(Via AP News)
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — When truck driver Chris Gromek wants to know what’s really going on in Washington, he scans the internet and satellite radio. He no longer flips TV channels because networks such as Fox News and MSNBC deliver conflicting accounts tainted by politics, he says.
“Where is the truth?” asks the 47-year-old North Carolina resident.
Answering that question accurately is a cornerstone of any functioning democracy, according to none other than Thomas Jefferson. But a year into Donald Trump’s fact-bending, media-bashing presidency, Americans are increasingly confused about who can be trusted to tell them reliably what their government and their commander in chief are doing.
Interviews across the polarized country as well as polling from Trump’s first year suggest people seek out various outlets of information, including Trump’s Twitter account, and trust none in particular.
Many say that practice is a new, Trump-era phenomenon in their lives as the president and the media he denigrates as “fake news” fight to be seen as the more credible source.
“It has made me take every story with a large grain, a block of salt,” said Lori Viars, a Christian conservative activist in Lebanon, Ohio, who gets her news from Fox and CNN. “Not just from liberal sources. I’ve seen conservative ‘fake news.’”
Democrat Kathy Tibbits of Tahlequah, Oklahoma, reads lots of news sources as she tries to assess the accuracy of what Trump is reported to have said.
“I kind of think the whole frontier has changed,” said the 60-year-old lawyer and artist. “My degree is in political science, and they never gave us a class on such fiasco politics.”
Though Trump’s habit of warping facts has had an impact, it’s not just him.
Widely shared falsehoods have snagged the attention of world leaders such as Pope Francis and former President Barack Obama. Last year, false conspiracy theories led a North Carolina man to bring a gun into a pizza parlor in the nation’s capital, convinced that the restaurant was concealing a child prostitution ring. Just last week, after the publication of an unflattering book about Trump’s presidency, a tweet claiming that he is addicted to a TV show about gorillas went viral and prompted its apparent author to clarify that it was a joke.
Trump has done his part to blur the lines between real and not.
During the campaign, he made a practice of singling out for ridicule reporters covering his raucous rallies. As president, he regularly complains about his news coverage and has attacked news outlets and journalists as “failing” and “fake news.” He’s repeatedly called reporters “the enemy of the people” and recently renewed calls to make it easier to sue for defamation.
About 2 in 3 American adults say fabricated news stories cause a great deal of confusion about the basic facts of current affairs, according to a Pew Research Center report last month. The survey found that Republicans and Democrats are about equally likely to say that “fake news” leaves Americans deeply confused about current events. Despite the concern, more than 8 in 10 feel very or somewhat confident that they can recognize news that is fabricated, the survey found.
Victoria Steel, 50, of Cheyenne, Wyoming, said it’s important for people to invest time in finding reputable media sources or even friends to get the most information they can.
“You’re probably not going to get enough information out of sound bites, and you’re certainly not going to get it in a tweet,” said Steel, who says she voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Two-thirds of Americans get at least some of their news from social media, Pew found.
“I think part of the problem is that now people are getting too much information and it confuses them and they don’t know how to decipher the true and the fake,” said Trent Lott, a former Senate Republican leader from Mississippi who’s worked in Washington for nearly half a century. He isn’t fond of Trump’s Twitter habit, but also says he sees bias in the coverage of Washington by the mainstream media.
There’s been no love for the media for decades. The percentage expressing a great deal of confidence in the press has eroded from a high of 28 percent in 1976 to just 8 percent in 2016, according the General Social Survey conducted by NORC at the University of Chicago.
“Trump didn’t invent this. He didn’t cause people to start feeling this way. He’s tapping into a vein that already existed,” said Gary Abernathy, publisher and editor of the Times-Gazette of Hillsboro, Ohio, one of the few daily papers that endorsed Trump. People, he added, “are nodding their heads right away because that’s how they’ve felt.”
Nicco Mele, director of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard, views Trump as a symptom of long-term trends. “Now, can he accelerate them and make them worse? Almost certainly.”
When Trump labels something “fake news,” ″I just have started assuming … whatever he’s talking about must be true,” said 46-year-old Joseph Murray of Mustang, Oklahoma, a registered independent. “I feel like that attitude didn’t start until he took office.”
Trump tends to inflate the significance of what he’s done. He claims his tax cuts are the biggest in history, his accomplishments surpass those of all previous presidents, and his election victory was a “landslide.” None is true.
