Wednesday, March 22, 2017

A Grade over Breitbart

A couple of months ago, I signed myself up to evaluate Breitbart on truthful or fake stories, and grade them in some today, I'll pick out a dozen odd stories from their London section:

1.  BBC slammed for 'fawning' coverage of 'peacemaker' Martin McGuinness.  So, Irish dude Martin McGuinness has passed on, and the BBC folks did up a obit coverage piece, which portrayed him as a man of peace.  Breitbart noted that a group of people (not a vast number) had condemned the BBC for this....noting that he been accused of terror acts during the unstable period with Northern Ireland.  So, here's the thing....the court system could never reach a position that take a case forward and try McGuinness.  There were bits and pieces of evidence, but no one seemed willing to go with that.  So he has no convictions.  All you have is rumor, and gut feelings.  Breitbart laid out this story in somewhat fair detail.  The BBC was slammed by a number of individuals but it was not a significant story.

2.  Study: Third of France's young Muslims hold fundamentalist religious views.  So, Breitbart picked up a copy of this CNRS study which looked at 7,000 French kid between 14 and 16 years old. The number of students with religious fundamentalism features? 11-percent.  If you use strictly Muslim youths only....32-percent.  The entire article was based on the research project filler material.  It can be described as factual.....based however only on CNRS and their interviews/polling.  I would say that Breitbart gave a fair summary of the piece.  One might conclude that CNRS might have some agenda at heart, but it was a group of 7,000 students that they did the poll against.

3.  Sturgeon urges Scottish Parliament to back referendum call.  Breitbart laid out a short summary with all factual materal from public statements by Sturgeon.  No filler material.  Fair summary.  All accurate in detail but short in content.

4.  EU says they can force all members, including Poland to take migrants.  Breitbart takes one simple and short statement by the EU commissioner for migration (Avramopoulos) to write this piece.  It should be noted...Avramopoulos NEVER spoke to Poland in this comment....just that all EU members could be forced in some manner.  It was simply a EU bureaucrat making a public statement.  The headline of Breitbart might be misleading and I might suggest a better headline.  It is an accurate piece in that the EU commissioner did say that members could be forced....whether force could ever be a totally different story.  Fair summary other than a poor choice for the headline.

5.  Germany: Three Islamist teens convicted for bombing Sikh temple.  Piece is a short summary by Breitbart over the three teens who were convicted in a Essen court.  Nothing about the summary is inaccurate.  Ten-line summary at best but there's not a lot more to the story.  Fair in detail and accurate of the event with the court and what happened at the temple.

6.  Afghan migrant who murdered girlfriend's fathered expected to get just three years in prison. A story out of Sweden over a murder situation involving a migrant.  Most commentary came from a criminal professor (Persson).  Breitbart used a summary from SVT Vastmanland (regional newspaper) to tell the basic story of how the murder occurred.  There is a short explanation to Swedish murder sentences, and how juveniles get a lesser sentence.  About fifty percent of this article from Breitbart is based on comments by Persson.  One can doubt the background of Persson or trust in his experience.  Fair summary, no fraudulent or fakeness to the story.  The worst that you can say is that Persson is guessing a good bit over what will happen as the young man is released from prison.

7.  Rapid increase of migrants arriving in Greece.  Greece reports 350 migrants arriving in 3 days.  Average is 35 per day.  Breitbart writer takes a number of news sources to combine this piece....some from Turkey, some from Greece, and at least one from Germany.  Lot of facts....some estimations.  The ending quote: "....15,000 migrants per month could have disastrous consequence" does not appear to be from some government official so I'm not sure if it's a factual number or one pulled out of the air.  The bulk of the article is truthful, at least from the prospective that different newspapers tell the story.  One might question those newspapers and their legit interest. Fair summary.

So, overall, other than a few notes....all were factually based and told a truthful summary.  Again, as I've said in the past.....Breitbart is typically NOT the original source of most of it's material.....they use newspapers and experts at the scene to get the bulk of the story written.

One could say they overemphasized some threat (like the 15,000 migrants a month in Greece story).  However, over three days.....350 migrants did arrive.  If the trend would continue, then in one month you'd have 3,500 migrants that the Greeks would have to deal with.  And you might one broke down the nationalities of the 350 migrants, which might have told a more interesting story (if they weren't primarily Syrians or Iraqis).

On the Irish obit deal with the BBC....some (not an overwhelmingly number did complain).  If you asked the bulk of Brits under the age of forty today about the dead guy....I would imagine that 95-percent have never heard of the guy, nor care about some BBC obit coverage on him.

Breitbart did a fair summary with these stories.  I might have picked better or more accurate titles but there's no fakeness related to the way they wrote the stories.

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