#fakenews

The truth hurts

What a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!

How ironic that the papers that practice social justice the hardest have the most troubled pasts.

The Guardian was founded by a slave owner. The NY Times founding editor wrote an editorial which supported the right of slave owners to recover escaped slaves according to Prager University.

#CancelNYT ?

WaPo admits bounty on US soldiers evidence sketchy and needed confirmation but ran with it anyway

Opinion | This is how democracy dies — in full view of a public ...

The mainstream media has been foaming at the mouth hoping that Trump knew about intelligence that said that Russians were paying bounties to insurgents in Afghanistan for killing US and coalition troops. Social media ran with a #TRE45ON hashtag. They so wanted it to be true. Anything to prevent his reelection. Smear, slime, lie.

It turns out that WaPo has been forced to admit that the information was deemed sketchy and in need of additional confirmation. But hey, let’s run with it anyway!

The NY Times was equally complicit. It was running stories of slain soldiers in Afghanistan in an attempt to smear the president. These journalists have absolutely no morals or ethics. Use dead soldiers to push uncorroborated evidence to feed a narrative.

Shameless. WaPo’s “Democracy dies in darkness” and The NY Times “All the news that fit to print” mottos are perhaps the most inaccurate descriptors imaginable.

As we like to say, journalistic integrity will only return when the mainstream media loves America more than they hate Trump.

Fake News at its most sinister

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How disgraceful that NPR, a state-funded media, runs such political bias in its coverage. NPR ran a narrative that a right-wing lunatic was intentionally attacking protestors using the car as a battering ram.

A video that followed showed the protestors harassing the driver. The driver took off and collected one of them. Totally avoidable incident.

As it turns out, NPR retracted the story, deleted the tweet and issued this.

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Shameless.

Journalistic integrity, or the lack of it, was best explained by Denzel Washington in this video.

In a Time of Universal Deceit, Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act

The activists demanding society changes to their version of a new world order are those least qualified to set the rules for the majority.

Gone are legal and democratic processes. Bypass all that. Topple statues, rewrite history and vilify anyone who wishes to have a civil discourse on how to make changes that benefit all, not just the few.

It is all too easy for those who have little clue of history to tell us about what the future should look like.

Who can blame them? No one is standing up to them.

Police officers taking knees despite not being guilty of any crimes themselves, corporates removing products they were happy to sell for decades on the basis it is now chic to make gushing virtue signaling PR releases to avoid censure and politicians who have been too weak to put anything meaningful on record. Gutless.

Where is the debate? Is this a society the plurality want? Activists riding roughshod over civility under the pretense of injustice is desirable? In other words, fight racism with more racism. Fight sexism with more sexism and protest violence with more violence against people completely unrelated to the cause. Cancel movies, sporting team chants and even comedy. They will tell you what is acceptable.

Decent people are prepared to accept improvements in society. They don’t see it achievable with defunded police, censorship or autonomous zones.

Perhaps CHAZ/CHOP is the perfect example of what the apparatchiks who scream the loudest, covet. For them, Day 1, Year 0 is a mission. Never mind the hypocrisy of everything it stands for. No police, rule by unelected warlords, mob violence with street administered kangaroo courts, demands for whites to compensate blacks and walls with strict immigration policies. That is not all of it. Everything they reject in a democratic society they endorse in CHAZ.

We are being led by cowards. The more our law makers and companies surrender to appeasing the mob, the more they are emboldened.

Like most decent people, we don’t need sanctimonious lectures from corporates, sporting bodies and law makers, many with sordid pasts, on how we should check our privileges and reflect on feeling guilty about things which don’t define us nor ever given a thought.

Yet this is what is happening. Complete submission to a fringe minority who use threats an intimidation to foster change. Who knew shaving required lectures on toxic masculinity? Who knew skin whitening cream was inappropriate despite pale skin being desirable in certain cultures for centuries before people of other races were even known about? Everything is at risk of appropriation.

No thanks.

We’ll continue to make noise in full knowledge we will be the first to be locked up in a new world order because “In a Time of Universal Deceit — Telling the Truth Is a Revolutionary Act.”

Why does the Lamestream Media brazenly lie so much?

How can our ABC continue to receive taxpayer funds when its political bias is so shocking? It joined the same lame mainstream media chorus which twisted the truth of what Trump actually said about George Floyd.

Of course Twitter was utterly silent with its fact checking department whose chief of site integrity is staunchly anti-Trump. What a surprise?!?

How we read so much sanctimonious reporting about fact checking when Twitter first targeted POTUS the other week. Hypocrites.

Trump Derangement Syndrome must make it into the 6th edition of the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

As we often say, journalistic integrity will only return when the media loves America more than it hates Trump.

