Melissa Zimdars: The Truth About Fake News

You might want to check to see if this comes from an “approved source” racy info here, viewer beware!

Anyone else starting to get the impression that the system won’t allow a reset because those “running” it now realize that a reset (at this point) will destroy the system?
Going to be interesting to see how those mentally/emotionally/spiritually embedded the in the current manufactured narrative handle the cognitive discontinuity when the physical break occurs.
Psychosis indeed.

or something that sounds like that
I have to agree with our earlier comments, Chris kept his cool - which is one of the things that helps cement his legitimacy. His interview skills reminds me of a good cross examination, especially in criminal law. The prosecutors, for the most part, love it when “the defendant” takes the stand. Often the best things to do is just “let em talk.” Often It won’t take long till they hang themselves. Was it just me or the more she spoke, the less “legitimate” both she and the entire “list process” became. Not that it was legitimate to begin with. But to hear her try to keep up with Chris and demonstrate, sadly, that not only did she do very little real “research” into these sites, she never sought the actual information or experts in that information to do any meaningful analysis of the subject or accuracy of any of these sites. She had to agree with every point Chris made but somehow tired desperately to claim the list is still legitimate. She referenced librarians but a librarian is an information collector, not an expert in that information area. They would never qualify as “an expert witness” in any trial unless they demonstrated they both studied and had real life experience in the very specialized subject in which they were going to give an opinion. And her master list took on some pretty grand and complex subject areas to say the least…not just “mainstream” news. Chris reminded her that, at heart, he is just an honest hard working scientist, trying to figure out what we do know and what we don’t what may work and what may not and then to deliver it to the public in an honest, open, discoursed way. For that reason alone, it would have been nice to hear her apologize for making the list. Or did I miss that?

Just to clarify my post above…
I suspect many people who pass on “Fake News”, or who are attempting to give critical thought towards the concept of “Fake News” have pure & good intentions. I get the impression that the interviewee in this podcast has pure intent in her work with “Fake News”. However, work like this perpetuates the false and fake concept of “Fake News”. The originators of the fake concept would like nothing more than for it to become legitimized almost to the level being a science. “Fake News” doesn’t even come close to being a pseudoscience let alone a science. IMO, scientifically minded people should not just be disagreeable to fake concept of “Fake News”, they should livid.

cgolias wrote:

A caveat, as I am certainly not Ms. Zindars apologist--I’ll say is that many NYT articles do not pass her own test, but Melissa continues to consider it to be trustworthy. She probably can’t afford to hold another view, however, because she is still untenured (her Ph.D. was conferred in 2015) and the last thing she needs is the conspiracy theorist label.
This is a fine definition of bias! Ms. Zindars, the list lady, demonstrates by this very fact that she is unreliable, as is her list. But my main point in post #3 was that the impulse to produce a list of credible and non-credible news sources is itself doomed on several counts. 1. Like everyone else, the evaluators (librarians? WTF?!) have biases and those biases will come out in their lists. 2. Assertions of fact and conclusions can quite easily be debated and should be, but how can you assign a label to a person or a group of people as being so consistently uncredible as to be labeled fake news? You can't, because no one but purely fraudulent hucksters are right or wrong all the time. See dryam2000's two posts above (12+23). An interesting assignment for Ms. Zindars' students would be to give them the list and ask them to see what they could conclude about the makers of the list purely on the basis of who's on the list and who's not. I think they'd conclude the list makers are biased, lean strongly left, and ally with the MSM. So you assume that Ms. Zindars might keep the NYT on her credible list in spite of them failing her own tests because she could reasonably fear that listing them as fake news might delay or derail her quest for tenure. I share with you that reasonable suspicion. But look at what that means. That is based on the assumption that the NYT would notice that a heretofore unknown person at obscure little Merrimack College has listed them as fake news AND they would attempt to use their power and influence to silence and punish her, AND that the faculty and administration of the College would possibly knuckle under to such pressure. WOW! Apparently, Ms. Zindars did not have that same fear about all the people and media sources she lists as fake news either because they wouldn't strike back like that or even if they wanted to wouldn't have the influence or actual power to succeed. That's quite an indictment of the NYT, Merrimack College and American higher education in general (and I find it reasonable along with you). Does that make Ms. Zindars a "sell-out," and not credible? Yes, it does, in my mind. And what's more, here all along I thought only people in my profession (law enforcement) were prone to fudging the truth and erecting a wall of silence to protect our peers (sarc/off). At least that's the impression I got from the MSM. We could also debate the appropriateness of using so called "charged language" as grounds for labeling someone as fake news/not credible. I wouldn't use that as a criteria. How would these users of charged language fare in Ms. Zindars' system?
"Give me liberty or give me death!" Patrick Henry "When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." Thomas Jefferson
Those are some pretty charged words; fighting words actually! And might I add neither speech/document has ANY CITATIONS. I rest my case.

