Wednesday, March 22, 2017

How to Manufacture Fake News

I read a lot of news pieces every single day (probably over 250 articles per day) from across Europe.  I admit....I am a news 'junkie' of some degree.

So in the past couple of weeks, I've been viewing this 'story' told by a particular news group.  I won't say which group, their web-site, or even the country.  The focus of the story?  There is this woeful tale that they weave about the terrible handling of migrants and immigrants in their country, and they've got this one guy who is a martyr of sorts.

The guy?  He's from county X.  It's a country with an Islamic situation and the tale starts off with the poor gentleman in his youth....having his parents killed off by an earthquake back eleven years ago.  After that, the guy's brother was killed by the local evil war-lord.  So the young kid leaves the threatening land and goes elsewhere.

The story is always told in bits and pieces.

The guy will arrive in Greece.  They are always careful not to tell what year he arrives there. He does something but it's always told in a way that all migrants in Greece are arrested on the spot and end up in prison on false charges.  Greece has a huge prison system, and it just makes sense to populate the prison as much as possible.  Well....after you read the news group's always seems like that this can only be the logical way that the guy ends up in prison.

The sentence?  The deal is that he applies for asylum in Greece or takes 18 months in jail.  Why?  That's an odd part of this story.  It cannot be explained why a sentence is required or why 18 months, or why he's offered asylum in Greece.

Somehow, they end this paragraph noting that the poor kid spent four years in prison before he leaves in 2014.

Normally, for'd be talking about a couple of weeks to a couple of months for a fairly serious misdemeanor.  For four years?  You start having to think critically over this.  It'd have to be some kind of robbery or drug-trafficking deal, or get four years in a Greek prison.

When the guy finishes up his term in late 2014.....the story skips out and avoids more details.  The next thing you know....he shows up in his new country (a far distance from Greece) in late 2016.  He's applying for residency....taking language classes....and trying to show integration.  That country does a review of his application, and there's something there which just doesn't work for the application.  So here in the past month or so.....the country's authority on immigration said "no" and he's supposed to leave.

Naturally, this news team/source.....tell the story in a woeful way and gets everyone all pepped up to support the poor guy.

A normal person would read through their piece and feel really sorry for the guy, and really hang bad words over the government and their terrible immigration policy.  But I sit there and see five or six big empty holes in the whole story.

In fact, I even go and write in the comments area, that this story has problems....explaining that you don't go to prison for four years, for sneaking into a typically go for a felony-like why not explain to the public what that charge really was.  Then I suggested that this period between 2014 and just need to explain what happened.

That criticism of mine drew 'evil-American' criticism in return.

You see....this is one of the problems outside of this fake-news that you tell a marginal story with gaping holes, and when it gets pointed can't allow that criticism to lay there and fault your wonderful story over the poor migrant guy.  These folks, with all good intentions but no real sense of reality....are merely there to manufacture fake news.  Naive readers will accept that and go along with the storyline until someone points out the lacking facts.

Is the guy a threat?  No.....nothing in any of the storyline says that.  Maybe the Greeks would say otherwise, but oddly, there's virtually not a word about this guy in their local press....I checked.

It's just that a huge amount of the story is just left out, and you have to wonder about that.

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