He still insists there were millions of illegal votes cast in the 2016 election, even though there’s no such evidence.
Even on matters existential, Trump makes things up.
Taunted on Twitter by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump responded Jan. 3 that his own nuclear button “is a much bigger and powerful one than his, and my Button works!” There is no such physical button.
Trump often bypasses the vast information-gathering apparatus that reports to him in favor of getting his reality from TV, or sometimes just his gut. That has led him to conclude wrongly that a rare riot in Sweden over a drug crime was instead linked to refugee extremism. He also falsely claimed that Obama tapped his phones at Trump Tower in the campaign.
“I’m a very instinctual person, but my instinct turns out to be right,” he told Time magazine. Besides, “I’m quoting highly respected people from highly respected television networks.”
Kellman reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Dan Sewell in Cincinnati, Claudia Lauer in Dallas, Bob Moen in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Calvin Woodward in Washington contributed to this report.
#AdiosAmerica: Republicans (with Democrats) Are Selling Out America to Corporations to Decrease Living Standards
Since the turn of the 20th century, living standards became an important, almost central part to the progressive and labor movements of those times. Now it has become a mainstream of both parties to sell out your labor to lowest bidders in low and high paying jobs. Low paying jobs are being taken by low-wage immigrants protected by Democrats and the high-end jobs are brought in by bi-partisan means, and greatly boasted by Republicans.
This effort has crippled the middle-class for close to 30 years now and with the job market being already tightened by the looming threat of A.I., importing more workers, whether legal or illegal is decreasing the value of labor in America for each and American Citizen. Corporations and Businesses, who rely on keeping employee costs as low as possible generally don’t complain about these practices across the board, why would they?
Americans have an increasingly difficult task ahead of them with the mass illegal migration at the Southern Border but also the legal importation of immigrants through H1-b1 Visas. These challenges will increasingly change the look, heritage of this country. There is no incentive for either Government or Business to care about reigning in immigration to the benefit of the American worker, the bottom dollar line will look better anyways.
The Ugly Truth About Dating Transgender Women
Spoiler: They’re the most superficial, narcissistic, arrogant, and boring people on the planet.
One night at a bar in Las Vegas, I was approached by the most gorgeous blonde bombshell. After exchanging pleasantries, dancing, and a few drinks, I decided to go home with her. Before getting down to business, “Sarah” (we will call her) dropped the bomb: she was trans.
Now I didn’t freak out or anything. I like to think I’m a pretty open guy. I’ve “dated” hundreds of women (Believe it or not, virgin reader, maybe even a thousand). I would be secure enough in my masculinity to bag a trap. However, it’s not for me and I decided to end the night there. Respectfully (JK I plowed that boy p*$$¥). We talked for a while to disarm the grenade that just went off and I thanked her for a wonderful evening and returned home…
…But it got me thinking: what is this world like? No one in my circle of friends has ever dated one. There are no believable articles or blogs on the subject. They all reek of propaganda. If you read about it online, it’s almost always described as “stunning and brave.” The media will actually have you believe you’re “bigoted” if you don’t want to!!!
To “prove I was no bigot” [JK], I decided to start a social experiment of my own. What I discovered was somewhat shocking to say the least.
Now my first encounter with “Sarah” ended amicably enough. She was visibly irradiated though, and tried several times to coax me into sleeping with her after saying no. Guess she’d never been turned down before. “It’ll be our secret.” That said, we left on decent terms. The next night, I ventured out to a local LGBT spot to try my luck for the first control.
“Lisa” was a 23 year old fair-looking white trans girl . Most men wouldn’t be able to tell (I could). I started chatting her up in the bar, and after a brief conversation, we exchanged numbers. My goal was not to sleep with them, only simulate the dating experience as much as possible. For the next few days, Lisa would text about nothing but being a trans person. Even when I would try to change the subject, conversations often ended with her comparing herself to “biological” women, always framed as being better than. Examples below:
She went on and on and on…
When Lisa wasn’t commenting on how trans she was, she would comment on MY appearance. Context: I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I’m extremely fit (regularly work out; never miss leg day, bro.)
Omg I’ve been dreaming about your body! You look like you could f*** while holding me! You need to shave your face tho, I hate scratchy beards.
On our first, and last, date at a local eatery, she commented on every article of clothing I was wearing.
You have a great body, why are you hiding it? You should wear more tanks.