One thing I’ve learned in my quest to find reliable news is that you almost have to become an authority yourself on a topic, to be educated enough to figure out what is fake and real, if you want to learn further. And one thing I know about is the subject of vaccines. Zimdars scoffs at the concept of vaccines causing autism. I can tell she is uninformed. Now, how hard it is to consider the possibility that any news organization that depends on Big Pharma support might not publish content that would offend its chief patron? Anyone who looks into the hard science of the neuro-toxicity of organic mercury, for example, will see there is absolutely no scientific proof of safety (huge evidence to the contrary), and no justification, other than profit, for its use in vaccines. And then you go from there- where’s the efficacy of the influenza shot- there’s essentially none, if you look at unbiased sources. Chris’ litmus test about the NYTimes is about the run up to the Iraq war. My litmus test has been formed by years of reading overt propaganda in the Times about vaccines. One headline in the Times years ago said “On Autism’s Cause, It’s Parents vs. Research.” The article went downhill from there. ALL the Times coverage on the topic of vaccines is completely biased, ie Fake.
I would submit that if a news medium stoops to censorship of comments that present a contradictory view to the newspiece, that would be one indication of Fake News. Another characteristic would be if there are armies of paid industry employees posting agreeing commentary after the article. A third characteristic would be a news blackout on a key development on the subject- for example, the (lack of) coverage on CDC whistleblower William Thompson revealing the agency’s fraudulent research, which covered up their own data showing Merck’s MMR vaccine caused autism in black boys. I see all these strategies at work on this topic, at the Times and elsewhere, but only because I am educated about it and have been following it for years. Most casual readers won’t realize what is going on, and will remain in the dark, just as intended by Industry. A list like Zimdars’ can’t possibly adequately vet news sites for truth unless the librarians already have significant knowledge on certain topics. Barring that, they seem to be using sources like Wikipedia as the arbiter of unbiased information, and we know where that will get us.

@thc Again, I am not sure why a case needs to be rested. I am just trying to consider what is going on by trying to bracket emotions and take a look at what’s going on here.
If I was going to distil the one thing I wanted convey before, its that considering Ms. Zimdars as the problem here misses the point. To my knowledge, she never called her list “fake news”. That was the click-bait media machine, which is also very much party to our current social polarity. They are really good at making us see a fighting partner in all discussants. This is a good case to “kill the messenger”–the media. Seems like you agree:

The worst thing about this person's "Fake News List" isn't that she produced such a list, but that so many allegedly reputable MSM sources blew it up and got behind it in a big way.
There is plenty of blame to go around. The media is tops, imo. The university system deserves a lot of it. Ms. Zimdars deserves some. Higher Ed was previously my industry, so I know how even failure to cite the wrong obscure French social theorist can ruffle feathers sufficiently to not just delay tenure but cause one to have to leave a college or university. This is definitely on her mind, not bc the NYT will reach out, but bc her Dean wouldn't want to deal with such a problem. It is a single step leveling mechanism. I think she was critically thinking to the extebt that she can. I have watched careers be destroyed over critical thinking (sadly, one of these was one of the best teachers of critical thinking I ever had. He was too good at it). You nailed it here:
thc0655 says: But look at what that means. That is based on the assumption that the NYT would notice that a heretofore unknown person at obscure little Merrimack College has listed them as fake news AND they would attempt to use their power and influence to silence and punish her, AND that the faculty and administration of the College would possibly knuckle under to such pressure. WOW! Apparently, Ms. Zindars did not have that same fear about all the people and media sources she lists as fake news either because they wouldn't strike back like that or even if they wanted to wouldn't have the influence or actual power to succeed. That's quite an indictment of the NYT, Merrimack College and American higher education in general (and I find it reasonable along with you). Does that make Ms. Zindars a "sell-out," and not credible? Yes, it does, in my mind.
And your conclusion is fair, for sure. I am a little bit more empathic, given that we all have deep biases woven into our psyches through enculturation and personal experiences. We are also all products of the incentive structures we operate within, and I think that she is no different. Just a tool--like you said--who had a project she put a few hours a week behind get turned into a media frenzy. That is lose lose situation--if she closes up shop, she looks bad and when she talks about her methodology she also looks bad. We more or less agree until then. However, I think that teaching a method for applying critical thinking skills is an appropriate thing for a mass media course. Based on the way PP articles are structured, Chris seems to understand that the knowledge he creates must check out for presence of thorough citations and absence of charged language. The tools are obviously different when dealing with speech transcripts from the 1700's -information dissemination norms have changed. When giving an impassioned political rally cry (as opposed to an article intended to be an attempt at portraying reality in a neutral manner), most people expect persuasion more like a sermon (interestingly, Patrick Henry gave his speech at a St. John's Church in Richmond on Mar 23, 1775). I also do not expect any documents from the 1700's to have citations (as a great deal of information was taken as general knowledge)--neither declaration of any sort or the transcript of a speech. We need (imo) people like her engaging students and teaching them tools for critical thinking. Without people like her, many young people might believe the contents of their newsfeed without realizing that it is designed to be a comfortable blanket of confirmation bias. (as an aside, this is amazing: What we don't need the media making mountains out of assistant professors class projects to further obscure reality.

