Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Florida Man Prepares to Sue Mother Nature, aka Irma, for Her Crimes Against Humanity!

Mother Nature, aka Irma, is coming, and the entire state of Florida, including the humble abode of Florida Man Danny Murphy, is in the Cone of Probability. He says that he has been traumatized through the news reports, he has had enough, and he's not going to take it anymore!


Mr. Murphy  is preparing to sue Mother Nature for her crimes against humanity. The GoFundMe page will be set up shortly. The time has come to fight back against Mother Nature. Perhaps this will cause her to rethink her ill-advised endeavor to wipe out humanity south of the Mason-Dixon Line. 

#HurricaneIrma #MotherNature

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Clickbait for fake news on Jacksonville.com? Sad but true.

I don’t routinely browse  Jacksonville.com because I get the print version of the Times-Union every morning at the end of my driveway. On Saturday, September 2nd, I took a look at the online version because I wanted to share Richard Cuff’s intelligent letter about the controversy pertaining to Confederate monuments.

When I got to Richard's letter at Jacksonville.com, I saw an ad at the top of the right column which was clickbait for a fake news story about HGTV star Joanna Gaines leaving Fixer Upper and going into the cosmetics business. Having written a blog post about this fake news story, I was familiar with it.


Upon reloading Richard Cuff’s letter to the editor, a banner ad for the fake news story appeared at the top of the page. As a legitimate news organization, it seems like the Times-Union should be able to keep clickbait for fake news from appearing on its website. People and organizations that help to spread fake news are part of the problem. I’ve sent a letter to the editor about this, but have yet to hear anything back about it.

Do you think news organizations like the Florida Times-Union should keep ads for fake news stories off their websites?

Are you comfortable sharing articles from organizations that sometimes help to spread fake news?

#FakeNews #JoannaGaines #FixerUpper

Sunday, July 16, 2017

A Devious Question and Fake News in the Garden of Eden

When I was employed as a salesman at a car dealership, I learned that you can get someone to believe a lie without ever telling him or her a lie. It’s possible to get someone to believe a lie simply by asking the right question. For example, after I closed one profitable deal on a pickup truck, the customer said, “Dan, as much as I paid for that truck, you ought to throw in a set of mats.”
I acted as if I was taken aback. “Mr. Jones, we haggled quite a bit over this deal. Do you seriously think I have enough profit left to just throw in a set of mats?” I didn’t tell him a lie. I asked him a question. If I had just buckled and given him the mats, he would have wondered if he had gotten a decent deal or not.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Was Samuel Adams a Fake Newsmaker as well as a Founding Father?

Statue of Samuel Adams at
Faneuil Hall Marketplace in Boston
Samuel Adams was a member of the tea-tossing Sons of Liberty. He also had a way with words and proved that the pen is mightier than the sword. With his incendiary writings, he ignited the revolutionary spirit in Massachusetts and throughout the colonies. 
For example, consider The Boston Massacre. A squad of 13 English soldiers - intimidated and perhaps even scared for their lives - fired on an angry mob of hundreds in front of the Boston Customs House. The event could have been called a riot or an incident.  

Monday, June 26, 2017

Ben Franklin: Founding Father of Fake News

Note: Sometimes fake news stories are built around legitimate stories with fake elements thrown in here and there. The fake elements in the post below are for comedic effect and they're fairly obvious. The folks who really know how to write fake news sometimes use similar techniques.  However, they are much more subtle about it. 

Fake news has been around in the United States since the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Actually, fake news was being produced before that. Long before he became a statesman, Ben Franklin worked as an apprentice in a print shop owned by his older brother James, or Jimbo, as Ben preferred to call him when he was out of earshot. True story!
The shop printed programs for the Boston Red Sox, menus for Legal Seafood, and also published the New England Courant newspaper. Unbeknownst to his older, and apparently less clever, brother, Ben Franklin wrote for the New England Courant using the pen name Silence Dogood. Like the Huffington Post, the Courant was very receptive to free content, whether it came by email or in an envelope slid under the office door. Mrs. Dogood was popular with the readers and it took James Franklin years to figure out her true identity.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Face Cream Fiasco and Fake Celebrity Endorsements: Is Joanna Gaines really going into the cosmetics business?

Since April, a story has been circulating that Joanna Gaines of the HGTV hit show Fixer Upper is quitting the show and leaving her husband to go into the cosmetics business. On April 17th, she wrote a blog post titled Don’t Believe Everything You Read.
“Always remember: if you’re reading big, exciting news about us, and we did not confirm it on our official sites, then proceed with caution. We are so thankful for your support—we wouldn’t be here without you! And just in case you were wondering, YES! We are currently filming season 5 of the show. No! I am not getting into the business of facial creams. And No! We are not expecting baby #5. And no worries, believing some of these stories happens to the best of us. In summary, don’t buy the facial cream, friends.” Joanna Gaines

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Fake News 101: How to recognize fake news and avoid being fooled by it.

Fake stories have been passed off as news for a long time. Since the turn of the millennium, fake news has been evolving at an alarming pace.

Aside from disconnecting and finding a wireless cave to live in, there’s probably no way to avoid fake news completely. However, it is possible to avoid being fooled by fake news.

Fake News 101 will help readers to recognize various types of fake news including satire, alternative facts, propaganda, and more.

If you’re ready to join the battle against fake news and become a Fake News Warrior, Fake News 101 will be an indispensable resource.


Danny Murphy is an informative and entertaining public speaker. He is available to speak on topics related to Fake News at conferences, seminars, and other events. Send him an email to check into his availability.