About that fake news

April 26, 2018

CNN’s Jim Acosta is backpedaling on a comment he made to Variety, calling President Trump’s sleights against the media (like “Fake News CNN”) an “act,” but claiming there are some people around the country who don’t know it’s an act, and "they don’t have all their faculties in some cases — their elevator might not hit all floors. My concern is that a journalist is going to be hurt one of these days."

After getting slammed by conservatives for apparently implying that Trump supporters are violent mental defectives, Acosta claimed his comments had been twisted and he wasn’t referring to Trump supporters but to people who would attack journalists. Okay, I take him at his word that he was misquoted. After all, who can trust the media to get quotes right?

But I can’t let this story pass without calling attention to another self-pitying comment by Acosta: “They take attacks from Sean Spicer and Sarah Sanders and what they do to us on a daily basis very seriously."


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Seriously, Jim? You really think that when my daughter walks into that lion’s den that used to be a crib full of lap dogs when Obama was President, and has to put up with the constant hostility, ridiculous questions, and rude shouting and sniping and interruptions, that she’s the one who’s abusing you? If that’s what you think the rest of us see, then maybe it’s your mental elevator that needs repairing.

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Since CNN’s Jim Acosta has suggested that President Trump's complaining about fake news is just an “act” designed to impugn journalists, I figure it’s time for another “fake news” round-up:

“Drew Cloud” is a well-known “expert” on student loan debt whose provocative polls of college students (“Nearly 8% would move to North Korea to free themselves of student loan debt”) have been widely quoted, including by CNBC, the Washington Post and the Boston Globe. He also doesn’t exist. He’s a fictional creation of a website run by a student loan refinancing company. Oops!

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The New York Times corrected its claim that it’s just a “right-wing conspiracy theory” that the Palestinian Authority paid $400 million in pensions to families of terrorists who were killed or jailed in Israel for attacking Israelis. In fact, many PA officials, including President Mahmood Abbas, have publicly admitted to making the payments and vowed never to stop. The Times had to concede that it was not a “right-wing conspiracy theory,” but the truth. To make it doubly embarrassing, this fake news appeared in an article about Facebook’s new efforts to police fake news. I hope they do a better job of it than the Times.

Although maybe the Times meant that the “fake news/conspiracy theory” part was the $400 million figure. Last year, it was just over $347 million; this year, they’re increasing it to $403 million. Fact-checking!

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Finally, a very special “fake news” story, for two reasons: first, it involves me, personally, so I know the real story. And second, it involves Politifact, one of those alleged “fact-checking” sites that biased news sources like to cite as evidence that their news isn’t really biased.

In this case, Polifact “fact-checked” Sen. Ted Cruz’s suggestion that Facebook showed bias against Christians when it took down the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day page that I set up to promote an event in 2012, promoting support for the chain’s founder’s First Amendment right to hold a personal religious belief in the Biblical definition of marriage. Politifact quoted a Facebook rep as saying they got a lot of complaints that the page violated their “community standards,” so their algorithm mistakenly cut it off, but after investigating and discovering it didn’t, they put the page back up just 12 hours later. So Politifact rated Cruz’s claim as only “half-true.”

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Had I spoken to Politifact, I would have told them the full truth, but I guess that would’ve required a little too much fact-checking. Here’s what really went on behind the scenes:

During the build-up to the event, we received thousands of hateful messages from the left, calling us bigots for not agreeing with the posters’ view of same-sex marriage. When our page was taken down, our Facebook rep at the time told us she didn’t know why, but didn’t think it would come back online very quickly, warning that it could take days to reappear. We discovered that it was because militant LGBTQ activists deliberately attacked our page by abusing the “report this content” function to flag the page as containing offensive material and trigger its removal.

Only after we started posting publicly, accusing Facebook of religious discrimination and threatening more exposure, was it put back online (that took 12 hours). Luckily, I had a TV and radio show, giving me a megaphone that other conservatives targeted by organized leftist hate campaigns lack. I wondered what would happen to those who didn’t have the ability to reach a mass audience to tell their story about Facebook censorship. Well, now we know because it’s become a well-established pattern, with black Trump fans Diamond and Silk being the latest example. If you don’t have an outside media outlet to call attention to the censorship, you’ll shout into the wind until you’re reinstated or you aren’t, with the decision made by a faceless arbiter of community standards in Silicon Valley who likely gets hourly emails from Daily Kos.

So the truth is, we were blocked by Facebook because we were falsely smeared for our beliefs, not for the page content, which in no way promoted bigotry or hatred of gays. The argument that it wasn’t really censorship because it was offline for “only” 12 hours fails to account for the fact that had we not protested vigorously, I believe we would have been kept offline for an indeterminate number of days. The point is that Facebook took us down because of a phony, Astroturfed protest and only then looked into it, instead of reading the page first to see if the complaints were legitimate. It was outrageous, and they realized their decision was not defensible so they got it back up quicker than originally planned, but that doesn’t change the fact that they pulled down our page not because it was racist, bigoted, etc. (it was not), but simply because radical gay activists didn’t like it — even though it was not about gays and never mentioned them. It was bullying pure and simple. Facebook caved to the bullies first, then asked questions later…much later. You can call that censorship by design or censorship by inertia, but either way, it effectively silenced us on Facebook until we forced the issue and made them reinstate us. And that's the whole truth.