Police Brutality data in the US

Deaths by Police by Year

Police brutality has reared its ugly head after the completely unnecessary death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. We don’t need to add anything to this unjustified action. It spoke for itself. It is fair to say that the overwhelming majority of Americans have been united behind the need to end such injustice with a bipartisan spirit. The optics of Floyd’s murder were terrible. Unfortunately, the mainstream media (MSM) wasted no time taking advantage of feeding their political narratives.

Looting stores, trashing police cruisers, torching police stations and throwing bricks through store windows is ‘rioting’, yet the media has been all too happy to label it ‘protesting’. Many protestors were peaceful but they just don’t make for TV and ratings. If it bleeds, it leads.

Journalistic integrity has been even more absent than usual. Statements released by the police in cities affected have revealed that most of those arrested/identified for criminal acts such as theft, destruction of property or arson have been from out of town/state and from every racial background imaginable. Many rioters have filmed their own crimes and posted them on social media. One hopes that the police track them, find them and jail them. Not for misdemeanours but proper crimes befitting their brazen actions.

Hollywood celebrities Steve Carrell, Janelle Monae, Seth Rogen, Ben Schwartz and Halsey all donated to a Minnesota Freedom Fund to help bail out rioters. That ought to tell us something. Afterall they are unaffected behind gated mansions but only too happy to lecture the rest of us on societal morals. There is no room to morally preen in the midst of a tragedy.

It has been despicable to see protests meant to honour the memory of an innocent black man and raise awareness of deaths at the hands of the police take a backseat to partisan politics and media clickbait.

Death by Police

Twitter wasted no time calling out President Trump for “glorifying violence” with his poorly conveyed “when the looting starts, shooting starts” tweet. The MSM wasted no time in pointing out Trump has been behind all of the racial division over the past 3.5 years despite the fact that deaths at the hands of law enforcement have remained relatively stagnant since 2013 as shown in the first chart.

Race-based hate crime over the past two decades has more than halved. In the last two decades, the FBI reports that anti-black hate crime has fallen from 0.0131% to 0.0046% of their representative population.

Since Trump took office, crime rates have fallen across the board. The FBI reports the following statistics.

US Crime

Why isn’t crime exploding through the roof if there is so much division and hatred across America? Could it be thanks to the economic prosperity in his term in office?

In January 2020 a poll taken by Gallup showed that race relations had improved to 36% under Trump from the 22% at the end of Obama’s second term. Yet the media is obsessed with painting Trump out to be the key instigator in fanning racism. Of course, it would have to be in order for a media obsessed with one mission –  removing him from office.

To them, Trump has enabled the unforgivable actions of the individual law enforcement officer in question, Derek Chauvin. It fits their headlines. The Daily Beast ran with,

Race-Baiter Donald Trump Is America’s THUG-in-Chief – The president routinely endorses and encourages police brutality, vilifies non-violent protesters of color, and spits out racist views.’

Let’s deal with the facts about police brutality.

Around 7,700 people have been killed by police across America between Jan 1, 2013 and Dec 31, 2019.  That is an average of 1,100 per annum. An unfortunate statistic by any measure.

71% of those that were killed were reported as having possessed a weapon at the time of death. 14% were unarmed (including possession of a toy gun, BB gun or air rifle). 8.5% of cases were unclear. 74% of those with a weapon had a lethal firearm.  22% had sharp implements (e.g. swords, knives, machetes) and the balance had blunt objects (e.g. baseball bats, pipes, clubs). 

On the flip side, no one mentions those police officers that die in the line of duty. Between Jan 1, 2013,and Dec 31, 2019, 327 have died from gunfire or assault by an assailant. Many more have succumbed to accidents in carrying out their jobs. Out of a law enforcement population of around 688,000 across America that is a death rate by an assault of 0.0077% per annum.

Deaths by Police per Million

As a percentage of the representative population, black Americans have been killed by police at a higher rate than most other races. This is a fact. With the exception of 5 states – Montana, New Hampshire, North & South Dakota and Wyoming.

Over the last seven years, Utah has the highest rate of black deaths per head of population at 0.0045%, 9x that of other races over that period. Annualising that figure comes to 0.0006%. That is to say, 99.9994% of blacks in Utah are unlikely to die at the gunpoint of a police officer. To put that into perspective, a black individual would have a 280x higher chance of dying of Parkinson’s disease than from a police officer in Utah. A police officer has a 13x higher likelihood of dying than a black person in Utah as a percentage of their respective representative populations.

Black Deaths by Police by Year

In absolute numbers, the Chicago Police Department has been responsible for the deaths of 56 black Americans in the last 7 years. Note that the big cities in America have been responsible for 39% of all black deaths at the hands of the police.

