Totally Not Fake News: Battle Red Helmets and How We Got There – Battle Red Blog

Houston - This season, the NFL is allowing teams to wear alternate helmets, with the premise that it will allow teams to sell more over-priced merchandise to fill the coffers of a multi-billion dollar businessoh, wait, what? Oh, we meant to say that it will allow teams to demonstrate a different look for fans to watch as they cheer on their favorite teams on the field of play. So far, the reaction have beenok. [That will get edited out, right? Right???]

Hey, the idea is kinda cool. It can be fun to show off the different logos and designs. Dont know if it will help us out, but thats why we play the games, noted Texans WR Brandin Cooks.

What Cooks referred to was the release of a new helmet design, which will be part of the Texans Battle Red uniform, now slated for the Battle Red home game against the Philadelphia Eagles on November 3rd.

[Easterby], it cant hurt us. Aint never beaten the Eagles since Ive been here. Not sure I can recall if the city has ever beaten the Eagles in pro footballand Ive seen a few things grumbled veteran Jon Weeks. He was about to offer up some more sage wisdom about the helmets, but was interrupted by new offensive guard Kenyon Green, who once against asked Weeks what it was like to practice with Earl Campbell when the Campbell first played as a pro. Weeks told the young whippersnapper to get the [Easterby] off of his lawn.

Yet, the design of the helmet didnt start out that way. There were quite a number of design concepts leading up to the call to just take a red helmet and slap a logo on to it.

Oh, when the Texans started mulling the concept, you knew that it was just a matter of time before the all-powerful Executive Vice President of Football Operations was going to get involved sighed one unnamed Texans staffer.

When he heard about our plans, man, he jumped right in, offering at least 24 designs within the first 20 minutes of discussion continued the staffer.

Look, the wearing of the uniform is a big part of football operations, which I am the Grand Master/Overlord/Ayatollah. So, when I got word about the discussions of an alternate helmet, of course that is in my purview and therefore, my overall responsibility to resolve. This is all part of my job responsibilities, and has nothing to do with the fact that I have a LOT more time on my hands or that my previous responsibilities seem to be shifted over to other people lectured the Executive Vice President of Football Operations Jack Easterby.

So, once I saw my chance to regain my influence, er, help out the organization, I stepped in. So many divinely inspired ideas. Here is just a sampling:

Hey, I have gigabytes of these things. Wanna see more?

Our reporter politely declined, and once he left the office, immediately sprinted away.

Still, it didnt quite answer our question about just how the Texans came to this decision about the helmet.

Well, ok, we did take all of the designs, er, excuse me, the divinely ordained messages from the enlightened EVP of Football Operations. We were ordered to run them up to [Texans CEO] Cal [McNair]. He was busy, as usual. Still, we did manage to sneak a minute into his office. Anyway, he took a glance over at a few of the ideas. Not sure he was all that impressed. When we pressed him for a decision, especially since the uniform/helmet designers needed that information, he was really annoyed.

[Easterby] it! Cant you see that I am busy on this Fortnite Level!!! Oh, great, now you made me lose to those punks from Alvin! 5th graders!!!! And I thought I finally had them!!!! [Easterby]!!! Back to playing 2nd graders...and to the bottle to soothe the pain. Ok, now that you [Easterbyed] up my work, what do you have for me?

Well, we showed him the design concepts and logos. His response:

Who...who...whodesignedthosethings [belch]?? Thats gonna (hic)...thats gonna (hic)...cost money. MONEY!!! We doin this for Battle Red Day, or whatever we call it? [Easterby] it! Just slap our logo on a red helmet and be done with it.

Never would have guessed, but Cal actually made a brilliant call. The best part, well, other than he forgot to fire us in the post-gamer hangover, is that we will make a lot of money from people buying these silly helmets. As if anyone not playing for the Texans that day would ever buy them. Still, people still spend money on this franchise. Who are we to stop them?

We tried to reach back out to Jack Easterby, who informed us that we could submit the question through his new and improved website, but, er, there were some problems...

Until next time, it will bear watching to figure out just how many people will fork over the money for the new Battle Red helmets, and/or just how these uniforms will be the key to any potential Texans success against the Eagles.

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Totally Not Fake News: Battle Red Helmets and How We Got There - Battle Red Blog

#WorldPRDay: The public relations industry must lead the fight against fake news – TheCable


The prevalence of social media has revolutionised the dissemination rate of fake news. With social media becoming the easiest way for the public to consume information, we have witnessed the propagation of fake news on a scale only comparable to the days of yellow journalism.

Fake news, spin, and disinformation spread through online channels, which eventually land offline, shape global issues as they did in the 19th century. For example, consider the difficult terrain in which world leaders and medical experts found themselves when they recognised the necessity to confront the twin epidemics of coronavirus and fake news.

In Kano, Nigeria, 74.2% of respondents in a study agreed that social media aided the spread of fake news on Covid-19. To stem the tide, communication and public awareness campaigns such as Stop The Spread (developed by the WHO and the UK Government) and the Afghan governments Citizens Charter program were designed to counter the spread of false information regarding Covid-19.

The fight against fake news is urgent

Information travels faster and has become ubiquitous; this is what the world feeds on to shape perspectives. Claire Wardle, PhD of the Annenberg School of Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, argues that the biggest shift (today) is everybody is completely overwhelmed by information. We are taking in so much more information than we ever used to. In a news-saturated society, Wardle believes consumers have an inherently limited ability to distinguish between correct and false information.

To tell the difference, Richard Hillgrove suggests looking at other credible news outlets to ascertain the validity of the information. If it stands alone in a vacuum, theres a good chance its a manufactured lie. He, however, warns that the content might be lifted from a credible source and then de-plagiarised by being slightly rewritten. This is the gravity of the war the public relations industry is up against.

It is why as communicators, we must exercise extreme vigilance when it comes to fake news. While speaking on a World PR Day panel, Wimbart PR CEO Wimbart Hope asked PR professionals to interrogate the brief to avoid being conduits for fake news. Her point is well taken because public relations experts are increasingly likely to be misled into creating or disseminating bogus information on behalf of clients.

We must fight fake news because it harms PR

Although some will not agree, the art of planned persuasion and relationship building will never die. Indeed, one of the most notable public relations functions is fostering engaging conversations that result in meaningful change. The power of this industry is required in the fight that we advocate.

Because the public relations industry is a critical media stakeholder, the profession will suffer severely if the threat of fake news is not handled. As a result, when it comes to fake news, there is no circumstance in which staying on the fence is a good move. As stakeholders, we must build the defences that help the public rebuild trust in the media.

Rachel Gilley of Clarity PR was right when she said, To fight fake news and the spread of misinformation, as an industry, we need to uplift the content we know to be quality and ensure we look at stories with a critical lens. As we partner with clients and brands to tell their narratives, we need to take a collaborative approach with reporters, only working with the trusted publications, so we are not fuelling fake news hubs.

In the Pedagogy of Freedom, Paulo Freire calls our attention to ethics, democracy, and civic courage and responsibility in a way that demands that citizens have a moral duty to speak against acts perpetuated with the motive to cause unrest. Anyone can call him or herself a PR practitioner, but the mark of an ingenious public relations practitioner is in their ability to conscientise society.

