Sunday, February 26, 2017

U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s Swedish Massacre Hoax: Trump Fake News In Action?

Given his open mistrust of the “dishonest mainstream media”, is Trump’s Swedish Massacre Hoax a sure sign that he’s already out of touch with reality? 

By: Ringo Bones

With the whole world still reeling after Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Hoax, people who are already questioning the sanity of President Trump may had earned credence of their claims with the recent “Swedish Massacre” tirade on Twitter as Trump tries to justify his anti-immigrant stance. The Swedish Massacre Hoax was apparently invented by Trump during a campaign-style rally of his supporters in an aircraft hangar in Melbourne, Florida. When former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt Tweeted: “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking? Questions abound.” It wasn’t long that everyone realized that Trump’s “Swedish Massacre Hoax” is about as real as his presidency. 

President Trump’s bizarre nonexistent terror attack on Swedish soil may have been due to his rejection of other more reliable news media in preference to a conservative far-right news channel called Fox News, where the night before Trump’s Melbourne, Florida rally, he was watching a documentary made by a right-wing demagogue claiming that Swedish crime rates are on the rise because of the Swedish government relaxing its restrictions in accepting Syrian war refugees in 2015. But the truth is crime rates across Sweden had been in decline since 2005. Trump’s war on the “dishonest media” has unforeseen consequences indeed. By often referring to CNN and the BBC, amongst others, as “fake news”, it seems Trump has apparently lost all contact with reality this time. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Hoax: The Massacre That Never Was?

Given that it forms the bulk of her raison d’ĂȘtre of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s so-called “Travel Ban”, is Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Hoax a triumph of President Trump’s obsession with so-called “Alternative Facts”?

By: Ringo Bones 

Looks like U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s obsession with so-called “Alternative Facts” had backfired when her former campaign manager and current Counselor Kellyanne Conway during a press interview defending his proposed “Travel Ban” – which is widely viewed as the notorious “Muslim Ban” – managed to create the so-called “Bowling Green Massacre Hoax”, which allegedly, according to Kellyanne Conway, is a result of a “slip-of-the-tongue”. Despite of this press interview faux-pas, is Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Hoax has a kernel of truth contained in it? 

Various small-town mom and pop bread-and-breakfast establishments in the United States deep-south region had been quick to exploit the “tourism potential” of Kellyanne Conway’s so-called Bowling Green Massacre incident, the truth is the origin of the now famous “journalistic hoax of 2017” that have since gone viral has a rather mundane origin. During Kellyanne Conway’s press interview in defense of U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s notorious “Muslim Ban”, Conway cites an incident of a supposed massacre perpetrated by a group of “radicalized Muslim-Americans” that happened in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

But the true origin of Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre Hoax” was the 2013 Justice Department announcing that it has sentenced two Iraqi citizens living in Bowling Green, Kentucky to federal prison after they confessed to attacking U.S. soldiers in Iraq and assisting Al Qaeda in Iraq by sending money and weapons. In truth, the so-called bloody massacre that Kellyanne Conway cited as an example to defend U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s notorious “Travel Ban” during a press conference actually never happened. Unfortunately, the truth (or was it U.S. President Donald J. Trump’s so-called “Alternative Facts”?) is still powerless to stop unscrupulous tour operators exploiting Kellyanne Conway’s Bowling Green Massacre Hoax even if their town is only coincidentally named Bowling Green - and not Bowling Green, Kentucky – for monetary gain. In truth, Kellyanne Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre” is about as real as Gene Roddenberry’s Sino-Indian War.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The New York Sun’s Moon Hoax: America's Greatest Journalistic Hoax?

Even though it no longer registers on the consciousness of most everyday Americans this day and age, is the New York Sun’s Moon Hoax still America’s greatest journalistic hoax?

By: Ringo Bones 

Though many of his detractors associate former US President George W. Bush’s search for nonexistent WMD’s in Iraq back in March 2003 as America’s greatest journalistic hoax of the 21st Century due to the death’s of 5,000 or so young Americans in their prime who undertook in such a fool’s errand, many scholars cite that America’s greatest journalistic hoax happened in the 19th Century. It may not have the tragic consequences of the March 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom that still affect us to this very day but, still, it did manage to hold that position for over a hundred years. But does the New York Sun's "Moon Hoax" still qualify as one of America's greatest if not the greatest of the journalistic hoaxes then and now? 

