The arbiters of truth 5

From now on, when you write news on Facebook, it will be judged by certain people – specially talented, it is implied, in being totally uninfluenced by their own likes and dislikes – and if they reject it as untrue, it will be …

Deleted? Banned? Demoted? Obscured?

Discredited, anyway.

From the Wall Street Journal:

Facebook Inc. is inching closer to fact-checking the news on its platform, a role that Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg shunned a month ago, by rolling out steps to weed out “the worst of the worst”, the social media platform said on Thursday.

It has inched all the way. It is commissioning fact-checking.

Facebook said it has identified several markers of sites that consistently peddle fake news, and it will demote posts from those sites in people’s news feeds.

It is also outsourcing the delicate task of determining whether individual stories are true or false to a few external organizations and tweaking its news feed algorithm based on their rulings. It is unusual for Facebook to entrust outsiders with this much power to influence the way posts are played in the news feed, the central stream of information that is customized for each user by Facebook’s algorithm. …

Mr. Zuckerberg initially dismissed concerns over fake news, but later backed away from that stance. Still he remains wary of Facebook becoming the “arbiters of truth” … 

By drafting the help of a network of fact-checking groups affiliated with the Poynter Institute, a journalism nonprofit based in St. Petersburg, Fla., Facebook is seeking to keep the task at arm’s length. …

(More about Poynter below.)

The fact-checking organizations — Snopes.com, PolitiFact, ABC News, Factcheck.org and the Associated Press — will sift through the flagged stories to determine if they are fake. It will be up to those organizations to determine whether or not to fact-check them. …

Facebook’s partnerships immediately sparked questions among users and conservatives on the neutrality of the fact checkers themselves.

“Fact checkers all seem to be from the left,” said a Twitter message from the account of Republican strategist Evan Siegfried. “Not good for conservatives.”

If a fact checker determines articles are untrue, those stories will appear lower in Facebook’s news feed and publishers can’t promote them with Facebook ads, the company said. The links will also carry a warning label to indicate that their accuracy is in dispute.

ABC news and the Associated Press (AP) as arbiters of truthful reporting? Orwell, your Ministry of Truth exists, and rules over us! Both are notoriously left-biased. (Read about ABC’s bias here. As for AP – Google “Associated Press misreporting” and see instantly on page one just some of the topics they’ve lied about.)

But wait! Worse is to come.

Aaron Klein writes at Breitbart:

The organization partnered with Facebook to help determine whether a certain story is “disputed” is financed by billionaire George Soros and a slew of other left-wing funders.

The partnering organization is Poynter. It has set up a new subsidiary for this task, the International Fact-Checking Network, and yes, it is funded by George Soros, the ideal man to head Orwell’s Ministry of Truth!

The International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) drafted a code of five principles for news websites to accept, and Facebook yesterday announced it will work with “third-party fact checking organizations” that are signatories to the code of principles.

Facebook says that if the “fact checking organizations” determine that a certain story is fake, it will get flagged as disputed and, according to the Facebook announcement, “there will be a link to the corresponding article explaining why. Stories that have been disputed may also appear lower in News Feed”.

IFCN is hosted by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. A cursory search of the Poynter Institute website finds that Poynter’s IFCN is openly funded by Soros’ Open Society Foundations as well as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Google, and the National Endowment for Democracy.

Poynter’s IFCN is also funded by the Omidyar Network, which is the nonprofit for liberal billionaire eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. The Omidyar Network has partnered with the [Orwellian-named] Open Society on numerous projects and it has given grants to third parties using the Soros-funded Tides Foundation. Tides is one of the largest donors to left-wing causes in the U.S.

Another significant Poynter Institute donor is the Craig Newmark Foundation, the charitable organization established by Craigslist Founder Craig Newmark. On Monday, just days before the announcement of the Facebook partnership, Poynter issued a press release revealing that Newmark donated $1 million to the group to fund a faculty chair in journalism ethics.

States the press release:

The gift will support a five-year program at Poynter that focuses on verification, fact-checking and accountability in journalism. It’s the largest donation Poynter’s ever received from an individual foundation.

The Newmark Chair will expand on Poynter’s teaching in journalism ethics and develop certification programs for journalists that commit to ethical decision-making practices. The faculty member will also organize an annual conference on ethics issues at Poynter and be a regular contributor to Poynter.org.

Newmark funds scores of liberal groups also financed by Soros, including the Sierra Club, the New America Foundation, and the Sunlight Foundation.

Newmark also finances the investigative journalism group called the Center for Public Integrity, where he serves on the board.  Soros’s Open Society is another Public Integrity donor.

