Welcome, everybody to “On the Air With Patrick Lee in a Chair”, the only show where the host is guaranteed to be seated the whole time. Now, there are a lot of reasons I might want to sit down; but mostly because I’d rather not stand. My father always told me that standing was the poor man’s sitting, and Lord knows I’m not standing up for this. We’re going to be talking about fake news today, so naturally we had to go on a hunt for most the clickbait, hideous piece of “reporting” that we could find. Here’s the best one we found.
(article appears on screen behind)
Let’s just… let’s just take a second to break this article down. Why don’t we start with the headline. “Africans are poor because when it rains they think of sex instead of farming”... there’s a lot there… there’s a lot going on.This is fake, but I think that the worst part about it is that it sounds like something that Trump could really say three shots deep at a karaoke bar.
(speaking as Donald Trump; slurring)
Toto... I wanna hear Africa by Toto…
(intro to Africa, by Toto plays)
I’ve never felt any rain in Africa… when it does they probably don’t know what to do with themselves… they probably think “Why would I stay out here when I could go home and plow”
(laughing at his own joke)
You know that I mean? I’m so funny... those poor poor tiny little men…
(trailing off; mumbling)
(switching to normal speaking voice)
Now, let’s take a look at the actual piece of writing. The article basically says that Trump hates all Africans because they’re dumb and lazy, and that the root of their problem is that they just can’t seem to focus on farming when it’s important. And according to a “direct”, sourceless, and grammatically flawed quote, Donald Trump thinks that “The best they (Africans) can do is gallivanting around streets, lamenting how they were colonised”.
This fake news article sounds more eloquent than the person who invented the whole idea of fake news! If that’s not irony I don’t know what is.
I don’t think that this website really has anyone convinced that Trump thinks all of these things… at least not out loud. But how do we know that this isn’t a real news article? I mean, it sure looks like something that could be published on MSNBC or something, right? This at least looks like it might be credible. Well right now, we’re viewing the article with AdBlock on. Why don’t we try and read it with AdBlock off.
(removes AdBlock; obscene advertisements cover large portions of the screen)
That’s more like it! Apologies to the web design students in the audience whose blood pressure is probably through the roof right now. These advertisements look like a random cut and paste job of the worst headlines you’d get if you dumped a supermarket tabloid bin into a shredder. For those of you in the back who might not get the privilege of reading all of these headlines, I’ll read off my favorite ones. “Zookeeper Threw a Ball to Lion. The Unexpected Happen”, “Best Charities” which is sponsored by “cheapdeals.com”, and my personal favorite: “A Man Became Pregnant and The Reason Why Is Incredible”. Now, these headlines are meant to be provocative, so that it can take you to another page with even more ads when you click on it. And clearly, they’d fill that box on the fake news checklist. But they’re also very clearly fake if you just take a closer look at them. This one over here, the ever specific “Last Photos Taken Seconds Before Tragedy Struck”, has a photo of a polar bear that’s supposed to be biting the head of this lady in the water over here, but it’s clearly just an edited photo if you look for even a second, this woman’s lady looks like she got clipped out of an Ironman race promo pic.
If these photos aren’t ringing all the fake news bells in your head, then the lack of information definitely should. This article doesn’t cite any sources; the author didn’t put their name on it. Look, if the article you’re reading would get in F if a middle school student turned it in as an essay on current events, it probably isn’t true. And even if it was, do you really think that “Mzansi LIVE” (where this article is from), a website whose tagline is “Real Life Drama in Mzansi” would really be the only one with something to say about this? If Trump really said this in any context whatsoever, you’d have to be a pretty brain dead reporter not to cover it. My point is, if this sketchy website is really the only one that’s reporting on this story, you can probably count on it not being true. And even though they don’t support their information with credible sources, and don’t even corroborate something that any other news outlets are covering, they sure have a lot of ways to share the article. I count over a dozen buttons on this page that share this article on various social media platforms when you click them. It’s almost like… they get advertising revenue … every time someone opens the article…
This is a pretty severe example, but fake news like this gets taken for fact all the time, every day. Do everybody a big favor, don’t believe this, don’t share it, and don’t turn off AdBlock. Thank you everybody, goodnight.
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