Curiosity finally forced me to spend five minutes looking at the list.
I spotted some sites I’m familiar with. For example was sited for bias, state and fake.
So, I’m guessing that Sputnick is biased in favor of Russia? Since none of the major news sources in the United States is on the list, that must mean that none of them are biased in favor of the US?
Sputnick is identified as “state,” implying, I guess, that powerful people in the Russian government have editorial control of the website content? Does anyone believe that major news sources in the US are independent of control by powerful people?
Sputnick is also classified as fake? That must mean that Sputnick reports fake news like perhaps fabricated economic data for Russia? Shame on them. The US would never do that.
Chris hit the nail on the head when he tied the word subjective to bias.
I could have picked an example other than Sputnick, but the Sputnick example is so rediculiously easy to poke holes in.
Sputnick was one of the sources I went to when I wanted to find out what was going on with the Dakota pipeline protest. I was finding little information on the protest from US and European news sources.

Nice work Chris I would have lost my cool before the interview. To many people in my eyes fall under the "no good do Gooder" category. I trust most peoples sincerity but rarely their wisdom. It is rather vexing. I have very little patients for it. Some vaccine questions.
National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986. It would be time well spent looking into this. In my opinion this is a lot like most government programs. It passes the liability that could be held to the vaccine manufacturers to the U.S. Debt money system and by extension tax payers. This is done with the best of do gooding intentions. Why? Are vaccines safe? Define safe. I have 1000 questions. I'm sure to make her list. You be carful too can't ask questions like this might put fear into folks an reduce vaccine herd immunity. The push back just makes me ask more no no questions. When do I get to make a informed decision?
There are probably a wide variety of views on the subject. I just want have the freedom to make my own mind up. A primary concern in any decision I make is how does the money work? I'm going to throw my ball into the hornets nest and state my opinion. We are never going to get a link to autism and vaccines. Not because of Science facts or data. Just one reason, it can't be paid for. So there will never be a link. It's one of those problems it is a all in poker bet. We can't back off from it. I will be the conspiracy theorist I suppose. I just don't see the math working. We can't be honest with ourselves about certain things. Not when no means no change in policy and yes maybe or we don't know would bankrupt yet another system.
I'm comfortable with no link. Great just a nothing burger. But the problem I have is, it has to be a nothing burger. There is no other play. The violent opposition, is evidence enough for me. Things that aren't true just aren't. Nothing to get emotional about. This stinks I doubt there will be official CDC double blind as in (vaccine and non vaccine) study done ever. There hasn't yet to my knowledge and I'm not holding my breath.
Have a great day.

Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. It has helped in answering my questions regarding this topic.
I think I’ll be spending a bit more time in day-cares, preschools, on the farm, eating vegetables right out of the garden, more time in the sun and, DEFINITELY, stop over-consuming large amounts of MSM.

Uncletommy wrote:
Thanks, everyone, for your contributions. It has helped in answering my questions regarding this topic. I think I'll be spending a bit more time in day-cares, preschools, on the farm, eating vegetables right out of the garden, more time in the sun and, DEFINITELY, stop over-consuming large amounts of MSM.
What doesn't kill us makes us stronger? This quote is easy to refute and yet it doesn't go away. It probably has traction, not because of validity, but because it motivates or inspires. How about a rattlesnake bite that doesn't kill you? Does it make you stronger? How about lymes disease, does that make you stronger? Perhaps a list of fake quotes is in order? I certainly have a list of frequent sayings that I would never pass on. I never new this was a Nietzsche quote. He is not my favorite philosopher.

The quote relates to overcoming (as does most Nietzschean philosophy) and appears to be taken out of context (as does most of his work). The point of it all is that set-backs are viewed as an opportunity to learn and improve one’s future responses to similar scenarios. I don’t recall Nietzsche saying anything about snakebites or lymes disease…

Here’s what I consider to be real news. The latest video from John Titus on bank regulation (or lack thereof);

John Titus has emerged as, in my view, one of the most important new commentators in the truth movement. The subversion of our US legal system is a big, big deal. Understanding this is one primary component in getting a clear picture of what’s actually going on… and to be frank it’s not well covered in the 3E’s.

