Day 72: Fool me Once…

April Fools!

DAY 72 ACTION: Practice critical thinking, today and every day. And support news you can rely on!

Credit: Tom Toro/New Yorker

“Any negative polls are fake news.” – Donald Trump, February 2017

Lying is at an all-time high (or low). The Pulitzer Prize winning Politifact calculated that 70% of what Trump said in the campaign was a lie. In his first public statements as President, Trump lied about the size of the crowd on Inauguration Day. NSA-Chief-for-a-day Michael Flynn lied about extensive contacts with Russian operatives, and wants immunity before he testifies in Congress. The Oklahoma Bar is investigating allegations that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lied about using private email while Oklahoma Attorney General. The list goes on.

Nor does lying stop at the borders – an entire Ukrainian news show, StopFake, is devoted to reporting and debunking lies told by the Russian propaganda machine.

Now more than ever it’s important to think critically. Question unspoken assumptions. Ask for evidence. Consider bias. Determine whether a reporter is giving a first-hand account, or reporting third-hand information (there are many fewer DC and overseas news correspondents today than 20 years ago). And consult and support trusted news sources – consider a new subscription, if you didn’t get this done on Day 38 (celebrating NPR’s birthday) or Day 22 (supporting a free press).

Today’s Action: Be a critical thinker, and support objective, reliable journalism.

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