(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.
Fear & Loathing in Iowa: Are The Cedar Rapids NewBo Tech Elite, GO Cedar Rapids, KCRG / Gazette Running Amuck Maybe Sabotaging Jordan Farley?
Around May 20th, 2017, KCRG-TV 9 News, a CNN & ABC network and “local” news station, released a story on Jordan Farley, which seemed to represent a premise in which Jordan was some sort of wild-west bandit attempting to screw over any and all willing people. The Gazette, who is owned by KCRG, also put out a similar story. Mind you, these were the only two news station that reported on this story, most likely because of the missing facts.
What happens when you dig deeper, is what seems to be a coordinated, planned, and downright blatant attempt to ruin someone’s reputation while not thoroughly investigating or purposely omitting facts from a story to portray it in a specific light.
Jordan Farley moved back to Cedar Rapids to do a couple things. Start a new life, run a venue, and do a music festival tied to the venue in the NewBo District. He had shared these ideas all of the business owners involved as well as many of the people in NewBo District, even Go Cedar Rapids who at the time was planning their Newbo Evolve music festival.
Jordan Farley had presented multiple similar ideas before their festival with budgets 10X less and were partially free and locally organized with local vendors. Some things that were told to Jordan that could not be done by the city, were done for Go Cedar Rapids, which ended up losing millions of dollars and closing up shop, even with it projected to lose money initially.
His hunch is they stole his idea but extorted the city of money, all in the name of being trendy and elitist.
KCRG & Gazette Botch The Story
To fully explain what KCRG and the Gazette left out and decided not to investigate, we have to look at what they didn’t report on, mostly the fact that there was a second person leasing the property and was business partners with Jordan Farley, the owner of 515 Alive: Rajan Devan, someone who was the only investor on the project at the time. Jordan was simply a General Operations Manager, as was publicly stated on his Facebook Page. Documents for all related info in article linked above. Raj had left the project and decided to leave Jordan with the burden of dealing with new investors, an almost impossible task. Raj still denies he owes anything, a denial of what 2025 Corporation has stated he owes.
Another fact that was left out is that each and every person besides Joe, had signed a contract, one that had saved Jordan from all potential downsides, specifically called an ‘Indemnification Clause’. While the Gazette mentioned agreements, they did not mention the content at all.
Booking Agreement (Mock Up) by on Scribd
They also didn’t mention Joe was working not only in the NewBo Market but in the venue itself, he knew the condition of the building when he decided to do the deposit and over the 4 months of negotiation never wanted anything but 100% repayment all at once, many different repayment options were offered. Communications were never ceased by Jordan Farley, Joe’s lawyer and him simply decided to stop negotiating and go to the press maybe get publicity for the lawyer’s Law Firm , which was mentioned several times in both publications as well as the other venue, A Touch Of Class. Did they have to be mentioned?
Joe refused anything but a full refund all at once with no paperwork, but Joe had no paperwork signed to guarantee any of this in a specific format in the first place, Jordan simply wanted both parties to have something in writing.
KCRG then made several edits a year after the article had been out that removed their video as well as Jordan Farley’s response via voicemail. We have saved both for you to view and listen below as well as an example that most of the renters signed.
One other huge factor is that Samantha Meyers, the reporter who did the story, left the network and the state exactly a year to date after the story came out.
Starting to come together?
The Connections Explained
Before we explain the direct connections, we need to make you aware that 2025 Corporation, at the time, had four owners. Dennis Henderson, Bruce, Joe Ahman, and one other.
Joe Ahman, Owner of Ahman Design and Construction & Pivot Real Estate, two companies that seemed to just become million dollar companies overnight, have several projects that are subsidized by the city, state, and local “development” groups, such as the “NewBo Development Group”, where they have built property using grants outside the official NewBo market, sometimes miles away. How they get away with it we don’t know. The local media will not question this but simply announce day after day Ahman’s next big project for rentals that gentrify beautiful grassy areas and forests.
Pivot Real Estate also did work with the law firm mentioned in the article and video as well as GO Cedar Rapids’s ex-CEO who gave them a very good reference.
It is very proudly listed even on Pivot’s Real Estate Website as one of their clients.
Dennis Henderson, who owns and runs a company that sells Government subsidized services and devices from “Lifeline“, a program started under Bush and expanded under Obama, programs that has also had multiple issue with fraud and abuse as well as secret private funds that were hidden from tax payers. Dennis’s companies has also worked on that devices that would hypothetically allow the company to see if they have been texting, something that should alarm privacy advocates and defenders of our rights.
Dennis had two stories written about his spouse, one just a month after the May 20th story on Jordan on KCRG, showing an obvious connection. Ironically this story was about her business workshop in the same business district for “struggling business owners”, except one catch, it was for “only females”. The next story was done in the fall of the same year, on her birthday, espousing her good deeds with her mostly Facebook promoted “African Charities“.
Starting to see the bigger picture?
Dennis, along with Bruce, were investors in Steven Gray’s Casino project, which has been a long time goal for the Cedar Rapids elite and venture capitalists, despite being built in a flood zone with the nearest flood wall project being years away from being complete. This casino project was vastly propagated by KCRG with many stories. The voters ultimately rejected the casino.
KCRG has refused to remove the “allegedly defrauded” part on their article despite Jordan not being charged with fraud or at all follow up on any of the complaints we’ve raised so we created this article to raise awareness and show KCRG’s clear lack of self awareness and professionalism and how they deflect important issues while not concentrating on the real corruption in the city.
NFL Ratings Continue To Fumble
The NFL – suffering from dismal ratings for last week’s opening game and Sunday Night Football, may be in for a serious decline in viewers this season if Dallas local TV ratings are any indicator – after the Cowboys registered their lowest local ratings since 2009.
the Dallas market is an important market for one of the most watched teams in the country. There is a reason the Cowboys are valued at over $4 billion dollars. They absolutely own Dallas Fort-Worth. Nothing else really matters.
The NFL does not want to see one of it’s most important market losing fans. It’s not a good look. It’s cause for concern. -Touchdownwire
That said, some have pointed out that the cowboys are “boring” now…
No one should be surprised. The Cowboys, while still a compelling aspect of the overall fabric of the NFL, have become a somewhat boring team, with a Salisbury-steak-and-lumpy-spuds offense that features two stars, a diminished offensive line, and a collection of No. 2 and No. 3 receivers. -Profootballtalk
Less viewers, more money
Despite a steady decline in viewership over the last three years, advertising revenues have continued to climb.
“Everyone loves to focus on the ratings, and everyone loves to focus on the NFL because it is the biggest ratings on television,” said Brian Rolapp, the league’s head of media. “But the reality is: Historically, the ratings of the NFL have always gone up, they’ve just never gone up in a straight line.”
Austin Texas May Change It’s Name According To A New City Report About Confederate Statues
Known as both the “father of Texas” and the namesake of the state’s capital, Stephen F. Austin carved out the early outlines of Texas among his many accomplishments.
He also opposed an attempt by Mexico to ban slavery in the province of Tejas and said if slaves were freed, they would turn into “vagabonds, a nuisance and a menace.”
For that reason, the city of Austin’s Equity Office suggested renaming the city in a report about existing Confederate monuments that was published this week.
Also on the list of locales to possibly be renamed: Pease Park, the Bouldin Creek neighborhood, Barton Springs and 10 streets named for William Barton, the “Daniel Boone of Texas,” who was a slave owner.