Soros has earned his megafortune in part by short selling currencies and causing economic crises. He is credited with breaking the pound on September 16, 1992 in a day that became known in Britain as “Black Wednesday.” He reportedly made $1.2 billion from that crisis.  In 2002, he was convicted for insider trading.

And that’s the least of his offenses. See the very long list of the organizations through which he works his evil will, and read what their principles and purposes are.

Poynter, meanwhile, has hosted controversial journalism programs in the past, including one that was accused of downplaying the threat of global Islamic terrorism. FoxNews.com reported the course suggested reporters “keep the death toll from Islamic terrorism in ‘context’ by comparing that toll to the number of people killed every year by malaria, HIV/AIDS and other factors”.

It is typical of the Left to compare terrorism to accidents and diseases, as though no moral decision is involved in the committing of random murder. This amounts to a condoning of terrorism, which positively encourages it.

The course taught reporters that the term “jihad” means internal struggle, and it discussed what it claimed was the issue of “right-wing activists” attempting to link American Muslims to terrorism.

As examples of fact-checking, the propagation of such blatant lies does not inspire confidence.

The section includes the good-journalism tip that reporters should check to see if experts they’re interviewing “have a bias or a stake in the story you are covering.” But then it only cites examples of anti-Muslim groups.

The course in Islam, Fox News reported, was supported by a group calling itself the Social Science Research Council, which has received funding from Soros-financed groups.

In response to the report, the Poynter Institute explained that it created the course “as a tool for journalists who want to be accurate in educating their audience about the religion and culture of Islam, Muslim communities in the U.S., and the distinctions between Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”. 

As there is NO distinction to be drawn between “Islam as a political movement and the radical philosophies that inspire militant Islamists”, those journalists who long to achieve strict accuracy will be teaching a lie from the get-go.    

“We believe there is a need to better understand the complexities of Muslim societies and the online course offered by Poynter and Washington State University is a vital resource toward that end,” Poynter added.

The values underpinning the course are truth, accuracy, independence, fairness, minimizing harm and context — the core journalistic values on which we build all our teaching here at Poynter.”

No one should be surprised at Poynter’s capacity for self-deception. It is what makes Leftism possible.

What of the other “fact-checkers”  on which Facebook will rely?

Poynter owns the Tampa Bay Times, and the Tampa Bay Times owns Politifact,

Politifact declares about itself:

PolitiFact is a project of the Tampa Bay Times and its partner news organizations to help you find the truth in American politics. …

Control of the newspaper and its operations, however, lies with a single executive. Upon retirement, that leader picks a successor. …

We received a grant from the Democracy Fund that has assisted us in expanding to new states. …

For our PunditFact project — which fact-checks talking heads and opinion leaders – we have received grants from the Ford Foundation and the Democracy Fund. Seed money for the project was provided by craigconnects. …

The Democracy Fund is administered by the iniquitous United Nations. The Ford Foundation funds such causes as Black Live Matter.

 When it comes to the question of “Who is PolitiFact?” or “Who pays for PolitiFact?”, we can assure you that no one is behind the scenes telling us what to write for someone else’s benefit. We are an independent, nonpartisan news organization. We are not beholden to any government, political party or corporate interest. We are proud to be able to say that we are independent journalists. …

Sorry, but we find that really, really hard to believe.

Then there is Snopes.com. It too is heavily left leaning(Read about it here and here.)

And what of Factcheck.org?

We quote from (conservative) Free Republic, which investigated it:

The “Truthfulness” website called FactCheck.org is itself decidedly BIASED toward the LEFT …

Among several proofs of this assertion, it cites this:

The sponsoring agency behind FastCheck.org, is itself supported by the same foundation, the ANNENBERG FOUNDATION, that Bill Ayers secured the 49.2 million dollars from to create the Chicago ANNENBERG Challenge “philanthropic” organization in which Barack Obama was the founding Chairman of the Board for and Ayers served as the grant writer of and co-Chair of for its two operating arms.

That’s Bill Ayers the terrorist. Read here how he and Barack Obama tried to “push radicalism in schools” through the Annenberg Challenge.

Free Republic concludes its report on Factcheck.com with a question:

Does the LEFT have no conscience at all?

Answer: Absolutely none.

Has all this been revealed to Mark Zuckerberg? Does he not know or not care?

Facebook is a global platform. With this ploy, the lying Left has brought off a power-grab of immeasurable proportions. From now on it will be the arbiter of truth, all over the world.

And for the Left, “truth” equals political correctness.

But does anyone over there on the Left know what you stand for now? Where you’re going, or why?

Filling a niche 0

We suspect that Obama would have liked to appoint his long-time friend and some-time colleague William Ayers, the Commie terrorist, as education secretary, but hasn’t got that much audacity. Next worst choice, the one he made, is Arne Duncan, for reasons touched on politely by Investor’s Business Daily.