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Comments 1-23 of 23

  • Kathy Wingate

    05/04/2018 11:33 PM

    Well, I'm over Facebook, it's not what it started out to be, anyway...
    Re the Term Limits Survey I just voted on....can we seek term limits for the SCOTUS??? I mean Ginsburg can hardly hold her head up, much less stay awake!! Don't you think 75 would be old enough for our Justices to retire? Please give some thought about that, and toss the idea around with some others who might be able to push something through? I want Trump to make another appointment!! Thanks for your forum,and your honest appraisals of the news. KW

  • Robert McFate

    04/29/2018 12:37 PM

    Huck; hes got an even bigger problem, Acosta. His has become none functional and is stuck in the basement of dogma!

  • Katherine Shaw Burbott

    04/29/2018 11:07 AM

    Thanks, Gov. Huckabee for the unvarnished truth presented in a thoughtful, courtesy and respectful way. Thanks also to you and your lovely wife for giving America Sarah. She is such a wonderful role model for women everywhere! We watch your show every Saturday night and are happy that if we miss it, we can see it Sunday! We live in a little town outside St. Louis called Washington...and wanted to get tickets, but I received a diagnosis in February of 2 types of cancer and am currently undergoing both radiation and chemo. Being an audience member of your show is now on my Victory Bucket List. Please pray for my recovery. God Bless you and yours, always. Kat Burbott

  • John M. Kurilla

    04/29/2018 10:17 AM

    I watched part of the Correspondent's dinner last night for all of about 20 seconds. I can say now that I have heard it all and I am 72 years old. All I can say is Sara Huckabee Saunders showed tremendous restraint at the vile words that were said about her and to her by that vile ignorant female comedian. I wonder if she has any daughters that were watching her. This dinner is getting more crude every year.

    No wonder President Trump chose to go to Wisconsin for a rally. That would have proved to be a total embarrassment to Melania and the President to have to sit there with that fifth coming out of that female. That was sickening.

  • Vickie Fiorentino Baggett

    04/29/2018 08:15 AM

    I have found that, if I do not pay FaceBook to promote my page, it is not seen by my followers. I had to change the name on my page my name (Real Estate transfer) and though all my followers would go with me...now, they keep sending me "ads" that state no one is seeing my page (and I believe it because I used to get a lot of likes with its contents) but they can if I pay them monthly.

  • Barbara Gienger

    04/29/2018 12:23 AM

    Mike, I sure wish people from both sides would stop spreading hate stuff and start praying for all our leaders. When you talk to average folk, 80% of us are not that far apart as to what we want America tobe and what we think is right. if you eliminate the 10%of the most radical on either end, the rest could get along, compromise enough to get things done for the nation.

    I have questions no one wantsto answer.... like if it is wrong for Bill Clinton to do it then why isn'tit wrong for Trump to do it? Wrong is wrong can't have your cake and eat t too.

    Why in the world has there not been a list of requirements that each POTUS candidate must meet, ad why isn't there a limit to personal use of AF1 etc? If it is wrong for Obama to take lots of vacations then it is wrong for Trump to take lot's of golfing trips too.

    If Obama has to provide college transcripts and a birth certificate, then so should every candidate. Really they should have a standard list of requirements to be met. Trump should have produced his tax returns like every one else.

    All this hate sowing and dividing is insane. Where all Americans. How can so many claim to be Christians then sow so much hate and forget all about do unto others and love one another??

    You are a Christian, I would like to see you address some of this double standard stuff and maybe even see you try to convince others in high places that we are all Americans and should lay aside the hate stuff and the petty self indulgent stuff and get busy solving real important things like sickness and disease, enough jobs, enough food to be independent, enough energy to be independent, and to make our own Military products so again we can be independent. With China and Korea manufacturing our war materials if they said we aren't going to fill the contracts and we were in the middle of a war we would be so screwed!

  • Barbara Gienger

    04/29/2018 12:23 AM

    Mike, I sure wish people from both sides would stop spreading hate stuff and start praying for all our leaders. When you talk to average folk, 80% of us are not that far apart as to what we want America tobe and what we think is right. if you eliminate the 10%of the most radical on either end, the rest could get along, compromise enough to get things done for the nation.

    I have questions no one wantsto answer.... like if it is wrong for Bill Clinton to do it then why isn'tit wrong for Trump to do it? Wrong is wrong can't have your cake and eat t too.

    Why in the world has there not been a list of requirements that each POTUS candidate must meet, ad why isn't there a limit to personal use of AF1 etc? If it is wrong for Obama to take lots of vacations then it is wrong for Trump to take lot's of golfing trips too.

    If Obama has to provide college transcripts and a birth certificate, then so should every candidate. Really they should have a standard list of requirements to be met. Trump should have produced his tax returns like every one else.

    All this hate sowing and dividing is insane. Where all Americans. How can so many claim to be Christians then sow so much hate and forget all about do unto others and love one another??

