How to Spot Fake News – For Dummies


How Do You Spot Fake News?

“If people are told enough by smart people on television that the economy has been fixed, and the market is a reflection of the fundamentals, then they’ll blindly support anything the Fed does.”  – Dr.Luigi Zingales, U. of Chicago Distinguished Service Professor

How do you spot fake news?  You have to filter it with a rule book of “best practices,” the same as filtering honest friends. No one is perfectly honest, but many stand above the rest.  So, first let’s examine a prioritized checklist of fact checking “best practices.”

  1. First of all, you need to keep up with a story for month or two, to determine the key points that keep surfacing from news, the party officials, and from independent sources. If you don’t have time to broadly understand the issue, DON’T READ IT AT ALL, DON’T RE-POST IT.   This is not an endorsement of remaining uninformed, but if you’re not informed, don’t post, and don’t vote, because almost every story has either lies or misleading omissions in it now.  That is not an exaggeration.  We are in the days of “universal deceit,” as Orwell predicted. Democracy demands objective, unselfish, informed voters wary of politicians buying their votes.  Study, or stay home and keep quiet.  Learn.
  2. Look hardest for whistle-blowers risking their jobs and pensions.  Edward Assange, and the recent spate of CIA agents exposing the fraud of Russian Collusion are good examples.  Notice Assange was not scorned until he exposed DNC emails.  Before that, the Democrats considered Assange a hero, right?  The soldier Bradley Manning was commuted…Now Assange is colluding with Russia?  Really? That’s principle inversion based on evidence exposure, a sign of truth-hiding on a grand scale.
  3. If the reporter uses definitive descriptions of…
    1. Negative personal appearance
    2. or describes offensive manners of the person they are reporting on,
    3. or describes how everyone doesn’t like the person they are reporting on,..these are hearsay and subjective references which “black flag” the report.  Read it ONLY to flag the article’s claims as probable “exaggeration/distortion” lies.  See what other news organizations are carrying the exact same story.
  4. Look for named witnesses, not hidden.  Hidden witnesses can be ok, but deserve far more scrutiny.
  5. Watch for the reports which assume a truth at the start, without explanation: Like assuming global warming has been proven, as in this report:
    Another outlandish assumption seen frequently is that Donald Trump is widely unlikable or confused, after he was a darling of TV and the New York City social scene for decades; ran huge, complicated businesses; and wrote a number of books.  These are truly diverse and socially skillful accomplishments, so the unlikable claims are obviously a political accusation, in such cases. These are easy to prove false, just like saying Obama or Bush was a moron.  Remember, Reagan was a cowboy, daddy Bush a banker’s toady, W a moron, and now they slander Trump as well. The pattern is clear when Obama and Clinton had no bad reputations at all, in the media.  “Teflon Bill” came from now-obvious leftist press protection, not skill at promotion.  Reporters should not be discussing if someone is liked or if their idea is unpopular.  Journalism was a fact-based profession for years, but not now.“In times of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” -Orwell
  6. Multiple, confirmed, detailed testimonies are powerful, even if some details appear in conflict. It is normal for eyewitness accounts to vary and have detailed observations.  They must lack in feelings and emotional words, except where appropriate.
  7. Consistency of testimony is valuable, but perfect correlation is a red light.
  8. If it is a theory or paper, check for “Sources of Error” style challenges at the end of the report. If they don’t exist – the paper should be considered a likely lie.  If the proponents of such theory don’t know the sources of error, they are deceivers – all theories are judged primarily on sources of error details and conflicts in the theory.
  9. Independent identical conclusions from different unconnected sources are VERY powerful evidence of truth, if each conclusion is derived from different data sources.
  10. Watch for “science” divided by party lines – these are fraud sciences: Economics and global temperature predictions are the most prominent, now.
  11. Avoid news sources who meet secretly with the DNC (proven in Wikileaks), or repeat the same stories as those sources report, like NPR.  The exposed political apparatchiks include CNN, NBC, MSNBC, ABC, Bloomberg, Daily Beast, Huff-Po, GPG, NY Times, New Yorker, People, Politico, and Vice.
  12. Look for news sources that tell both sides of the story. Liberals brazenly bury the fact that Fox News presents the liberal side of stories as well, but when I turn on leftist news – I ONLY get their leftist slant and view, and the reports are eerily similar, as if they were coordinated presentation, consistent with meeting to plan news, not independent reporting of salient facts of concern.
  13. Source reputation is paramount, rarely accept a story from a left-leaning news outlets, or any outlet that only give the left’s view and slant.  But, even the New York Times prints the truth occasionally, like reporting early on about the Clinton Foundation raking in cash from Russia, while selling them Uranium!  Often you can find the facts in early reports from the left leaning outlets, before it become politicized.  For some reason, the NYT stopped reporting on this lead:
  14. Collusion signs – look for all the news sources simultaneously amping-up a story like the Kavanaugh lies: No witness corroborated that story, and 2 denied it.  Yet it was reported as honest testimony in violation of a century of best practices journalism ethics:  Don’t report a story unless you have 2 corroborating reports from dependable sources.