Note the ‘reform’ idea of Duncan’s to educate homosexuals separately

Duncan’s record has been unimpressive. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), Chicago Public Schools have remained below the national average during Duncan’s term.

Under Duncan, Chicago schools’ average reading scores rose just one point on average from 2002 to 2007, to 250 out of 500. The national average in 2007 was 263, and 75% of Chicago students scored less.

In math, scores rose from 254 in 2003 to 260 in 2007. But the national average that year was 280. Again, 75% of Chicago students scored below the national average. In writing, the story was the same, with about half falling below the national average.

One notable reform proposal of Duncan’s — a separate-but-equal high school for gay, lesbian and transgendered students. "If you look at national studies, you can see gay and lesbian students with high dropout rates … I think there is a niche there we need to fill," the Chicago Tribune quoted Duncan as saying in October.

Duncan also had ties to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, founded and financed through the efforts of ex-Weather Underground terrorist William Ayers [and Barack Obama]. Ayers saw the CAC as a chance to radicalize Chicago public school teachers and students.

In a recent Education Week article, Ken Rolling, the executive director of the CAC and a former associate director of the Woods Fund, which Ayers was also involved with [as was Obama], said Duncan relied on the CAC to build the Chicago Public Schools agenda.

Like most efforts to improve the government monopoly by throwing money at it, the CAC was a failure, and a costly one at that. The CAC ultimately threw $160 million at the problem.

A report on that effort said "the Challenge had little impact on student outcomes." The report added on page 15: "There were no statistically significant differences between Annenberg schools and non-Annenberg schools in rates of achievement gain."

But in rates of indoctrination ‘gain’? Betcha! 

 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Thursday, December 18, 2008

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Obama channeled funds to leader of the ‘Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist)’ 0

 From Front Page Magazine:

A foundation chaired by Barack Obama that was designed to improve Chicago public schools gave hundreds of thousands of dollars to the Small Schools Workshop, an organization led by former Weatherman Bill Ayers and by Michael Klonsky, a former chairman of both Students for a Democratic Society and, according to The Washington Post and New York Times, a group called the “Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist).” 
 
"Ayers and an old comrade from SDS, Mike Klonsky, run the Small Schools Workshop to mentor and provide guidance and technical support to educators seeking to start small schools,” The Chicago Tribune reported on Sept. 16, 2001… 
 
The August 26, 1977 New York Times, citing Klonsky as leader of the Communist Party (Marxist-Leninist), reported that he was one of only five Americans other than Secretary of State Vance and former President Richard Nixon and two Chinese-American scientists to have met with new Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hua Kuo-feng.
 
According to publicly available IRS 990 documents, the Small Schools Workshop that Klonsky ran with Bill Ayers received at least $800,000 from the Chicago Annenberg Challenge (CAC) between 1998 and 2002. Obama chaired the CAC. 

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, October 27, 2008

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Triumphant end of the long march? 1

 In the 1960s the New Left undertook to change the Western World to be more like the totalitarian East by embarking on ‘the long march through the institutions’.  A target institution would be infiltrated and subverted, turned if possible, or discredited. The prize targets were the media, the universities, local government, the police, national parliaments. Philanthropic organizations like Amnesty International and the charitable foundations were among the easier targets to take over or exploit. Slowly but steadily, taking advantage of the freedom they were dedicated to destroying, the red revolutionaries succeeded. 

To see how the trick was worked on a comparatively small scale, look at the ‘Chicago Annenberg Challenge’.  A respectable charitable foundation was asked for funds for educating the disadvantaged. All-too-innocent trustees responded generously, since that is what they were entrusted to provide funds for. But the people who received and would administer the funds were far left ideologues, among them one William Ayers, a leading and active member of a terrorist organization who escaped being sent to prison through a legal nicety.  He appointed  BARACK OBAMA to head the beneficiary organization. The funds, granted in good faith, were misdirected, not to education – though it looked as if that’s what they were being used for – but to indoctrination. So the far left ideologues brought off another political scam.  The appointment advanced Obama on his personal long march.  

(Here’s a link to an article explaining how Ayers was responsible for the appointment of Obama to the Chicago Annenberg Challenge. )

The hands of the subversives are firmly on many of the levers of power. And now the most desirable and essential destination of the long march is within their reach: the presidency of the United States of America. 

Make no mistake about it: whatever Barack Obama says to get himself there, however he seems to be ‘moving to the centre’ and distancing himself from his political origins,  he is a creature of the Revolutionary Left. His policies and his appointees will prove it if he gets there.