We colour coded the party affiliation of the city mayors (Democrat (blue), Republican (red), Independent (green). This is for illustrative purposes only.

We wish to make it clear that we don’t think party affiliation drives individual police officer behaviour. It should be noted that city mayors have control over the conduct of the police force including the appointment of police chiefs. So political positions to a degree would have a bearing on the way police operate in terms of targets and functions at the margin. Perhaps this is why Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot told Trump “F U” due to his criticism of mayors around the country not being able to quell rioter in their cities.

Former Minnesota Police Department (MPD) officer Derek Chauvin had 17 misconduct complaints against him over his two-decade career. Despite charges of using derogatory language and one case of killing someone he was wrestling with, Chauvin only received letters of reprimand.

Were policy procedures to blame? The MPD was subject to a federal review of procedures in 2015. The statistics revealed that few officers were fired or suspended for claims against them. The majority were either reprimanded or given extra coaching. Yet MPD still continued to see complaints pile up.

Democrats tend to run more populous cities (e.g. NY, Chicago, Los Angeles) which have higher levels of absolute income disparity and poverty, even if not reflected in relative terms.

White Deaths by Police by Year

Phoenix PD has killed 40 whites since 2013.  3,385 whites have died from the gun barrel of the police, 84% of them outside of the big cities.

Per 10000

Columbus Division of Police has the highest rate among big cities at 40.8 deaths per 10,000 arrests, or 0.408%, 4x the big cities average. Los Angeles PD which has the highest rate of actual deaths at the hands of police had a death-to-arrest rate of 0.179%. Put simply, on average there is a 99.9% survival rate for those arrested in a big city.

Deaths by Gender

Males represent nearly 95% of all deaths at the hands of police. Women just over 5%. Transgender and unknown make up 0.25%.

Men

Of that white males comprise 43% of deaths by police with black males 26% and Hispanic males at 18%. As a percentage of the representative population, black males are dying at twice the rate of their population cohort and around 3x that of whites. Hispanic males dying in line with their population cohort.

women

When it comes to female deaths at the hands of the police, whites make up 57% of the total vs 18% black and 13% Hispanic. Still skewed against blacks relative to their representative populations.

In summary

Before this tragedy, crime rates had been falling precipitously. Race relations had been improving and hate crimes are well below long term rates. Yet the media would have us believe that things have never been worse and that the police are unhinged thugs looking to kill. Things are not perfect but change doesn’t happen overnight. Even when America unites to stand against this crime, fringe elements do their best to use the incident to tear it down for their own agendas.

Perhaps we should show that there are more people out there that want an end to the misinformation of the division. How disappointing for so many police who don’t want their diligent work besmirched by fake news surrounding the actions of a tiny minority within their ranks.

The mainstream media is truly the enemy of the people.

APRA priorities are frightening

We wrote a while back that the Australian Prudential Regulatory Authority (APRA) had taken its finger OFF the pulse when assessing the risks facing our financial institutions. That was before COVID19. We think our banks are heavily leveraged and have little equity to offset a collapse in the property bubble.

Despite being faced with the prospect of a property meltdown thanks to an employment destroying pandemic, APRA thinks hiring a “Head of Climate Risk” is the way forward.

Why does APRA bother pursuing a field it has no expertise in much less look to create new green tape to extend its oversight?

It is not alone. The Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC) is now seeking more oversight on corporates reporting on climate change.

ASIC’s own study found that fewer and fewer companies were reporting on climate change over the past decade. Shouldn’t we take that as corporates having a better pulse on the impact that climate change will have on their industries than a bunch of bureaucrats wanting to legislate an ideology?

With the COVID19 driven seismic economic shifts to come, it is frightening to see our government departments pursuing irrelevant regulation that companies are even less concerned about.

APRA should be focused on ensuring the coming property market implosion doesn’t cripple our banks. Instead of using the time to fine tune a wide variety of scenarios and stress tests to combat the troubling future, it is only proving it should have power taken away not granted.

Why are 28,000 US COVID19 deaths overreported?

We are curious as to why the US Government’s official Centre for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) records only 37,308 COVID19 deaths as of April 25th-end when Johns Hopkins University (JHU) reports over 65,000…that is a c.75% difference.

CDC explained its methodology as follows,

The provisional counts for coronavirus disease (COVID-19) deaths are based on a current flow of mortality data in the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS). National provisional counts include deaths occurring within the 50 states and the District of Columbia that have been received and coded as of the date specified. It is important to note that it can take several weeks for death records to be submitted to National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), processed, coded, and tabulated.