Lest we become ensconced in our own echo chamber, we need to regularly have our “common” views here at PP challenged. I’m glad we regularly have examples of the predominant cultural memes appear here, if for no reason than to sharpen our own viewpoints, but also because we need to keep our eyes on the humanity of those who still embrace what we consider a false narrative. We need to challenge them, as well, but we won’t get much of a chance to even engage in conversations with people if we just call them names or compare them to natural phenomenon in an intentional effort to categorize and demean them. cgolias, I admire your post for its ability to refute the ideas without refuting the individual holding them.

Attack ideas. Not people.

The person who transcribed this interview misheard Chem Trails as Ken Trails - but maybe there are Ken Trails somewhere?

My pleasure, Jim
One of the most striking aspects for me was when Senator Warren (28:30) asks Cohen if the Justice Department checks with the Department of Treasury before prosecuting a major financial institution to determine if criminal prosecution will cause financial contagion. Cohen then responds that the Department of Treasury was approached by the Justice Department to undertake such an assessment for HSBC. That is simply astonishing. Effectively they are asking ‘what is the cost of justice?’
The second ramification is even more damning - namely that by providing banks with legal immunity ends the Constitutional Republic of the United States of America. I’m guessing most of us here had reached the same conclusion beforehand but now it’s out in the open for all to see (or at least those who can be bothered).

Something to ponder, Luke. After taking the time to fully digest the implications of this particular video on the workings of the international financial cartel, I couldn’t help wondering how our language is, increasingly, being “morphed” into meaningless phonemes that continue to envelope our thought processes. Words are becoming “connotations” rather than explanations or what is meant.
As an example are the words immunity and impunity. Where the financial crisis resulted in a systematic procedure to limit prosecution (immunity), once established, leads to actions free from repercussions (impunity). It is hard not to think of George Orwell, given the current state of MSM and the discussion around “Fake News”. The actions of the Obama administration followed by the Trump cabal seem to parallel what is actually happening. Did Mr. Orwell see the future coming? Undoubtedly.

"In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."
"If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever."
"Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past."
"In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia."
George Orwell

The 2016 Presidential election was a gigantic wakeup call for the corporate press in the U.S. not so much because Hillary Clinton lost, but because it represented the end of mainstream media’s ability to seamlessly force feed narratives down the throats of a gullible and pliant American public. The marketplace of ideas had been flooded by the internet and the people made a decision. The media wars came and went, and the corporate press lost, badly. The election of Donald Trump was as much a middle finger to the U.S. corporate press as anything else, and the corporate media didn’t take too kindly to that. Rather than admit failure, refocus and compete within the freewheeling information age, the corporate media has resorted to endless whining and support for tech-overlord censorship. It simply knows it can’t win a fair fight, so it has decided to cheat. As Robert Parry of Consortium News explains in his recent post, NYT Cheers the Rise of Censorship Algorithms:
Just days after sporting First Amendment pins at the White House Correspondents Dinner – to celebrate freedom of the press – the mainstream U.S. media is back to celebrating a very different idea: how to use algorithms to purge the Internet of what is deemed “fake news,” i.e. what the mainstream judges to be “misinformation.” The New York Times, one of the top promoters of this new Orwellian model for censorship, devoted two-thirds of a page in its Tuesday editions to a laudatory pieceabout high-tech entrepreneurs refining artificial intelligence that can hunt down and eradicate supposedly “fake news.” Since the Times is a member of the Google-funded First Draft Coalition – along with other mainstream outlets such as The Washington Post and the pro-NATO propaganda site Bellingcat – this idea of eliminating information that counters what the group asserts is true may seem quite appealing to the Times and the other insiders. After all, it might seem cool to have some high-tech tool that silences your critics automatically? But you don’t need a huge amount of imagination to see how this combination of mainstream groupthink and artificial intelligence could create an Orwellian future in which only one side of a story gets told and the other side simply disappears from view. As much as the Times, the Post, Bellingcat and the others see themselves as the fount of all wisdom, the reality is that they have all made significant journalistic errors, sometimes contributing to horrific international crises. For instance, in 2002, the Times reported that Iraq’s purchase of aluminum tubes revealed a secret nuclear weapons program (when the tubes were really for artillery); the Post wrote as flat-fact that Saddam Hussein was hiding stockpiles of WMD (which in reality didn’t exist); Bellingcat misrepresented the range of a Syrian rocket that delivered sarin on a neighborhood near Damascus in 2013 (creating the impression that the Syrian government was at fault when the rocket apparently came from rebel-controlled territory). These false accounts – and many others from the mainstream media – were countered in real time by experts who published contrary information on the Internet. But if the First Draft Coalition and these algorithms were in control, the information scrubbers might have purged the dissident assessments as “fake news” or “misinformation.”