The 2014 'Too Good To Fact-Check' Awards!
This past year could be called the Year of Too Good To Check.
Time and again the mainstream media got caught rushing coverage of hoaxes out the door because they were too good to check, they advanced favored narratives just so darn awesomely well.
It's become obvious it doesn't matter if the supposed outrageous event was real or not. The important thing is that the Social Justice Warriors advance their pet causes on all fronts. 2014 was the year it became obvious that 'truth' doesn't matter any more, all that matters is that certain parties advance their agendas by any means necessary.
"Oh hey, sure it was a hoax, but notice that our hoax started a much needed public conversation on this issue! So it was a net positive, people!"
As long as the Progressive Left's narrative advances, who cares if it was a hoax that kept things moving in the 'right' direction? From it's actions this past year, the DNC Media certainly doesn't.
Let's take a trip down memory lane: this past year's events where the media was constantly found to be advancing hoaxes and frauds because it advanced an agenda they wanted to push.
1. Fake cop harassment of Muslims video
Look! Real Live Islamophobia At Last! And From A Police Officer No Less!
After years of warning about 'Muslim backlash' and 'growing Islamophobia' in America, the media has searched high and low looking for some actual evidence to present of this 'growing threat'. You know, so they can keep warning the rest of us about it.
Recall in 2006 NBC News tried to gin up some Islamophobia by sending men in Muslim garb to a NASCAR event with camera crews hoping to catch some real live anti-Muslim backlash on video.
Unfortunately for the 'Narrative That Refuses To Die', NASCAR fans were pretty cool about Muslim fellows walking around in their midst.
After years of disappointment at the failure of Americans to engage in overt Islamophobia, you can imagine how the media reacted when the above video went viral. Not only was it a case of obvious anti-Muslim backlash - it featured a New York City police officer!
Only after it went viral did the duo who made the video get around to admitting the 'cop' in the film is actually an actor following their direction.
You infidels are so gullible!
2. Fake UVA Gang Rape story at Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone's story:
What Sabrina Rubin Erdely presented as factual in that article was this story: a freshman at UVA was gang-raped as part of a regular fraternity initiation ritual right inside the frat house and then the university didn't really do anything about it.
A lot of people's bullshit detectors went off of course on hearing the details, but for the first month the Social Justice Warriors managed to hold off the skepticism by loudly screaming "RAPE APOLOGISTS!!!" at anybody who dared question the story.
Unfortunately that soon stopped working.
The lawsuits are gonna be SO awesome. Looking forward to seeing you on Court TV, Sabrina!
Rolling Stone was forced to admit that no real fact checking at all was done on this story. They deliberately made no effort to contact the accused. Read the entirely self-serving 'correction' that appears at the front of Rolling Stone's article in which the managing editor tries to desperately sell the idea that not contacting any of the accused was totally the right thing to do n' stuff.
Here's a pretty good up-to-date timeline about how this entire fiasco unfolded courtesy of NY Mag's Margaret Hartmann:
Link: Everything We Know About The UVA Rape Case [Updated]
The fact no gang rape occurred at the fraternity doesn't matter. Every fraternity must sign on to new rules in order to stay active. Some of the fraternities are resisting:
Link: UVA Fraternities Are Refusing To Sign New Campus Requirements
"But um, it was a hoax."
"Yeah? SO?! Sign this anyway, you rape apologists!"
I agree with Ace of Spade's take on this:
Link: Two of UVa's Fraternities Refuse to Sign New Nanny Rules on Parties, Giving, As a Reason, That the Pretext for All This Is a Complete F****ing Hoax
No matter what happens or how many times they get caught lying or making shit up, the social justice warriors win because they tirelessly advance their narrative anyway. Ann Coulter's column from Dec. 30th was prescient:
3. Fake high school kid makes 72 million trading stocks in New York Magazine
What makes this one stand out is how relatively easy it would have been to fact check these claims. Instead of spending an hour or so doing any fact checking, it appears the NY Mag reporter just took the guy's claims at face value and published them.
This story didn't do any real damage of course, it was one of those 'feel good' articles but it does make one wonder just how much of what they print do reporters actually verify before publishing.
4. Catcalling video in NYC
Feminists from a group called Hollaback! got the bright idea of creating a video of what they saw as an urgently growing problem: men catcalling women on the streets of New York.
10 hours of walking around New York City was distilled into a 4 minute video in which a white woman appeared to be endlessly harassed by Black and Latino men. The feminists at Hollaback! apparently never realized they were in fact racists until other Progressives helpfully pointed this out to them.
This led to all kinds of fun among the Progressive Left that ended far too soon.
Probably the best thing to come out of the HollaBack! catcalling video was the numerous parodies it inspired, such as this fantastically funny one: 10 Hours Of Princess Leia Walking In New York City.
5. Fake drunk girl in public video
People watching the video were horrified as young men repeatedly kept trying to lure her off the street and into their nefarious clutches. It seemed to verify plenty of feminist tropes about predatory males vs. vulnerable females.
