“A guy who spreads this bullshit
shouldn’t be in charge of national security.” — Stephen Colbert
As I’ve written here before, the melding of news and entertainment in America (largely from deregulation and consolidation) has created a truth vacuum—in to which normal and everyday information gets sucked, never to be seen again.
For-profit, multinational news companies have lobbyists, political players and lots of bias toward people, things and events that will bring their advertisers more eyeballs. It’s why Les Moonves of CBS was caught on a hidden mic saying how great Donald Trump was for the company’s bottom line.
“We are at a dangerous place in American culture where a good percentage of people aren’t distinguishing what is a real news source based on real reporting and fact-checking and only reinforcing pre-existing ideas they have.” — Amanda Kleinman
It’s partially why Brian Williams—an anchor I greatly respected and watched every evening on NBC Nightly News—got caught exaggerating his experiences so that he had a better story to recount for viewers. We have hugely powerful corporations controlling what we learn, how we consume it and on what platform it happens.
As bad as that is, we have a new subculture to contend with: a faction of Neo Nazi and information terrorists who use lies, disinformation, invented news and all-out propaganda to cause anarchy in an otherwise civilized country. And that’s exactly how Pizzagate was born.
In a very quick nutshell: mention of Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C. in a batch of John Podesta e-mails (hacked by Wikileaks and released online) led a group of 4Chan dinguses to claim that a secret child sex-trafficking enterprise was being operated in the Comet basement.
First problem of that conspiracy? Comet Ping Pong has no basement.
Owners and employees of Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C. have been harassed. Neighboring businesses have received threatening calls. Even a band member who’s played Comet Ping Pong in the past had to delete her Twitter account because of the threats to her life.
Four days ago a 28-year-old man decided that he’d had enough—he went to Comet with a rifle and opened fire inside. Luckily no one was hurt and the man was arrested. But the threats to life and limb as a result of disinformation are real.
As a journalist, pizza author, blogger and activist, I’m disgusted whenever the peaceful, collective spirit of pizza is co-opted like this.
“Pizzagate” is not just “fake news” put out by accident—it’s invented propaganda. For the sole purpose of creating attention where none is deserved.
To Stephen Colbert’s point above: if you’re consuming news for the purposes of being entertained, you’re doing citizenry wrong.
An Atlanta manse broke a neighborhood sales record—and all I got was this lousy t-shirt.
Actually, this gynormous real estate transaction was so private and so exclusive that I could find no public record of it other than this write-up in Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Jump over there to see the images, but basically: the historic Ansley Park masion was built in 1910 and sold to an undisclosed buyer for a whopping $5.4 million. The joint was updated to the max with modern appointments and generally kicks ass—nestled perfectly underneath the Atlanta skyline.
This time, I’m happy to report that my good pal Brian Willis has launched a new Etsy shop called The Foraging Squirrel, and he’s now advertising on CrankyYank. Specializing in spiffy handmade dreamcatchers, Brian says he got the spark to start his business after friends saw his social media posts. Foraging Squirrel dreamcatchers are made from actual stuff Brian discovers in the forest, and says it’s a way to join his fans and customers with the natural world.
“Whether we recognize it or not, were all apart of nature,” he says. “It brings us joy, comfort, relaxation and a familiarity of sorts. I try to represent that as best as I can in my products using ‘gifts’ from nature. They are healthy, real and filled with all the positive energy from the natural world—so that you can fill your home or space with that same energy.”
Brian’s Etsy shop is here—with all sorts of gift ideas including bath salts, essential oils, wreaths and dreamcatchers. The Foraging Squirrel also will appear on the CrankyYank sidebar, at right.
(Writer’s note: If you’d like to advertise on CrankyYank’s sidebar, please contact me here. Products must be of a personal-development or sustainable nature.)
From time to time I’ll post a Cure Your Crankies entry that’s of a more serious nature, and today is no exception. The Weather Channel’s Kait Parker took the unusual step to smack down Breitbart.com (basically InfoWars in a three-piece designer suit), which had used her image and video to make the erroneous claim that the earth was cooling.
The earth isn’t cooling—it’s actually warming based on human activity. And if we don’t do something to stop it, we’re all gonna be in deep shit. Parker was blunt in her denunciation of Breitbart, and we love her for it.
“Here’s the thing, science doesn’t care about your opinion,” she says in the above video. “Cherry-picking and twisting the facts will not change the future nor the fact that the Earth is warming.”
Sometimes honesty is the best elixir for false information. Well done, Kait. ❏
That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you right back here next Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m.
Make sure to comment often—cranky loves company.
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