After Reading The News….

Check the math, if it’s a technical issue. For instance, global warming FAILS numerous math and thermodynamic challenges.  Whistleblowers exist.  Data manipulation proof exists. Huge paycheck-yielding financial incentives for “proof” exist. The promoters won’t amicably discuss the conflicts in the claims – they are unable to argue with Socratic conflict-based analysis discussions.  They often use the word “believe,” which is a faith-based investment, a sign of “a”-scientific thought.  It is a fraud.  If the person promotes Global Warming, all their advocacy should be highly questioned, because they are pushing at least one easily provable lie – and they appear to know it is lie, by how they answered thousands of cross-exam questions I asked hundred of proponents: They spoke with prevarication artifacts, just like a guilty Columbo suspect trying to hide their awareness of a crime.

Ask trusted experts you know. NONE OF THEM can be democrats or liberals, they lie about everything and pass on information ROUTINELY without fact checking. I know because I tried to talk policy with them for 20 years, and ALL of them routinely pass on information they know is classified as “false rumor”: They can’t talk through the source checking amicably, and they refuse to discuss the flaws in the theory amicably.  They become catty and evasive.

Republicans lie too, but mostly it is only about the nations’ borrowing being healthy when Reagan, Bush or Trump does it.  Conservative-leaning writers are much more likely to present source data which is confirmable, and will OFTEN discuss flaws in their information graciously, both are signs of honesty.

Those whom you see discussing flaws in their position amicably, are most likely honest.  Those energetically avoiding flaws in their position, are deceivers.

Check the data sources. But, even the government economic tables are tainted now, Obama began changing the old CBO (Congressional Budget Office) records while he was in office.  “Revisions,” which always went in the left’s favor.   Challenge the provider of the table to questions about what supports the correlation in the graph, if they are using a correlation argument.  There must but solid causal arguments, along with correlation, to be plausible.   For instance: Both liberals and Republicans claim more debt grows the economy – it’s NOT TRUE – because the debt gets counted in the GDP.  The GDP-to-debt correlation is due to GDP equation manipulation, not success in growing the private sector.  Government spending is not private sector growth, that is government growth – the opposite of GDP.

If you can ask questions, ask promoters of questionable news “Columbo questions,” which expose how false claims awareness in the material.  For instance, your Certified Financial Advisor should be able to comfortably discuss why health insurance is weighted only approximately 1% in the Consumer Price Index, when health care spending is 20% of economy.  If they don’t acknowledge the issue of such wide disparity of “consumer spending weight” and GDP percent, then they are simply hiding something bigger.  For deeper study:

Economics is a political science now – the liberal “economists” are pushing an easily provable false premise: Government fabrication of “borrowed” money grows an economy.  Avoid all economics articles from liberal sources, they are full of lies.   Recent studies of Economics papers indicated 50% of them were not repeatable science.   For further study:

Great Fake News analysis on NPR:

Read the author’s top rated book on how to save the economy and our social grace:
Atlas Shouts.

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John Lofgren spent over 10 years researching US economic history, identifying best practices, and exposing findings in public forums in researching his well reviewed book, "Atlas Shouts". John earned degrees from the University of Florida and the University of Central Florida. A computer engineer, he holds five patents and has thirty years of design experience in electronics and design automation. He is also an accomplished lead singer and guitarist in a Motown/Classic Rock band.