Again, if I tried to steer the conversation any other direction, it would immediately fall back on either my appearance or how she is trans. I drove her home, and told her this would conclude our seeing each other, to her dismay. She was pretty vitriolic about it after, attacking the same facial features she complimented merely minutes ago.
You look like a juice-head. Muscles gross me out. I bet you have no dick.
I laughed it off and even apologized for disappointing her, then drove off. I found this to be a reoccurring theme. Even in short conversations with other trans girls at bars, they just can not help but talk about themselves being trans, and if not that, then it goes straight to your appearance. Absolutely narcissistic and self absorbed.
Not being able to stomach much more of the gay bars, I decided to head online. That’s where I met possibly the worst of them all. “Jen” was a fiery Hispanic girl I matched with on Tinder. Now she was really passable. I would have been fooled had I not been seeking people like her out. She messaged me shortly after matching. I even found myself somewhat wondering how she was still single… until I didn’t.
Like the others, she drowned on about herself, but I decided to push further for the physical date. She also wrote me a list of her essentials requirements for men she can date. After sending a few pictures, I passed her “test.” I won’t bore you with the details but, suffice it to say, I’ve been with Insta-thots that were less picky.
The following day, she pushed back our 7:00 date to 7:30, which I obliged. I drove out to her place. Since I wasn’t familiar with the area, I was literally 60 seconds late (Important detail, keep this in mind). I text’d Jen to let her know I arrived. What ensued was the most ridiculous interaction I’ve ever had to date:
To be honest, this was a relief. I was shelling out good cash and time at this point on my experiment. I received 50 text messages about why I was an “asshole” and left after 2 or 3 minutes trying to calm her down.
A week later, she asked me out again, but I declined, telling her she should see someone about her obvious issues…
The Ugly Truth
You’re better off dating real women, fellas. I could have pushed many of these “women” further into dating and such, but the barrage of useless conversation, literal mental illness, and suffering is just not worth it. Keep in mind that this is my experience with ones who wanted to sleep with me. I can’t imagine what it would be like for a guy half my stature who was actually into this?
I’m sure there are at least a few trans women that aren’t complete utter trash. I would find them to be the exception, not the rule. In total, I picked up 15 traps, and 14 of them were absolute messes.
Some of the girls I encountered didn’t mind telling me about how they used to pimp themselves for cash to pay for surgery. I think this probably more well known but it’s worth mentioning here. Who knows how many of them have done this…
TL;DR unless you have a high tolerance for bullshit and love penis, date regular women. It’s actually easier!!!
OCD: Conservatives Suffer From Ocasio-Cortez Disorder
What was the #1 mistake the media made in the 2016 election?
In the past, the mainstream media ignored anti-establishment candidates it disliked. Slowly, but surely, their poll numbers would fall. Yet they couldn’t help themselves when Donald Trump came on the scene in 2015… and they covered him all the way to victory.
Now, Conservatives begin to make the same mistake: memeing Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez like the world is going to end in 12 years. It would be fine if AOC memes weren’t so juvenile, shit-tier, & flat out not funny.
They fall into a category called “Boomer memes.” It’s a term that pokes fun at the “2nd Greatest Generation” for not being particularly tech savvy, but it’s used here to describe low quality content: Think fuzzy/irrelevant pictures, generic fonts, usually too much text, and toilet humor. They might as well call her a “poo-poo” head, because they aren’t changing minds.
You cannot scroll down your Facebook timeline without seeing her face on one of these perversions posing as “memes.”
Like an ex-girlfriend, she wants your attention. She wants you to call her back. She wants you to hate on her. It fuels her. You’re essentially working public relations for the DSA Party when you continue to post about her.
You may think you’re doing some kind of public service calling out her stupidity. In reality, you’re pushing the disenfranchised right into her arms. Like an ex-girlfirend, the best thing you can do is be indifferent to her existence. The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference… and drives women crazy. Hanging on her every word and blunder is what the media did to Trump, and it skyrocketed his campaign at every turn. Think “Grab her by the p*ssy.”
Stop memeing Cortez unless you’re going to do it intelligently.
And if you think she can’t be president, you weren’t paying attention during 2016.
P.S. Notice I didn’t use her image once. I did this even though I knew posting it would have given me 100s, if not 1000s of likes. Don’t be a slave to AOC. She IS your boss if you meme her. You don’t work for her. And neither do we.