Apart from the moral obligation, another ground for the fight against fake news is that it directly affects the PR market, so much so that when it comes to publishing media content on mainstream media, for example, the public relations practitioner is limited since the public has come to associate certain media stations with fake news.

Preserving the sanctity of what constitutes authentic information tends to have a positive ripple effect on the public relations industry. Knowing that critics of public relations associate public relations with propaganda as it is, it is indefensible not to take a stand against fake news.

To present a case for fake news, consider the authoritarian government systems in many countries. Fake news is an obvious outcome of censorship and restrictions on access to information to fact-check news. Regardless, PR practitioners cannot afford a declining public trust in traditional journalism and, by extension, new media.

The public relations industry needs to realise that fake news has the power to dismantle structures and platforms used by public relations practitioners to reach audiences. Without these platforms returning to their original state, the use of crisis communications to assist organisations, clients, individuals, and others in dealing with crises will lose effectiveness.

Freire believed that the prevalent ideas of a society are always the ideas of those groups who hold power. It is therefore naive to think that the public relations industry can combat this threat to the profession and society on its own. This necessitates collaboration with regulatory agencies to ensure due diligence and act as fact-checking bodies before fake news and content go viral.

The public relations industry must recognise the importance of addressing this issue. It must acknowledge it as a global issue and understand that it will not be resolved overnight. We must continue to hold one another accountable in the industry to reinforce that fake news and misinformation have no place in our profession or the media.

Ayinde, Abdulfatai and Israel-Ayide of Carpe Diem Solutions Ltd write from Lagos, Nigeria

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#WorldPRDay: The public relations industry must lead the fight against fake news - TheCable

Annuar: Viral video on PMs goreng pisang statement in Parliament fake news, MCMC to act against TikTok creator – Malay Mail

The video depicted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as saying that goreng pisang sellers cannot use the subsidised packet cooking oil as it is meant for domestic use only. Bernama pic

By Radzi Razak

Tuesday, 19 Jul 2022 1:55 PM MYT

KUALA LUMPUR, July 19 The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is looking into claims that an individual from a political party spread fake news on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa revealed the matter today as he expressed his disappointment over the sharing of a video of Ismail Sabri talking about subsidised packet cooking oil being used illegally by goreng pisang (banana fritter) sellers without context.

I was told that MCMC had identified an individual making a TikTok posting in his account, and we asked MCMC to act.

The individual is not an MP, but he holds a position in a certain political party, he told a press conference in Parliament today.

The video depicted Ismail Sabri as saying that goreng pisang sellers cannot use the subsidised packet cooking oil as it is meant for domestic use only.

However, Annuar said the video was cut short and it depicted Ismail Sabri as making an example out of such sellers because it would be difficult to ban restaurants and hawkers from using the oil.

Yesterday, Ismail Sabri told the Dewan Rakyat that the government risked incurring public backlash if it sent enforcement officers from the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry after hawkers who used the subsidised cooking oil for commercial purposes.

If the enforcers fine them or seize the cooking oil packets from them, we will be labelled as acting cruelly towards the poor.

There are many things that the government needs to consider, but believe me, the government will not stay silent. We will do our best for the country, he said.

He was responding to a question from Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (Port Dickson-PH) on targeted subsidies during Question Time.

Originally posted here:

Annuar: Viral video on PMs goreng pisang statement in Parliament fake news, MCMC to act against TikTok creator - Malay Mail

Islamists, Congress leaders spread fake news that Hindus posed as Muslims to offer namaz at Lulu Mall: The reliance on conspiracy theories to shield…

Earlier last week, a controversy erupted in Lulu Mall, Lucknow, after a video of Muslims offering namaz inside the mall premises went viral on the internet. Following the incident, a conscious effort is undertaken by sympathisers of Islamists to peddle an alternative theory that Hindus were the ones who had offered the namaz inside the mall.

Social media platforms are awash with conspiracy theories saying that people who offered namaz in Lulu Mall were Hindus and not Muslims. They cited the arrest of Hindus in a different case to allege that those who were offering namaz inside the mall were not Muslims, but Hindus.

Ahmed Khabeer, Editor of the Islamist propaganda portal The Jamia Times, shared a screenshot of a tweet posted by Lucknow Police to allege that Hindus posing as Muslims had offered namaz in the mall.

The screenshot of the tweet posted by DCP Lucknow carried the press note of the police about the arrests made in connection with the offering of unauthorised religious activities inside the Lulu Mall. The press note was about the arrest made on July 15 of youths who had gathered outside the mall for the recitation of Sundar Kand.

However, in his bid to malign Hindus, Khabeer conveniently ignores to share the complete details of the case. The four men arrested in the case were taken under custody on July 15 after they had gathered outside the Lulu Mall to recite Sundar Kand to oppose the offering of namaz inside the mall, videos of which had gone viral on the internet on July 13, two days before their arrest. One Arshad Ali was also arrested by the police on July 15 after he had gone to the mall to offer namaz.

But Khabeer used the press report of their arrest to weave a twisted narrative that depicted Hindus as villains for defaming Muslims by assuming their identity and offering namaz in a public place. The group of Muslims offered namaz on July 12, while the arrests of Hindu youths for gathering outside the mall for the recital of Sundar Kand took place on July 15. But Khabeer expediently muddled the facts to assert that the Hindu men arrested by police were held for offering namaz.

As it turned out, Khabeer was just a cog in the wheel of the giant and rampant propaganda effort aimed at shielding Muslims who offered namaz inside the mall and placing its blame at the feet of Hindus. The well-oiled Congress ecosystem also partook in the efforts to malign Hindus as imposters who posed as Muslims and offered namaz inside the mall premises.

Congress supporter Dr Pooja Tripathi quoted the UP polices tweet on men arrested for reciting Sundar Kand, claiming that they posed as Muslims to offer namaz in the mall. Pawan Khera, chairman of the media and publicity department of the All India Congress Committee, also participated in this disinformation campaign as he quoted Tripathis tweet and lent his support to the insidious propaganda that entailed misrepresenting police communication of Hindus arrested as taken under custody for offering namaz.

Congress leader Salman Nizami also shared the fake news that said Hindu men posing as Muslims were arrested by the police. However, after being called out over his fake news, Niazi promptly deleted the tweet.

Radio Mirchis Sayema, who has often displayed little hesitation in promoting fake news that serves to bolster Islamist propaganda, also shared the misinformation being peddled about the arrest of Hindu men. Sayema quoted Khabeers tweet and promoted the misinformation that Hindu men posed as Muslims to offer namaz inside the mall.

Islamist website Siasat, too, played its part in perpetuating the warped propaganda that men who offered namaz in the mall are not Muslim. In an article, the portal claimed that the CCTV evidence confirmed that it was a purposeful prank intended to tarnish the mall and incite communal hatred. Interestingly, the article offers no evidence to substantiate the claim that CCTV footage from the mall proved that those who offered namaz were not Muslims.

Realising how the propagandists were using the news of the arrest of Hindu men to fuel disinformation, the official Twitter account of Lucknow Police issued a clarification, stating that the claims made on social media that men were arrested for offering namaz are misleading and baseless.

For a long time now, apologists have either shifted the blame on the victims or appropriated their identity to shield their Islamist brethren. A certain section of the Muslim fundamentalists and their supporters loves peddling such conspiracy theories as it shows Hindus in a bad light while whitewashing the crimes of the Islamists.