    You are a Christian, I would like to see you address some of this double standard stuff and maybe even see you try to convince others in high places that we are all Americans and should lay aside the hate stuff and the petty self indulgent stuff and get busy solving real important things like sickness and disease, enough jobs, enough food to be independent, enough energy to be independent, and to make our own Military products so again we can be independent. With China and Korea manufacturing our war materials if they said we aren't going to fill the contracts and we were in the middle of a war we would be so screwed!

  • Betsy J Luckey

    04/28/2018 10:51 PM

    My comment is a request for information. Is there something we can do about Acosta's remarks about those of us who support Trump. I think it's interesting that the left is so fast to say Trump is "unPresidential," but they can say stuff like this. To say it is "unprofessional" of Acosta is an understatement. If you are aware of a place we can sign up to demand his resignation, please make us aware. If not and you feel so inclined to start such a petition, I'm sure there's many who would sign it. BTW, he's totally wrong about your daughter -- we LOVE her! And you too, Mike. So grateful for you. Thanks!

  • Sonya T. England

    04/28/2018 08:44 PM

    Love, love Sarah H. Sanders ?

  • Bob Gardner

    04/28/2018 07:41 PM

    This is the modis operendi of the LGBTQ community. If you say their deviant lifestyle is a sin, they will take militant action against you. Thankfully we have you to broadcast this to the world, to let everyone know what they are doing!

  • Susan Lunsford

    04/28/2018 07:03 PM

    Thanks for clarifying all the happenings. I suspected that was true, now you've proved. There truly is war to suppress Christianity & we have to keep fighting back. AND I really really love your TV show & newsletter. Don't form any opinion until I see/read you first. Keep it up. I'm praying for you & Sara. God bless??

  • rodney burke

    04/28/2018 06:53 PM

    FB is engaging in unbridled censorship with out researching the facts and cowtowing to liberal and idiots. I have been jailed twice for my comments about the ovomit. Yet i read on FB the most slanderous remarks about Melania and it is okay. this is plain wrong. If I find a way to protest, I will. if conservatives can't call a spade a spade and liberal can slander Trump and his family at will, something is VERY wrong

  • Kevin Cook

    04/28/2018 06:48 PM

    Urinalist like Acosta, CNN, NBC CBS MSNBC have destroyed journalism and they want to do the same to America

  • jack macdonald

    04/28/2018 05:02 PM

    Jim Acosta is a poor man's imitation of Dan Rather and Sam Donaldson in their prime. They are all phonies and belong in the zoo.

  • Charles Hunt

    04/28/2018 05:01 PM

    Please tell your editor that there is a difference between "sleight" as in "sleight of hand" and "slight" which is to diminish a person or entity

  • Anne Tyrner

    04/28/2018 04:33 PM

    I wish it weren’t tru. I have a number of gay couple friends. I would not want to hurt them for the world. I believe they that they truely do love each other. There are many Bible verses that are subject to interpretation, but unfortunately you just can’t get around the ones that say that marriage is a heterosexual function and that is what God says. I wish it were not so, but that is His will. Nevertheless, it is up to God to judge folks, not me. Civil marriage giving martial rights is not the same thing as religious marriage. However, I would have preferred that we had come up with something else, like a civil union. Civil marriage is blessed by the state, not God.

  • Norm Grodi Sr.

    04/28/2018 04:27 PM

    It seems that it is OK to beat up on President on a daily basis,including most msm , local newspapers, aol forums etc. Also not leave out the Presidents family. The WH journalists that Sarah has to answer to are also biased to say the least. They hate Trump so much that they will insult anyone remotely connected to him. She does a great job. Yet these same people have the gall to call conservatives RACISTS. But who are the real obstructionists? The liberal press and the democratic party is the answer.

  • William T. Bevington

    04/28/2018 04:26 PM

    I see this morning that Politico (and the liberal media in general) has run out of Trump people to degrade so now they are picking on one of my favorites, SARAH. When will it ever stop?

  • Stephen Mitchell

    04/28/2018 04:11 PM

    Please , let's stop calling it " fake news " . It's a lie , and nothing but a LIE ! You don't " miss-speak " , " miss-remember " , you LIE !

  • Dawn Street

    04/28/2018 03:40 PM

    It is getting more and more difficult to spot fake news. I figure if the lamestream media is reporting anything, it is fake. But stuff is bleeding into the conservative news on the internet and then there are those who deliberate spin the yarns.

  • Olan P Tratchel

    04/28/2018 03:32 PM

    Conservatives appreciate your work Governor!!

  • steve dunklee

    04/27/2018 10:46 AM

    Now the entire media dog piled Kanye west for supporting President Trump. But if you look at his FB page the positive comments of support outnumber the negative liberal ones by around 30 to 1. I watched Sara sanders live on FB and same thing there, thousands of likes and only a few angry. If you take a close look at FB, conservative likes and pages outnumber the liberals by around 30%. My prediction for the next election is Republicans are going to gain 8 seats.

  • Jim lockwood

    04/26/2018 05:55 PM

    The truth and the whole truth, U B 100% right.