Donald Trump knows how to do things big and get the attention he wants. Thus, on January 2, 2018, the American President twittered “I will be announcing THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR”. “Subjects will cover Dishonesty & Bad Reporting in various categories from the Fake News Media. Stay tuned!” Of course, Trump wanted to try to show that all the stories in which he was blamed in any way were false; after all, the current President of the United States has nothing to blame himself for, everyone knows that! While it is doubtful that Mr. Trump’s news is really false, there is no denying that there was a lot of real false news circulating in 2017 about the President’s office and for your pleasure, here are the 6 most absurd false news that emerged in 2017.
6. Melania Trump’s understudy
In October 2017, a rumour quickly became the truth for many: Melania Trump regularly employed a understudy to replace her during public appearances. It must be said that with the sometimes strange behaviour of the President, who said things like “My wife, Melania, who is right here”, the appearance of the First Lady who often seemed altered and the fact that a Secret Service agent looked very much like her, it is normal that many may have believed this false news. However, snope.com quickly denied this rumour.
5. The charges against Roy Moore
In 2017, the Washington Post published news that Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore had sexual contact with minors. However, the politician’s supporters quickly defended him, especially when an Internet site began to say, even if it was false, that one of Roy Moore’s accusers had been arrested for lying. In addition, the right-wing blog called Gateway Pundit also found a tweet accusing the Washington Post of paying women to invent stories that put the Republican candidate in hot water. Before the election began, voters in Alabama received an automated call, allegedly from Bernie Bernstein, a journalist with the Washington Post, who was trying to offer money to anyone who could provide harmful information about Moore. As if that were not enough, the newspaper itself admitted that Project Veritas, a right-wing press group led by James O’Keefe, allegedly attempted an undercover operation. In fact, James O’Keefe, in collaboration with a journalist from the Washington Post, allegedly tried to make false accusations about Roy Moore in order to damage his reputation.
4. Seth Rich’s conspiracy
In July 2016, a member of the staff of the Democratic National Committee named Seth Rich was murdered. However, the poor man saw a certain conspiracy growing around him and, unfortunately for him, he was no longer there to defend himself. WikiLeaks offered $20,000 to obtain information on the politician’s sudden and premature death, but the site owner, Julian Assange, also suggested that the man may have played a role in the hacking of the DNC, whose link to some Russian agents was later discovered. Following this announcement, Roger Stone proposed that the Clintons could be Seth Rich’s killers, trying to hide the evidence. Despite all these absurd rumours, the Washington police have ruled that the politician would probably have simply been the victim of a robbery that went wrong.
3. Trump and his whim of electoral fraud
Although the presidential election campaign took place in 2016, it is still the subject of various discussions and rumours, especially with the president who does not know how to moderate his Twitter publications. In early 2017, the Your NewsWire website, which publishes a mix of aggregated new policies and entirely fabricated stories that are meant to be humorous, published an article claiming that Hillary Clinton received 25,000 fraudulent votes: “A study published by the NPR reveals that more than 25 million of Hillary Clinton’s votes were completely fraudulent, meaning that the Democratic candidate actually lost the popular vote by a huge margin”. Obviously, this is not true; this NPR study was not even conducted by NPR. Rather, it is a reworking of old news from Pew Research Center in 2012 that nearly 24 million voter registrations in the United States were no longer valid.
We found millions of out of date registration records due to people moving or dying, but found no evidence that voter fraud resulted.
— David Becker (@beckerdavidj) 28 novembre 2016
However, with Donald Trump as he is, he thought it was appropriate to create the Electoral Integrity Advisory Commission to investigate this allegation of fraud. Finding no evidence of such fraud, however, the Commission was quickly dissolved.
2. The crowd at the Trump inauguration
We know that Trump likes to live in his little bubble of distorted reality and that he likes to be the best at everything, which is probably why Sean Spicer, former White House press secretary, was asked to convince the public and the media that President Trump’s inauguration had attracted “the largest audience ever seen for an inauguration, both in person and in the world”. However, when we look at the photos of the Trump inauguration and compare them to those of the Barack Obama inauguration, for example, we quickly see that the crowd at the current president’s nomination is only one-third of the crowd in 2009. After his resignation, Sean Spicer admitted that he did his job badly several times while he was a White House press secretary… No, really?
1. Viral terrorist attacks
Shooting and terrorist attacks seem to have increased in recent years. Although it is important to inform the public, care must be taken when making information that is mistaken for facts. When the shooting in Las Vegas on October 1, 2017, for example, killed 59 people and injured more than 500, misinformation about the circumstances of the shooting began to circulate. Comedian Sam Hyde was first accused of being the shooter, then rumours were spread that there were actually several shooters. If we look at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, in May 2017, you have certainly all seen photos on Facebook and Twitter showing children who disappeared following the tragic event. However, the fact is that many of these children were not even in England at that time.
Source: Vanity Fair