While the intellectuals resort to twisting facts and weaving an alternate reality to absolve the Muslim fundamentalists and frame Hindus as the guilty, their allies in the form of Islamists and Islamic terrorists use Hindu disguises while carrying out attacks to shield their coreligionists from the fallout.

For instance, during the Godhra Train burning incident, the propagandists tried to deflect the blame of the tragedy on the Hindus, promoting preposterous theories to claim that the conflagration took place from within the bogey and the Islamists did not attack the train from the outside.

Even during the 9/11 attacks, the Islamists and their supporters had tried to play down the involvement of Muslim fundamentalists, alleging that the terror attack was a result of sabotage carried out by Americans and pinned on the Islamists to justify the subsequent invasion of Afghanistan and other Muslim countries.

In India, too, such conspiracy theories blaming everyone but the Islamists have taken root, especially in the immediate aftermath of the incidents when factual details are scarce. After the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, a section of propagandists pushed conspiracy theories linking the lone terrorist captured alive, Ajmal Kasab, to Hindu organisations, citing the Kalwa he wore as a symbol of his Hinduness.

However, the plan to implicate Hindus as terrorists went awry after Mohammed Ajmal Kasab shed light on their nefarious plan to portray the attack as a case of a Hindu terror attack. It came to light that fake Hindu identities and Hindu symbols were deliberately attached to the terrorists, to project the attack as a handiwork of Hindu terrorists.

Nevertheless, it did not stop the Congress party from linking the terror attack to Hindus. Congress leader Digvijaya Singh released a book that blamed RSS for the terror attack, whitewashing the Pakistani antecedents of the terrorists and pinning the blame of the tragedy on Hindus.

It is worth noting that Congress was the first one to invent the Hindu Terror bogey in the wake of the 2006 Malegaon blasts as a parallel to Islamic terrorism. With this imaginary construct, the Congress party wanted to assert that terror has no religion. However, their real intention was to shield Islamic extremism that was responsible for a string of terror attacks in the tumultuous decade between 2000 to 2010. The Congress party then wrongly implicated Sadhvi Pragya to firm up their Hindu Terror fabrication.

More recently, the same methodology was once again employed to assassinate Hindu samaj leader Kamlesh Tiwari. Two assassins, Farid-ud-Din Shaikh and Ashfaq Shaikh came dressed in saffron kurtas at Tiwaris office-cum-residence at Lucknow andassassinatedhim. They carried sweet boxes in which they had concealed weapons with which they killed the Hindu leader. They were able to get close to Kamlesh Tiwari by the virtue of being dressed in saffron robes, which attracted little suspicions about their possible intentions to make the visit.

Similarly, earlier last year, a foiled assassination plot to kill Yati Narsighanand Saraswati, the chief abbot of the Dasna Devi Temple, revealed how the Islamists planned to use Hindu disguises to execute their nefarious designs. The terrorist who was planning to kill Yati Narsighanand Saraswati was caught and the police recovered a Bhagwa kurta, a Kalava, a Mala and a Chandan-tika from the terrorist, highlighting how he was working straight out of the Islamist playbook that ordains radicals to commit the acts of terror under Hindu disguises.

As the controversy over namaz offered inside the Lulu Mall erupted, the left-liberal intelligentsia and the Congress party resorted to distorting facts and using the arrest of three Hindu youth for the recital of Sundar Kand to propagate fake news that they had been arrested for offering namaz in the mall.


Islamists, Congress leaders spread fake news that Hindus posed as Muslims to offer namaz at Lulu Mall: The reliance on conspiracy theories to shield...

Totally Not Fake News: Necessity the Mother of Invention – The Crawfish Boxes

Houston, TX - At the time of this writing, the Houston Astros are on a bit of an upswing. After what appears to be a trademark sluggish start to the season, the teams fortunes show remarkable improvement, with the squad winning 9 of 11 games at one point. The starting rotation is showing why some thought it among the best in the league. The bullpen, with Pressly back, is proving just as effective. The offense is not quite the force is has been the past 5 years, but there are some semblances of life for the team.

However, there is a glaring issue where the Astros are concerned: The hitting of the catchers. Or rather, the blatant lack of hitting from that position. Long considered a weak spot in the lineup, the catcher position for the Astros to start the 2022 season is bad even by those standards. Consider the stat line of the primary catcher: Martin Machete Maldonado (as of 5/7/2022):

That is after a 1-3/ 1 BB performance on 5/6. Machete has never considered a force with the bat, but we are a full month into the season. If there is such thing as an easy-AB for the pitcher of the opposing team, this is it. Granted, Maldonado is seen more as a defensive guy/pitch shaper, but you probably want just a tad bit more production out of the 2 position on your scorecard.

Then, if Maldonado is really-not-good at the complicated skill of hitting a baseball (only of the three fundamental parts of baseball as per the Skipper), then can the Astros turn to another on the roster. In theory, yes, BUT, here is the stat-line for Jason Castro, the back-up catcher:


So, you dont need a detailed understanding of modern analytics to realize that those are alsoreally not good numbers.

Well, based on that, you can understand why we start Maldonado opined Dusty Baker, as he was kicking back with his latest Merlot. He is the best bat from the catcher position. Okay, Castro will give him a day off, but serious, if a guy has an 11 point advantage in batting average, why wouldnt you go with him?

Still, this is not great. Neither Maldonado rank or Castro rank anywhere in the top 172 players for BA. The catcher position for the Astros has yielded a whooping total of 7 hits, 5 RBI and 14 walks out of a combined 83 AB. We dont have the complete time to go through all other teams, but suffice to say, a LOTTA of players have better numbers than those combined figures.

You see the numbers and line-up and you figure, the easiest out of the game, when you see them. Yet, on that Friday night game, maybe I was rattled after that dinger to McCormick, but I just throw a pitch like I normally do, and somehow, the catcher, the easiest out on the team, turned on it and blasted a homer. Never felt so embarrassed in my life. Just hope that the skipper doesnt send me to the minors lamented Tigers pitcher Beau Brieske.

Had the paperwork ready to ship his [kitten] out, but realized that we arent that good right now anyway. observed Tigers manager AJ Hinch. Still, I am warning all my pitchers that if you ever let another Astros catcher get a hit, you will be walking back, and not just to the hotel. Your [kitten] will be walking all the way back to Detroit, so you can clean out your locker and get your paperwork before we ship you to Cincinnati.

Such sentiments were echoed through out the league. Oh yeah, we have the same policy noted an unnamed AL team exec. We know that there are variances in games, etc, but honestly, if you can get an Astros catcher out during their AB, you clearly dont have any stuff.

We at Totally Not Fake News did receive a harshly worded letter from the Cincinnati Reds organization, observing that even their pitchers would suffer the consequences if they allowed a Stros catcher to get a hit off of them. Part of the statement read If this were to happen to even one of our pitchers they would lose all per diem replaced with a season-mandated diet of Sky Line chili. Apparently, this threat is taken very seriously.

Still, some feel this is overblown.

Okay, so our catchers have trouble getting hits. We are aware of that and we are working on solutions to this issue noted GM Click. When asked if that meant promoting catching prospect Korey Lee, Click shut that down. Oh no. No. We arent going to do that. Looks, the Astros brought me over to use that creativity we had in Tampa Bay, so we are going to apply those skills here. We have tons of options.