In short, the data recorded is that of the official cause of death plugged into the national database.

JHU reports its data gathering as follows:

Johns Hopkins experts are aggregating data from multiple credible sources to track the spread of COVID-19…

…The tracking map’s data powers a number of external research and visualization efforts by prominent media organizations such as CNN, The New York Times, The Guardian, and the Associated Press [all media organizations with an axe to grind]. But its data is also used by smaller organizations, such as Blauer’s data team at the Centers for Civic Impact (CCI).”

Interestingly, the CCI, which was newly instituted at JHU, tried to explain the discrepancy.

Obtaining accurate and timely data about the spread of the virus has become an unexpected challenge in the United States. While the federal government has traditionally been the most authoritative source for national public health data, this has proved not to be the case with the coronavirus pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the nation’s official source for public health surveillance data, has not kept its site updated with information available through state and local health departments. 

Even if we accept that the official CDC data is delayed by up to two weeks, we are surprised the figures are out by a factor of 28,000 deaths or almost 75%. Will the data JHU gleans from state and local health departments differ to those eventually supplied to the NCHS for publishing by the CDC?

Perhaps we should be a little suspicious of CCI’s noble quest for data when it published a piece which expressed the following statement:

Aggregating information from dozens of sources is challenging and time-consuming, so volunteer projects have stepped in to fill the gap. One major backbone of this effort has been the COVID Tracking Project. Started by two journalists from The Atlantic and a data scientist from Related Sciences, the COVID Tracking Project scrapes data directly from state public health websites so that its numbers are constantly current.”

Volunteers? Journalists from The Atlantic, an unhinged left-leaning newspaper which makes Pravda look like the Volkischer Beobachter? Why is a reputable university relying on such sources? Who validates and peer reviews that data to ensure accuracy? Are the volunteers activists? All valid questions.

To be honest, as a data driven group, FNF Media does not see data collection across 50 states as that time consuming. Much of it is in CSV format making it easy to download.

At the conclusion of the pandemic the numbers should show little variance. We watch with interest to see the final audit. Perhaps we can start with JHU’s current 65,000 number and wait another 2 weeks for CDC to publish the official figures and see just how (in)accurate the numbers are.

No wonder the media has a field day on the data which paints a scarier picture. They might source JHU but not disclose the volunteers that compile it.

It’s just hard to reconcile how a university which has $6 billion in annual revenues can’t divert resources to conduct the research in house?!

Media bias, fake news & censorship

We have argued for some time that media bias is a large problem. The GDELT Project conducts research which outlines the number of times that certain topics are mentioned by the major TV networks. Left or right-wing media, we can be assured that it is not the principle that matters, but the side.

Take the Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations before his confirmation. CNN mentioned his name over 15,000 times, mostly in the negative. Fox News talked of him some 24,000 times, mostly in the positive.

Despite the more credible evidence that came out with respect to Epstein (surrounding Prince Andrew) and Weinstein we saw these networks devoted mere fractions of the attention vs Kavanaugh. 18% to be precise.

So now that sexual assault allegations have come out with respect to presidential candidate Joe Biden, we can see the mainstream media has all but ignored it, especially after the 1993 video resurfaced.

It doesn’t need to be the US media either. The Chinese media has a damning trend with respect to COVID19. It is a dark zone of statistics about who knew what when. This chart lists the number of “censored posts”.

Figure

The global media’s focus only got interested post-January 20th when China finally admitted the virus spread beyond its borders. The chart below documents the frequency of mentions of coronavirus, SARS or pneumonia.

After Trump’s Jan 31st travel ban, global media interest waned until late February when countries like Italy and Iran were experiencing logarithmic infection rates. March 12th marks the day of WHO’s declaration of a pandemic.

Figure

The media may throw shade at the relative handling by governments (especially the US) but they need only reflect on their perfect 20-20 hindsight.

Which sums up much of media today – reactive, not proactive. So much for the in-depth investigative journalism that made waves in the past, now it is all Bout chasing clickbait.

This recent article from ABC News which led with the title, ‘Maryland agency receives more than 100 disinfectant use calls‘ bears this out.

No mention of the title was contained in the written content.

A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 195,000 people worldwide.

Over 2.7 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations’ outbreaks.

Since the first cases were detected in China in December, the United States has become the worst-affected country, with more than 890,000 diagnosed cases and at least 51,017 deaths.

Tune into ABC at 1 p.m. ET and ABC News Live at 4 p.m. ET every weekday for special coverage of the novel coronavirus with the full ABC News team, including the latest news, context and analysis.

The video content made no mention of the title either. But hey, why would anyone wish to link the content to the sensationalist headline?

Shameless.