventional conservative family model “wishing to grow gray and ornery in matching rocking chairs” but instead consigned to “cohabitation” as a consequence of the law.

Are you missing out on our ticket giveaways and free discount coupons? Simply like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Google, Yahoo criticize Australian Internet filter

Internet giants Google and Yahoo have criticized Australia’s proposal for a mandatory Internet filter, calling it a heavy-handed measure that could restrict access to legal information.

Their statements, among 174 comments from the public submitted to the Australian Department of Communications on the filtering proposal, come amid a struggle between Google and China over censorship-free content.

Lucinda Barlow of Google Australia called the Internet blocking measures of Australia and China “apples and oranges,” but also said her company was deeply concerned about Australia’s proposal because of its mandatory and sweeping nature.

If adopted into law, the screening system would make Australia one of the strictest Internet regulators among the world’s democracies, and the proposal has put the country on the Reporters Without Borders annual “Enemies of the Internet” list.

Google’s Barlow told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. that the proposal raised the possibility of banning politically and socially controversial material and went beyond filters used in Germany and Canada, which block child pornography and, in Italy, gambling sites.

Yahoo made a similar contention, saying the filter would block many sites with controversial content, such as euthanasia discussion forums and gay and lesbian forums that discuss sexual experiences.

“There is enormous value in this content being available to encourage debate and inform opinion,” Yahoo said.