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Misinformation is the most invasive species of 2021

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Counter-narratives about climate change allow countries and companies to ignore the effects of their actions on the earth’s atmosphere.

Dangerous falsehoods, spreading like an invasive species, will become a major challenge for society in 2021.

The election lie finds new life with the candidates of the GOP house. We have written over and over in this newsletter about the threat posed by the false imagination of former President Donald Trump over the 2020 elections. And we will continue to do so as long as he repeats the lie he won.

But instead of being ostracized by the Republicans, he remains entirely mainstream.

A new CNN report by Alex Rogers, Melanie Zanona and Manu Raju examines a number of House candidates on a special for “Young Guns” – politicians who hold promise. Read the report here.

More than a third of these state recruits across the country, like Trump, sowed doubts about the 2020 elections or embraced his efforts to overturn them.

That list includes: Eli Crane and Walt Blackman in Arizona; Cory Mills and Anna Paulina Luna in Florida; Karoline Leavitt, Gail Huff Brown, and Tim Baxter in New Hampshire; Jake Evans in Georgia; Tyler Kistner in Minnesota; Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez in Texas; Derrick Van Orden in Wisconsin; and Jesse Jensen in Washington.

Special features from the report:

When asked who she thought won the 2020 election, Leavitt, a former Trump press adviser, said “Donald J. Trump”.

State representative Baxter told CNN, “President Donald J. Trump is right, it’s time for an exam in every state.” When asked who won, Baxter replied, “The candidate with the most legal votes!”

And Gail Huff Brown, a former television reporter whose husband, former Senator Scott Brown, served as Trump’s ambassador to New Zealand, told a local ABC subsidiary in September that there had been “a lot of irregularities” in 2020 and “Covid.” won “.

There are no two sides to this story. It is difficult to report impartially on politics at a time when so many candidates have been falsehood.

“I think this is actually a real challenge for mainstream journalism because you learn that there are two sides to every story,” said Margaret Talev, editor-in-chief and CNN employee of Axios, during an appearance on Inside Politics on Thursday .

She channeled my careful thinking on it.

“The story doesn’t really have two sides,” she said. “There is a recognizable truth. The election was legitimate and Joe Biden … is the legally elected President of the United States. The election was not stolen, so this has to be the starting point. How do you interview a candidate, if there is one? no basis for the truth where the premise of the candidacy is based on a misunderstanding, on misinformation? ”

She said it was a problem for political journalists, but it was spreading to other areas of life and around the world where there were increasing authoritarian movements.

“If the emergence of the candidacy is based on a conscious mistrust, it poisons the well fundamentally,” she said.

Murdoch’s media empire makes the false claims. The same problem is spreading in the media, where the Wall Street Journal published a long letter from Trump spreading his wrong ideas about the election.

It was one thing to print your words when in office. He was the President of the United States. However, now that he’s trying to make a political comeback built on the election lie, it is journalistic misconduct to give him a platform.

Fox News, owned like the Journal by Rupert Murdoch, is promoting a new special, “Patriot Purge,” starring Tucker Carlson, which appears to be advancing what CNN’s Oliver Darcy calls “1/6 Truthfulness,” or the stupid idea that the uprising was a setup.

It’s hard to say that Murdoch and his media empire are deliberately promoting conspiracy theories.

Oil companies and climate change. False information was also the main topic at a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday, despite the fact that it was about climate change, not the elections.

Executives from ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and Royal Dutch Shell oil companies were rallied as part of an ongoing investigation by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform into whether they had deliberately misled the public about fossil fuels contributing to climate change.

“Spare us the spin today. We have no interest in it,” said Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat and chairman of the House of Representatives’ subcommittee on environmental oversight, during his opening address. “Spin doesn’t work under oath.”

The hearing was designed as a big tobacco moment for Big Oil. Tobacco Managers attended a famous hearing in 1994 when they misled lawmakers about their knowledge of the dangers of smoking.

“They too had a choice. They made the decision to lie under oath and deny that nicotine is addicting,” said Khanna. “They didn’t do that well.”

Today’s oil companies all recognize climate change and have adopted PR strategies that highlight that they will be part of the solution.

“Exxon has not and has not spread disinformation about climate change,” said CEO Darren Woods during his prepared remarks. “His public statements on climate change are and have been truthful, fact-based, transparent, and in line with the views of the broader mainstream scientific community at the time.” Read more about the hearing.Facebook is now meta. The ultimate broker of misinformation and disinformation could be the great democratizer of information, Facebook. Under fire and in the face of possible new regulations, the technology giant renamed itself on Thursday. According to founder Mark Zuckerberg, the overarching company will be called Meta. According to CNN’s Samantha Murphy Kelly, the eponymous service from Facebook will now be “only one of the company’s subsidiaries alongside Instagram and WhatsApp and no longer the overarching brand.”

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