Back in 1835, the New York Sun’s “Moon Hoax” had the claim to fame as the most celebrated hoax in American journalism. It originally consisted of a series of articles, allegedly reprinted from the nonexistent Edinburgh Journal of Science, relating to the alleged discovery of life on the moon by an eminent British astronomer.  Through a then new and powerful telescope, the scientist related, that he had been able to make out oceans, beaches, trees, vegetation, bison and goats, cranes and pelicans – and, finally, furry, winged, bat-like moon-men. By the time the fourth installment appeared, the New York Sun – which had then the largest circulation of any newspaper in the world – and rival editors, pretending to have access to the original articles, began to reprint the “original” New York Sun’s series. But then the New York Sun’s senior editor at the time named Editor Day admitted the hoax, which had been originally authored by a bright young man on his staff named Richard Adams Locke. 

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Phuc Dat Bich Name Hoax: Facebook’s Fault?

Even though this “name hoax” could not have gone viral but is Facebook to blame?

By: Ringo Bones 

Name hoaxes are not new and as history had told us they tend to get a life of their own – just like Thomas Nast’s Santa Claus. But in today’s fast-paced social media scene, can a social media platform, like Facebook, tend to inadvertently give name hoaxes a life of its own as it goes viral? 

A few days ago, an Australian man of Vietnamese descent who made global headlines after saying he was fighting to use his “real name” on Facebook, admits it was a hoax. The man had claimed Facebook would not allow his real name as could be considered offensive. But he later said on Facebook that his real name was “Joe Carr” (or perhaps Joker). He said what he started as a joke between friends “became a prank that made a fool out of the media.”  

But he said it also brought out the best in people and gave encouragement to people with “truly interesting and idiosyncratic names”. The hoaxer is of Vietnamese origin. His name was given as Phuc Dat Bich – which when properly pronounced in the Vietnamese language, which is a tonal language, it actually sounds like “Phoo Dah Bi”. At present, Facebook have not responded to the BBC and other news organization’s requests for comment. Not to mention most people's lack of knowledge of the Vietnamese language also plays a part.

Ever since Facebook started, it has been used as a platform for political satire criticizing how the Bush administration and other right-leaning conservative groups conduct their “War on Terror” and how they use religion and their almost unlimited monetary resources to ridicule environmentalist crying out their concerns on climate change and global warming. Such grassroots environmental and social justice movements managed to engender “idiosyncratic” accounts on Facebook like Jesus Hitler Christ, GOP Jesus, Climate Change Jesus, Global Warming Jesus, Crude Oil Jesus, White Supremacist Jesus, etc. 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Ahmed Mohamad And The Hoax Bomb Case

Is America’s post 9/11 education scene way different than what has come before when a 14-year-old Arab-American high school freshman gets arrested for being an electronics enthusiast?

By: Ringo Bones 

During a typical Monday morning back in September 14, 2014, a 14-year-old Arab American high school freshman of MacArthur High in Irving, Texas named Ahmed Mohamad was arrested by the local police after his teacher mistakes the clock that he had worked over the weekend and bought to his class’ show-and-tell for a bomb. Later investigation showed that the uproar over the young electronic enthusiast accused of bringing a bomb to school that was later revealed to be a “Hoax Bomb” was primarily racially motivated via the post 9/11 paranoia that is still gripping white Anglo Saxon conservative America, Ahmed Mohamad was later invited by President Barack Obama to the White House and given a commendation. Given the “politics” surrounding the incident, is the post-9/11 paranoia harbored by white Anglo Saxon Protestant America hurting, rather than helping, science education in America?   

The political blowback of the “Hoax Bomb Case” incident made Ahmed Mohamad to decide that he won’t be going back to MacArthur High anymore after being singled-out due to his ethnicity. After all, there are white Anglo Saxon Protestant high school students his age that were carrying loaded assault rifles publicly in the name of the “Open Carry Law” elsewhere in Texas and nobody dared to call them as “Christian Terrorists”?  Which make one also ask if “White Supremacist Jesus” is already the governor of Texas? 

Is post the white Anglo Saxon Protestant Post 9/11 Paranoia destroying the social fabric of diversity in America? Ahmed Mohamad could be a case-in-point of this and it is also ruining the inclusiveness of science education in America where kids of high school freshmen are seeing science education as “uncool” thanks ot former US President George “Dubya” Bush. Ahmed Mohamad’s exceptional abilities in digital electronics should have been nurtured given that when I was his age back in the 1980s, was still learning the rudiments of digital electronics –i.e. still learning about logic gates and J-K flip-flops.