When asked, Click offered some of the following:

While we have yet to hear back from MLB on these changes. However, Totally Not Fake News will keep you up to date on any new developments from the team or the league on this situation.

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Totally Not Fake News: Necessity the Mother of Invention - The Crawfish Boxes

Totally Not Fake News: Vindication – Battle Red Blog

Houston, TX Many emotions define the NFL Draft. Excitement, anticipation, fulfillment, trepidation, a little bit of fear/dread. They come from the players, seeing the culmination of a lifetime of dreams. They come from the fans looking to the future with hope. They come from Roger Goodell, praying that none of these guys crush him so hard in a man-embrace that he suffocates. Emotions abound that night.

Yet, there was one team that had a far different feeling/emotion. For the Houston Texans, there was the strangest of feelings. Not hope or optimism, admittedly two concepts somewhat foreign to the team and fanbase. The emotion: vindication. As if all the work of the past few seasons was coming to some focus/end-game.

Actually, I prefer the term validation myself noted a rather buoyant Jack Easterby. Vindicationthe root of that one is a bit too close to vindictive and honestly, I am just not that sort of person. With the love of the Lord within me, and me in an ordained place of power to project His message to the masses, I dont need to be all about petty things of the world, like hate or jealousy or a desire to take all the words written by my biggest critics, package them all up in a nice, shiny offering plate, and shove them up all of their Sodom and Gomorrah [Easterbys!!!]oh no, I, the most humble servant of the Lord and driver of the Houston Texans, would never stoop to such levels.

After this message from the self-proclaimed Messenger of the Gospel of the Holy Texans, our reporter looked to follow up:

So, why would you even think of vindictor, sorry, validation as a theme for you and the team?

You mean the team and ME. The team always comes first, remember thatwell, right after service to that most highest power, but you get the idea. Anyway, while I myself am above the pettiness of men, those that toil under me, er, work with me in the quest for divine Texansdom, well, they monitor my social media gospel, and they were dismayed to see that my, er, our message was obscured by a lot of blasphemous slander and falsehoods. The devils spawn permeates in that realm. Yet, as an Executive Vice President of Football Operations and the Ayatollah of the most Blessed Texans, you just have to walk above that.

When our reporter noted that many people were sour on Easterby due to his role in personnel decisions over the past few years, the Exalted Easterby was quick to reply:

Oh ye of little faith. The path to salvation and football paradise is not easy, nor is it smooth. There are challenges that one must face. Much like the noble literary personification of John Bunyan, you must go through pain and suffering, purging the soul of all unrighteous thoughts. For example, the blasphemy of the Smart, Tough, Dependable doctrine. We went through it all.

And I am not one to brag, this most humble Lord of the internal team political battle royal. HOWEVER, if I was cursed with an over-abundance of self-love, I would be on a major witch-hunt to ferret out the internal sources from those SI.com hit pieces, threatening to Torquemada their [Easterbys] to eternal damnationObviously, I am notanyway, yeah, about all of that, well, I think that we know how things turned out.

I had the team purify the contagion of That Player. While said That Player did have a few moments, his deceit and falsehoods caught up with him, as he is burdened with a major suspension that shalt damage his standings and his access to the robes of Babylon.

The false franchise player. Oh, that I tried to curry his favor, and tried to reach his yearning and thirstful soul, to douse the burgeoning sin within. Alas, he let himself stray from the path. Twisted and corrupted by sin. Even when I, er, we, made the leadership and personnel moves that would bring that divinely-ordained talent back to the team, he was content to gnash his teeth and rend his clothes, hiding behind his ill-gotten gains. Well, maybe Caesar did render judgement on him, but the real judgment was made, and thus, to the land of eternal cold and misery did he go. Perhaps he finds the forgiveness of the Lord. Ok, he could have had some real divine forgiveness from me, er, the teamso sorry about those slips.

Oh, and then there was the whole thing with OBrien. You know, I have nothing but love for the man, much like I have for everyone as does the Lord. Even the heretics. Yes, BOB was arrogant, head-strong and power hungry, but we did ok. Of course, when it came to assigning blame, er, the main focal point for all leadership decisions, well, the guy was GM and the Head Coach. I was but merely a humble helper with a servants heart. Well, his place in the next kingdom is fine, but you do have to pay the piper, and he clearly had to go. I did just send him a Special Order of the Easterby to celebrate the achievement.

With those moves, then we could truly remake the Texans in myheh, there I go againremake the Texans as per the divine plan. Adherents to the Word were a must, as were loyal and faithful minions, er, servants, er employeesyeah, employees. Then we had to purge the unworthy. No false idols here, no matter what good works they did. We just the other day purged another of the Smart, Tough, Dependable heretics.

Now you can see the fruits of our labor. They will study the books with passionand then maybe have a chance to review a playbook. Oh, and we just installed the new baptismal pool in the locker room. We shall purge the unrighteousness off of them upon entry into the blessed Texans kingdom. Sure, a vet or two may feel bitter about losing the old whirlpool, but what is their discomfort to the purification needed to follow the Easterby oh fiddlesticks, I did it again!!! I meant the path of Texans glory. Blessing be upon you all.

With that, we leave you, the good reader, with this update and will continue to provide the latest and greatest.

Also, we are in need of a new reporter, since the original one that filed this story apparently had a nervous breakdown. We dont have all the details, but we did get this image from the doctor treating said individual, a recent college grad on first assignment:

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Totally Not Fake News: Vindication - Battle Red Blog

History is fake news | Opinion | grandrapidsmn.com – Herald Review


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History is fake news | Opinion | grandrapidsmn.com - Herald Review

Authorities Warn against Fake News on Social Media Used to Turn Citizens against State – KahawaTungu

A number of Kenyans are using social media to spread misinformation and paint the government in bad light. According to Nakuru County Commissioner Erastus Mbui, politicians are spreading falsehoods with an intention of setting up citizens against the government.

Mbui cited that among the issues which had been misreported include the fuel prices, which he claims are actually cheapest in Kenya compared to other East African countries.

The correct information is only a click away, go to the internet and search fuel prices of the other nations and compare it to Kenya, the commodity is cheaper here because of government subsidies, he said.

Read:Kenyans Who Sat for KCSE Between 2000 & 2021 Get Second Chance To Apply for KUCCPS Programs

He also cited the #Lowerfoodprices hashtag which he says had been pushed, without taking into consideration that production costs had gone up.

Mbui was speaking in a meeting with the Mid Rift Human Rights Network to assess progress in implementing the Nakuru Action Plan on Preventing and Combating Violent Extremism.

He stated that combating youth radicalization requires collective action, as the youths creativity was being exploited to create the short videos used to spread fake news.

Read also:Police Pursuing Gang That Held Nakuru Family Hostage, Stole Sh140,000

This is a plea to the public not to believe the videos and audios being shared on the internet before ascertaining their authenticity, the administrator said.

The meeting also addressed the looming threat of intimidations and chaos during the electioneering period. Mbui stated that the government was working with civil society groups, religious groups, human rights organisations, and others to raise awareness of the importance of mature politics and tolerance during this time.

Mid Rift is looking to use community-based interventions to address polarisation, radicalisation, and violent extremism in Nakuru through civic education, in order to deter adolescents from being used by politicians to cause havoc.