And then the facts were revealed:
It turns out none of the encounters seen in the video were spontaneous; the videomakers enlisted the men for what they claimed was a 'comedy sketch' and fed them lines to use as they interacted with actress Jennifer Box. None of them realized they were in fact going to be presented as examples of sexual predators in a 'social experiment'.
And now for the coveted "Liar" and "Fraud" of the Year Awards!
Liar of the Year: Dorian Johnson
Dorian Johnson's account of the shooting of Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson does not match the available evidence at almost any point whatsoever.
Link: Dorian Johnson's Statements About Michael Browns Last Moments
Johnson claimed Brown never assaulted Wilson or tried to grab his handgun. He claimed Brown was shot in the back while running away, and then went on to claim the fatal shots were fired into Brown as he stood passively with his hands up, trying to surrender.
Most of the eyewitness testimony & the forensic evidence of the case directly contradict Johnson's version of events. When an actual credentialed forensic pathologist examined the evidence, not only was Brown not shot in the back, he also wasn't shot while standing still with his hands up in a surrender posture.
The forensic evidence demonstrates that despite Johnson's lying about it, Brown did indeed reach into the vehicle and try to seize Wilson's handgun, resulting in at least 2 shots being discharged inside the SUV.
Link: What the forensic evidence says about Michael Brown’s death
The autopsies done on Brown also demonstrated he was not shot in the back, as Johnson claimed he was. Even as Ferguson went up in flames around him Johnson insisted on sticking to his version of the shooting, portraying his friend as the victim of a violent, profane cop who picked a quarrel with them for no reason.
I hope he can sleep at night.
Fraud of the Year: Shawn Parcells
The Curious Case of Non-Forensic Non-Pathologist Non-Nothing Shawn Parcells
How Did This Fraud Manage To Insert Himself On Center Stage Of The Michael Brown Case?
Parcells begins his presentation around 15:29 of the video
What if I told you a guy with no formal forensic training managed to pass himself off to the entire nation as a forensic pathologist & used a nationally televised press conference to sell a false narrative that drastically affected a divisive racial case that resulted in half of a town being burned down and looted?
Yes, this actually happened. It happened in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri.
Parcells' presentation begins at around 15:29 of the video linked above. He doesn't speak long, but then again he didn't have to. He makes two main points in that presentation:
1. In his 'expert' opinion, Michael Brown was likely shot in the back and
2. In his 'expert' opinion, Michael Brown was shot down while he was standing still with his hands up in the air.
A moment that should live in media infamy
Parcells did his damage in August, operating with impunity because nobody at the time investigated his background. It wasn't until late November, more than three months later, that the lies began to be uncovered.
CNN first began asking questions about Parcells in this November 27th report:
On Dec. 2nd, Radley Balko at the Washington Post posted this damning report on Parcells that laid bare just how badly the entire country had been taken in:
As it so happens, the very first words out of Parcell's mouth at that nationally televised press conference was a lie:
"First of all, I'm Professor Shawn Parcells."
Not true. Parcells has never been on the faculty of any college or university anywhere. Washburn University in Topeka Kansas, where Parcells claims to be an Adjunct Professor on his LinkedIn page, says he has never been on their staff in any capacity.
It turns out to be a certified forensic pathologist, one must have a medical degree before undergoing formal forensic training. Parcells has reluctantly admitted he does not have any medical degree. How reluctant was this admission? Read this exchange he had with a CNN reporter:
When CNN visited Parcells in his Overland Park, Kansas, home, he presented a photo of himself onstage at what appears to be a graduation ceremony at the New York Chiropractic College.
“I got a master’s degree in anatomy and physiology, with clinical correlation,” he said.
Asked where his diploma was, he replied that it was on the way. “It’s coming,” he said. “They mail it to you.”
The next day, at another on-camera interview, the conversation went like this:
CNN: So that master’s degree in New York, you have that degree?
Parcells: I will have it next month, yes.
CNN: I don’t mean the piece of paper. I mean have you been conferred that degree?
Parcells: Yes, I will. Next month.
CNN: Right now, as we speak, you have that degree?
Parcells: No, I do not.
Don't miss the full import of what happened here: a complete fraud got up there invested in an national audiences eyes with medical science acumen he didn't really have and he used that false respect to add credibility to a racially inflammatory false narrative.
Al Sharpton does what Al Sharpton does: he gets there first and then uses the national media to rush the most racially inflammatory version of what happened out the door to the public. We expect that. We've seen it enough times now to know how this works.
But what Parcells did was far worse. He took that racially inflammatory narrative and he gave it the forensic science 'stamp of approval', which is exactly the last thing that should have been done.
It *looked* as if a respected, credentialed forensic pathologist has just backed up Dorian Johnson's account of the shooting of Michael Brown. The moment Parcells stated that Brown 'could have been' shot in the back, and then raised his hands up to show the position he believed Brown's hands were in during the fatal hail of bullets, Dorian Johnson's lies got a huge credibility boost in front of a national audience.
One can only wonder as the nation watched half of Ferguson go up in flames or be looted, if Parcells even spent a second reflecting on his role in selling the 'hand up, don't shoot!' myth.