Fake news from the source's mouthBy DANIEL GARDNER,
Last week Israel carried out the largest strike in decades against Iranian and Syrian positions inside Syria after claiming an Iranian drone had violated Israeli airspace. In retaliation, Syrian air defenses shot down an Israeli F-16 fighter jet. Russian President Putin contacted Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu cautioning against escalation. The U.S. State Department issued a statement supporting Israel’s right to defend its borders.
World athletes and politics are making headlines in Pyeongchang, South Korea as North Korea participates in international competition and diplomacy. Who is meeting with whom, and is anyone making any progress resolving rising tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world?
Congress passed and Trump signed a budget with a trillion-dollar deficit! The stock market suffered a major “correction” last week, losing more than $3 trillion! The flu epidemic is killing up to 4,000 Americans each week!
Westerville (OH) Police Department officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli were shot and killed February 10. Locust Grove (GA) officer Chase Maddox was shot and killed February 9. Richardson Police Department (TX) officer David Sherrard was shot and killed February 7. El Paso County (CO) Deputy Sheriff Micah Flick was shot and killed February 5.
These are a few of the major international and national headlines this past week. Nevertheless, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos spent the first 20 minutes of Sunday’s “This Week” on the resignation of a White House staffer. Why?
Stephanopoulos opens his show, saying, “Good morning. Two White House aides resign this week, charged with abuse by their former wives. President Trump defended the men, railing against mere allegations that ruin lives. That fits a pattern for President Trump.
“And behind the scenes, he is seething. His team is cracking. The knives are out for Chief of Staff John Kelly and the president's closest personal aide Hope Hicks. A staff shake-up is looming, just another week in the Trump White House.”
Here’s a lesson about hyper fake news. Stephanopoulos is not a journalist, but has been a loyal Democratic spokesperson who has contributed thousands of dollars to Democratic candidates, including trying to hide his contributions to Hillary Clinton during her latest run for president.
His first guest Sunday morning, Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, answers Stephanopoulos’ first question: “I spoke to the president last night about this very issue, and he wanted me to reemphasize to everyone, including this morning, that he has full confidence in current chief of staff General John Kelly, and that he's not actively searching for replacements. He also has full confidence in Hope Hicks as communications director and long-serving aide. There are a lot of, I think, unsourced stories out there, but when it comes to those two individuals, the president has full confidence in their performance.”
Fake news depends on anonymous “sources.” Conway told us what Trump told her the night before.
Americans are being bombarded 24/7/365 with hyper-exaggerated slippery slope “news” stories about straw men who may plunge the nation and the world into complete annihilation at any minute! ‘The president is out of control! The White House is in complete chaos! Anonymous sources say so!’
One could continually obsess over fake news stories, or one might make time this week to thank and support those who have committed their lives to protect us from very real threats in the world today.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com