Read also;Kisumu Police Accused of Protecting Dangerous Gangs Terrorizing Residents

There are criminal gangs in Nakuru such as confirm and wa-TZ that are mostly used by politicians during electioneering period to intimidate opponents and their supporters, Mbui said.

He added that the county security team was working with community organizations and civil society groups to ensure newer illegal groupings do not mushroom during the polls.

Residents have also been encouraged cooperate with the security organs and the local administration in fighting crime by sharing information through toll free mobile numbers, he said.

Email your news TIPS tonews@kahawatungu.comor WhatsApp +254708677607. You can also find us on Telegram throughwww.t.me/kahawatungu

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Authorities Warn against Fake News on Social Media Used to Turn Citizens against State - KahawaTungu

Fact Check: No, Raghuram Rajan is NOT set to be the new Bank of England governor – India Today

India Today's Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) found that claims of Raghu Rajan being appointed as the governor of the Bank of England are false.

A social media post claimed that former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan has now been appointed as the governor of the Bank of England.

Many on Facebook shared similar posts that congratulated Rajan over his supposed appointment as the governor of the Bank of England and also lamented that he was not given more opportunities to work with the Indian government.

The India Today Anti Fake News War Room (AFWA) found this claim was false. Andrew Bailey is the current governor of the Bank of England, and his term will continue till March 2028. In 2019, it was reported that Rajan was a frontrunner for the post. At the time, he said in an interview that he did not even apply for the job.

The viral posts are archived here and here.

When we searched, we did not find any credible news report that confirmed Rajans alleged appointment as the new governor of the UKs central bank this news would have made headlines in India and England.

The banks website also listed Andrew Bailey as the governor. He was appointed on March 16, 2020, and his term as governor will come to an end on March 15, 2028.

We did not find Rajans name in the list of past governors as mentioned on the banks website.

In 2019, some news reports claimed that Rajan was among the top contenders to replace Mark Carney, the then-governor of the UKs central bank.

But in an interview with the BBC in July 2019, Rajan said that he did not even apply for the top job at UKs central bank. On Hard Talk, Rajan told anchor Sarah Montague that central banking has become much more political in recent times. Its best a country has someone who understands the political situation within that country and knows how to navigate that, Rajan added. Its obvious Im an outsider and I have very little understanding of the deep ebbs and flows of politics in that country.

This interview was reported by the Indian media as well.

Thus, we concluded that the claim that Rajan was now going to be the top boss at the Bank of England was completely false, based on some later-refuted speculation in 2019.

ClaimFormer RBI governor Raghuram Rajan has been appointed as the governor of the Bank of England.ConclusionAndrew Bailey is the current governor of the Bank of England, and his term will continue till March 2028. In 2019, when it was reported that Rajan was a frontrunner for the post, he said that he did not apply for the job in an interview.

The number of crows determines the intensity of the lie.

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Fact Check: No, Raghuram Rajan is NOT set to be the new Bank of England governor - India Today

Pakistan: Probe Initiated Against Journalist Sami Ibrahim for ‘Fake News On State Institutions’ – News18

Pakistans Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) on Sunday initiated an inquiry against journalist Sami Ibrahim for allegedly spreading fake news regarding state institutions.

The FIA, in a press statement, said that Ibrahim who works with BOL News has made imputations which are glaring attempts to incite armed forces personnel to mutiny. He has attempted to create chaos in Pakistan through media while staying abroad, it further stated. The agency also said that since the journalist is abroad a red notice would be issued against him through Interpol and his name would be listed on Exit Control List (ECL).

The FIA notice sent to Ibrahim alleged that he has tried to build a narrative with ill intent to cause intimidation, fear, panic, insecurity, and unrest between government officials/personnel of armed forces and general public.

Sources told News18 that the inquiry against Ibrahim may be the beginning of the case Pakistan is building against former PM Imran Khan. Ibrahim has interviewed several high-profile public figures, including Khan who was ousted in April following a no-confidence vote passed against his government in the National Assembly.

The FIA also stated that Ibrahim would be given an opportunity to defend himself in the case. An FIR would be filed if an offence is made out against the journalist, following which he would be arrested and prosecuted.

The inquiry was launched under Section 20 of the Prevention of Electronic Crimes Act (Peca) 2016, read with Section 505 of the PPC.

Meanwhile, reacting to the FIA notice, Ibrahim tweeted that necessary legal action will be taken after he returns on May 14.

The government has filed a case against me. I have also attached a copy of the government notice. I have discussed this matter with my lawyer Raja Amir Abbas who has told FIA that I am out of the country now. Necessary legal action will be taken after my return on 14th May, he wrote.

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Pakistan: Probe Initiated Against Journalist Sami Ibrahim for 'Fake News On State Institutions' - News18

Explained: Who is John Lee, Hong Kongs new Chief Executive? – The Indian Express

John Lee was on Sunday (May 8) elected the leader of Hong Kong after winning an election held through a closed voting system. Lee, who was the only candidate running for the position, replaced Carrie Lam who had held the post since 2017.

Many criticised Lees appointment as the new Chief Executive, stating it was a move by China to increase its influence over Hong Kong.

The 2022 Hong Kong election was held a year after the citys electoral system was reformed. The new rules paved the way for Chinas ruling Communist Party to appoint more lawmakers to the election committee, reducing the share elected by the public and eliminating opposition voices. It also increased the number of members of the committee from 300 to 1,500.

So, in Sundays election, held through a secret ballot, the 1,500 members who voted were largely pro-Beijing supporters. The central government brought this voting system to ensure only patriots held the position of the chief executive.

The only difference in this election was that there was only one candidate John Lee. He garnered more than 99 per cent of the votes, the highest obtained by anyone so far.

On winning, Lee said, It is my duty to let people understand what I can do for them. But I do understand there will be a time that is needed for me to convince the people, but I can do that by action so that when they see results, they somehow will know he is trying his best. By accumulating successes then I can get them (to) be convinced that what I am trying to do is for the best of Hong Kong.

Lee will be sworn in on July 1, 2022, which is also the 25th anniversary of Hong Kong being returned to China by the British.

Lee, 64, has long been known as a pro-Beijing supporter. He has been a law enforcement agent since 1977, when he joined the police force at the age of 20. He rose to the position of Deputy Commissioner the second-most prominent position in the Hong Kong Police Force in 2010. He was then appointed Under Secretary of Security in 2012, after which he was promoted to Secretary of Security in 2017.

It was as Secretary of Security that Lee played a significant role in advocating the 2019 Extradition Bill that allowed for fugitives to be extradited to China, as well as Taiwan and Macau. The bill sparked months of protests in Hong Kong, during which the police under Lee were criticised for using water cannons, tear gas and ammunition.

Lee had defended the police action, claiming protestors resorted to terrorism and extremism.

In 2020, Lee backed the controversial National Security Law passed by China and instantly made it a part of Hong Kongs legal system. The law listed secession, subversion, terrorist activities, and collusion with a foreign country or with external elements to endanger national security, as offences. This law, too, led to months-long protests that turned violent.

As a member of the committee which looks over matters related to the national security law, Lee played an important role in its implementation. Due to this, he was subjected to sanctions by the United States and was even blocked by YouTube in 2022 for his election campaign. He believed the law would help Hong Kong restore stability from chaos.

In fact, on the day of the election result, Lee said, Having restored order from chaos, it is high time that Hong Kong starts a new chapter of development, a chapter that will be geared toward greater prosperity for all.

A survey conducted in Hong Kong in March showed Lees popularity has dipped to 34.8 per cent in 2022 from 38 per cent in 2021.

Lee has made it clear he will ensure much closer ties between Hong Kong and China. Even while launching his election manifesto in April, Lee said it was important that Hong Kong works closely with economically-significant Chinese cities.

Lee supports many controversial bills that have been long pending because of widespread protests. These bills are expected to be back in talks to be passed.

He has openly talked about bringing a law against fake news. Many journalists and news organisations are against this as they believe it will make it extremely difficult for independent and small media organisations to operate.

Further, Lees appointment comes at a time when the city has been subject to one of the worlds worst pandemic restrictions, impacting its economy and leading to a rise in unemployment.

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Lees appointment has been condemned by the European Union. In a statement, the bloc said, The EU calls on Chinese and Hong Kong authorities to abide by their national and international commitments, notably the ultimate aim of electing the Chief Executive and members of the Legislative Council by universal suffrage.

The European Union regrets this violation of democratic principles and political pluralism and sees this selection process as yet another step in the dismantling of the one country, two systems principle, it added.


Explained: Who is John Lee, Hong Kongs new Chief Executive? - The Indian Express

Rockets news: John Wall fires back at fake news over No. 1 option role – ClutchPoints

John Wall clearly wants to play with the Houston Rockets as the team looks for potential partners to trade him. However, with regards to reports about his desired role, Wall is calling fake news.

After it was revealed that Wall talked to Rockets execs about his future with the team and the possibility of him playing again, several rumors surfaced about what he wants in his return. For one, Shams Charania of The Athletic claimed that the veteran point guard demanded to have a starting role and compete to maintain it.

Meanwhile, per NBA insider Jordan Schultz, Wall sees himself as the No. 1 option on the Rockets should he return.

Upon seeing Schultzs report, though, Wall straight up denied the rumor and called it a lie.

It remains to be seen if the Rockets will play John Wall again. Besides, there could be some benefit to it since teams could see if hes healthy enough to play and compete at a high level. His monstrosity of a contract makes it difficult to trade him, so the only way Houston can convince others hes worth the risk is if hes health and able to contribute to winning.

The Rockets are 3-16 in what is largely expected as a rebuilding season for them, so its not a surprise they want to focus on giving more playing time to their young players like Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. in the back court.

However, if Wall is not demanding to start or be the No. 1 option, then they could certainly find ways to let him play.

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Rockets news: John Wall fires back at fake news over No. 1 option role - ClutchPoints

Inside the Misinformation Wars – The New York Times

This hints at a weakness of the new focus on misinformation: Its a technocratic solution to a problem thats as much about politics as technology. The new social media-fueled right-wing populists lie a lot, and stretch the truth more. But as American reporters quizzing Donald Trumps fans on camera discovered, his audience was often in on the joke. And many of the most offensive things he said werent necessarily lies they were just deeply ugly to half the country, including most of the people running news organizations and universities.

Its more comfortable to reckon with an information crisis if theres anything were good at, its information than a political one. If only responsible journalists and technologists could explain how misguided Mr. Trumps statements were, surely the citizenry would come around. But these well-meaning communications experts never quite understood that the people who liked him knew what was going on, laughed about it and voted for him despite, or perhaps even because of, the times he went too far.

Harpers Magazine recently published a broadside against Big Disinfo, contending that the think tanks raising money to focus on the topic were offering a simple solution to a political crisis that defies easy explanation and exaggerating the power of Facebook in a way that, ultimately, served Facebook most of all. The author, Joseph Bernstein, argued that the journalists and academics who specialize in exposing instances of disinformation seem to believe they have a particular claim on truth. However well-intentioned these professionals are, they dont have special access to the fabric of reality, he wrote.

In fact, Ive found many of the people worrying about our information diets are reassuringly modest about how far the new field of misinformation studies is going to take us. Ms. Donovan calls it a new field of data journalism, but said she agreed that this part of the field needs to get better at figuring out whats true or false. The Aspen report acknowledged that in a free society there are no arbiters of truth. Theyre putting healthy new pressure on tech platforms to be transparent in how claims true and false spread.

The editor in chief of The Texas Tribune, Sewell Chan, one of the Harvard courses participants, said he didnt think the program had a political slant, adding that it helped me understand the new forms of mischief making and lie peddling that have emerged.

That said, like the term fake news, misinformation is a loaded and somewhat subjective term, he said. Im more comfortable with precise descriptions.

I also feel the push and pull of the information ecosystem in my own journalism, as well as the temptation to evaluate a claim by its formal qualities who is saying it and why rather than its substance. Last April, for instance, I tweeted about what I saw as the sneaky way that anti-China Republicans around Donald Trump were pushing the idea that Covid-19 had leaked from a lab. There were informational red flags galore. But media criticism (and Im sorry youve gotten this far into a media column to read this) is skin-deep. Below the partisan shouting match was a more interesting scientific shouting match (which also made liberal use of the word misinformation). And the state of that story now is that scientists understanding of the origins of Covid-19 is evolving and hotly debated, and were not going to be able to resolve it on Twitter.

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Inside the Misinformation Wars - The New York Times

NWRHA responds to fake news regarding third dose of COVID-19 vaccine | Loop Trinidad & Tobago – Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

The North West Regional Health Authority (NWRHA) said it has taken note of a message circulating on Whatsapp advising persons that the third dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine is available to anyone at the Paddock Area, Queens Park Savannah this weekend without a referral letter.

In a statement, the NWRHA advisedmembers of the public that this information is false.

The Authority said it continues to administer the primary third dose with scheduled appointments as stipulated by the Ministry of Health as follows:

Sinopharm to persons 60 years and over three to six months after second dose or soonest thereafter.

AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson to persons moderately to severely immunocompromised regardless of age, one to three months after the final dose or soonest thereafter. These persons must have a referral letter from their physician.

The NWRHA further requested that persons desist from sharing the false information.

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NWRHA responds to fake news regarding third dose of COVID-19 vaccine | Loop Trinidad & Tobago - Loop News Trinidad and Tobago

Asia-Europe anti-fake news cooperation urged to be strengthened – Khmer Times

The 10th ASEF Editors Roundtable (ASEFERT10) wrapped up and placed a bold cooperation front on fighting against fake news between the two continents Asia and Europe.

The agreement was made after a range of discussions between media practitioners of the two continents during the two-day event hosted by Cambodia in hybrid format.

Under the theme Strengthening Cooperation between Journalists in Combating Fake News, the ASEFERT10 is one of the major side events of the 13th Asia-Europe Summit (ASEM13) being organised by Cambodia on Nov. 25-26.

The ASEFERT10 consisted of two plenary sessions and a public forum.

According to a press release of the Ministry of Information, during the first plenary session, editors from both continents shared information, experiences and current state of the spread of fake news in their respective countries.

They also discussed and shared lessons learned and best practices in their respective countries in combating fake news and highlighted the significant roles and responsibilities of journalists in disseminating facts and credible information to the public; encouraging the public to be educated on media literacy; and to train citizen journalists to understand ethics and professionalism.

The editors of the two continents agreed that fake news is a global issue which is happening in Asia, Europe and the whole world. Fake news relevancy is occurring in almost every field, such as politics, economy, trade, and private life. It caused serious damage to the society and the daily life of the people, especially during the wide spread of the COVID-19.

In the second plenary session, the editors of both continents emphasised the need to tighten the cooperation between journalists and information officers, as well as government leaders of each country in continuing to strengthen and expand the mechanism of communication, consultation, and information exchange in a transparent and accountable manner. They also viewed that journalists and the government are the complementary partners, as the government need journalists to cover their work, while journalists need information to broadcast. Meanwhile, the journalists are required to strengthen their professionalism and ethics in order for them to regain the trust from the public.

For the public forum, the editors of both continents and the national and international journalists working in Cambodia discussed and exchanged experiences on journalism professional practices, information dissemination by citizen journalists, especially on social media platform and measures, including legal measures, taken by each country to combat fake news and promote the freedom of expression.

The 10th ASEF Editors Roundtable was a success and a proud achievement, with the aim of strengthening and expanding cooperation between journalists of the two continents and stakeholders in the fight against fake news and raising awareness of the importance of bilateral and multilateral cooperation between journalists in both continents.

The event was held under presidency of Khieu Kanharith, Minister of Information, and Ambassador Morikiwa Toru, Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation, and attended by editors and senior journalists of print and broadcasting news outlets of the two continents. Chea Vannak AKP

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Asia-Europe anti-fake news cooperation urged to be strengthened - Khmer Times

[OPINION] Solid states: Fake news, Filipino politics, and the excesses of ‘pakikisama’ – Rappler

The current election cycle shows how these distortions carry over to the level of national politics. Pakikisama can be abused to quash any dissent to the opinion of the majority, or to the groups authority figure(s).People raising grievances, objections, or even questions are seen as threats to group harmony. They must be silenced or expelled. The actual or self-appointed majority rallies around a certain narrative.They will keep the faith, even in the face of compelling evidence against their claims.Legitimate news and archival sources will be dismissed as fake, biased, or Westernized.It explains why so much money has been invested in pro-Duterte/pro-Marcos online trolling.Collective vitriol on this scale is meant to normalize fanatical support for the allied dynasties. Conversely, it is meant to break the spirit of the opposition by convincing its members that they are alone walang kasama.

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[OPINION] Solid states: Fake news, Filipino politics, and the excesses of 'pakikisama' - Rappler

Richard Collins: Why stags indulge in their own fake news and spin – Irish Examiner

A Royal stag has 12 antler points.An Imperial one has 16. Killarneys Grand Master, with 21, is almost certainly Irelands largest deer(Irish Examiner, October 15).

Huge amounts of food are required to develop such spectacular adornments and a new pair must be grown each year. But the effort pays off; large antlers intimidate rival males during the autumn rut. They also suggest that the owners sperm count is equally impressive, encouraging hinds to join his harem of concubines.

But antlers are not the only string to a stags bow; rutting males indulge also in exhaustive singing competitions. At the height of the mating season, a stag may roar throughout the day. The pitch of his utterances is crucial. The lower it is, the farther the sound travels but, more importantly, pitch advertises the callers size; the bigger the stag, the lower its calls will be. Nor are such vocal communications confined to deer. Wolves, for example, gauge the size of a rival pack by listening to the chorus of howls its members produce.

But another factor is at play in vocalisation; mimicry. Fake news and spin, whether human or animal, deceive and manipulate the hearer. Dishonest signals are widespread in the animal kingdom. Mute swan cygnets, for example, continue to produce the high-pitched squeaks of their babyhood even when almost fully grown. As a new breeding season approaches, their father wants them out of his territory, to ensure that sufficient food will be available for his pen to form eggs and raise the coming seasons brood. Feeding extra mouths from the previous year is not on; if the youngsters remained, he would have to secure a much larger territory. The lingering cygnets dont want to depart into the big bad world, so they issue baby-talk calls to stimulate his fatherly instincts. These help reduce his aggression and delay the eviction. Nor is such dishonest signalling confined to swans. Songbirds arriving in a new area may pass themselves off as locals by picking up the regional dialect. The low-pitched calls of a stag depend on body size, making them difficult to fake, but even they might not be entirely authentic.

Vocalisation and mimicry are closely connected; both depend on aural learning ability. So are they just two sides of the same coin?

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute have compared vocalisation to body size in a range of mammal species. Their results confirm that species which are particularly skilled at picking up sounds tend also to be good mimics. Deer, they found, can produce lower-pitched calls than their body size would seem to dictate. Nor does pitch of vocalisation necessarily correlate with a callers bulk. Whales and dolphins, for example, are able to transmit a wide range of sounds. Yet they routinely produce much higher-pitched sounds than their huge frames might suggest. Proclaiming size, it seems, is not the sole evolutionary driver of pitch, nor was the evolution of mimicry just a bi-product of vocalisation.

Attempts to solve a mystery sometimes deepen it. Research on this topic may be such a case.

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Richard Collins: Why stags indulge in their own fake news and spin - Irish Examiner

Former ‘RHONY’ star Heather Thomson says show’s storylines are ‘staged,’ ‘fake’ – Fox News

Former "Real Housewives of New York" star Heather Thomson called out the show for creating "staged" and "faked" storylines.

Thomson criticized the show while talking to a New York Post photographer outside the high-end Japanese restaurant BondST in New York City.

Heather Thomson criticized "The Real Housewives of New York" in a recent interview. (Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

The reality TV star specifically called Sonja Morgan's engagement to Harry Dubin during season 12 "fake." Dubin proposed to Morgan while Luann de Lesseps was crying over her breakup with Jacques Azoulay.

"It was completely staged and totally fake," Thomson told the outlet. "It was a ring that Ramona was wearing. And she took it off and gave it to Harry to pretend that it was his it was oneupmanship."


"The authenticityismissing," she said. "The women were self-producing, and many storylines were forced and contrived."

Thomson originally left "RHONY" in 2015, but has since made appearances on the reality TV show.

Thomson did defend the women who decide to join the "Real Housewives" franchise and instead laid the blame on the "machine."

Thomson accused the show of creating "staged" and "fake" storylines. (Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)


"Generally speaking, the women that join the show are not self-absorbed, catty, horrible people. Theyre birds in gilded cages. They go in there with the right intention, but then you get sucked into this system of what the viewers want," Thomson said. "These women are part of a machine that has awarded them and fed them for outrageous behavior. Its a career. Its their check. And they dont have other jobs outside of it. And so you become a product of the environment of what the fan is looking for.

"Lets be honest: Watching women behaving well and doing great things for each other doesnt make must-see TV."

Thomson officially left the show in 2015 but has made appearances since. (Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)


She also blamed the audience.

"You cant really talk about the people without talking about the system," Thomson said. "Everybody has culpability in this the viewers, the network, the women on the show. Were all complicit."

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Former 'RHONY' star Heather Thomson says show's storylines are 'staged,' 'fake' - Fox News

‘A Time Outside This Time’ is a searing reflection of a world riddled by fake news – Telegraph India

Told in curious and simple prose, this novel is wildly reminiscent of a contemplative Douglas Adams pondering over an Orwellian present

A wonderfully honest read of recent time would be Amitava Kumars A Time Outside This Time (Aleph; Rs 699). Told in curious and simple prose, this novel is wildly reminiscent of a contemplative Douglas Adams pondering over an Orwellian present. Kumar is a Guggenheim fellow and a professor of English at Vassar College with books like Writing Badly is Easy and The Lovers in his oeuvre.

In this book, Satya is an Indian writer based in New York, enjoying a residency for artists in Italy. His wife Vani and daughter Piya await his return home as he narrates and is mesmerised by the web of fake news building around the world at break-neck speed. Caught between Trump and Modi, his resilient pursuit of social norms as defined in a post-truth world results in him building a plotline for his book. As the thin line between truth and lie starts to vanish, it soon becomes barely discernible from fiction.

Lamenting about the state of affairs and the media narratives which could well be fictional stories, there is incredulity accompanying his keen observations. He draws parallels between the world outside and the novel that begins to gently take shape in his mind. Commenting on the state of affairs, Satya wonders if the leaders of the country just like him cannot imagine a time outside this time. He writes:

The most popular stories on Snopes.com:

Did Eleven U.S. Marines Give Their Lives This Week? [False]

Did a Principal Ban Candy Canes Because They Are Shaped Like Js for Jesus? [True]

Did a Brain-Eating Amoeba Kill a Woman Who Rinsed Her Sinuses with Tap Water? [True]

Did Miley Cyrus Tell Fans to Worship Satan if They Want to Be Rich and Famous? [False]

Did Jon Voight Urge Americans to Fight for Donald Trump? [True]

The list is fairly ridiculous. It reveals the low stakes in the battle for truth in our culture.

Kumars novel comes with a wry sense of humour and readers are compelled to start wondering with Satya and question their own memory-making process. Satya decides that to make sense of the copious notes he had taken since Trump came to presidency to his days at the residency with the novel corona virus beginning to rear its fangs around the world he must go far back into his childhood. With a matter-of-fact style of storytelling, Satya remembers his childhood fraught with communal violence and thinks I was trying to remember the earliest lies I was told about others and the stories I had invented about myself. In a seamless manner, Kumars own story becomes Satyas story as he recounts his time as an author in New York.

There are little stories that make up this gigantically ambitious novel spanning across various parts of the world. There is Khalid Farooq whose tale moved Satya to provide financial help that was never returned. Instead what emerged were a few lies. There is an English professor Ghosh in Siliguri who thought of Hamlet on the death of a peasant leader. There is Vishal Kishore, a police officer in Calcutta who paves the way for the authors research into someone named Avinash. And there is Gautam Sikdar, a popular TV journalist who was once married to his wife Vani. Through these various little stories, Kumar throws light upon different aspects of life and the presence of lies in those very spheres.

There is anecdotal history, the bizarre nature of data and dubious scientific research strewn across the book that has an undulating narrative. However, if for a second you feel yourself slipping away, you remember that there is some part of a loose thread that remains to be tied and you carry on. Pick up a copy to feel seen as familiar events around the world build into a narrative that is unique and personal to you. The gorgeous yellow cover, designed by the author himself, will lead you right to it.

Photo: Imrul Islam

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'A Time Outside This Time' is a searing reflection of a world riddled by fake news - Telegraph India

Critics are not trolls, milord: Faceless and nameless troll writes open letter to Chief Justice of India – OpIndia

Dear Chief Justice of India,

On behalf of all faceless nameless social media trolls, I am writing this letter. Before I start ranting, please let me explain what trolls mean and why they choose to remain faceless and nameless. Trolls are the ones who criticise powerful people, politicians, law makers, bureaucrats, journalist celebrities, intellectuals, civil society, businessmen, Judiciary and Courts too.

So, you must be thinking why are we called trolls not critics? Because we criticise people who dont like to be criticised. For example, elite journalists, if we question them, they will see it as an attack on journalism, they themselves want power to question everyone but they dont like to be questioned back because they are sitting on their self-assumed pedestal of being the 4thpillar of Democracy. So they started calling us troll and once they started naming social media critics as troll, all others joined them in calling us troll. We kind of like this name so we are happily accepting it.

Why do we choose to be nameless and faceless? Nothing is hidden from you milord, you are very well aware how powerful people react when you take them to the place they are not comfortable in and expose them. They can go after our jobs, our family and sometime, send goons to beat us up. And there is also a benefit of being nameless and faceless that powerful people will have to reply on topic only and they cant use religion, caste or race to divert the topic.

Who are abusive trolls? Trolls mostly use humour, sarcasm, satire or meme to criticise but it is backed with facts not abuses. Anyone, including me, using abuses is giving bad name to trolls and must avoid it and it also makes it easy for powerful people to take action. Not only trolls but anyone who is abusing should be dealt with laws, be it a Rajya Sabha MP calling an actress haramkhor or an actor abusing journalist. But such abusive trolls are few in number.

Milord, coming to the point, recently you asked central agencies to take action against trolls who are questioning judges on social media. Had this statement come from any politician or journalist, we would have seen as badge of honour but this statement coming from lordship has hurt us badly. We look upon you as our chief defender of freedom of expression. To paraphrase Justice Gautam Patel, there is no such things as too much dissent. Justice Chandrachud advices us to stand up and be dissenters. And while protecting rights of dissenters, Delhi Court said if you dont agree with the author, dont read the book. There are thousands of instances when Judiciary stood up for dissenters and freedom of expression.

As I had mentioned earlier, we are called trolls by people who dont like to be criticised, with due respect to your chair, judiciary has joined that league when you asked central agencies to take action against social media trolls. We are taught that everyone has right to criticise anyone and no one is above law, even the law makers and law implementer. It should not be a crime to criticise any court order or any judge at his/her personal capacity. People should be bound to follow court order no matter if they like it or not, but criticising that order should not be crime.

Coming to attack on the judiciary, Its not trolls who are hurting judiciary, its news publishers and media who portray court order as per their wish. They can turn a court order towards any direction as per their need. They use oral remarks of judges as headlines of article, which might be completely different from the order of that case. Nothing is harming judiciary more than fake news. And I am really sorry to say this but courts always protect those fake news peddlers in the name of freedom of press and dissent. Instead of going after trolls, milords should have asked law makers to frame laws against fake news peddlers. I am not against freedom of press, but freedom comes with a price and here that price is one and only TRUTH. Freedom of press must not be confused with freedom to lie.

Milord, I am too young to tell this, but in my opinion, serving judges should refrain for putting their opinion and off-the-cuff remarks, as suggested by supreme court. Once a judge has an opinion, his/her chances of being unbiased gets reduced and it can also influence the decision. Judges are supposed to be unbiased and no opinion is unbiased.

Concluding this letter with an expectation that courts will protect freedom of expression of trolls who are already targeted by many powerful chairs. And in future, if anyone will attack on freedom of expression of trolls, courts will take Suo moto to defend trolls and idea of India.

If you find this letter offensive, please accept my apologies. I am now off to the nearest communal mandir to pray that I get away with just one rupee fine like Prashant Bhushan, who attacked the judiciary far more uncharitably than any of us trolls do.

Yours obediently,Nameless, faceless but not shameless troll.

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Critics are not trolls, milord: Faceless and nameless troll writes open letter to Chief Justice of India - OpIndia