A lot of sites and publications will be running crazy stories as true to try to trick you today. Not me.
Guest Post by True Contributor Mike Straw
Every Sunday morning it’s a highlight of my week as I get to digest interesting and unusual news stories down to 100–200 words, then give it a slug at the top and a creative tagline at the end.
A Recent Story brought several questions from readers wanting to know why it referred to a Black guy and a white guy — with those specific capitalizations:
“Irresponsible Advice from a Man with No Credibility” is what podcaster Joe Rogan said would be the title of his next book, and was the slug on a story about the Spotify controversy in this week’s issue:
Those who know me may see the seeds of some of my own background in this….
|In August 2021, Snopes’ co-founder and CEO David Mikkelson was revealed to be a serial plagiarizer, sloppily violating copyrights of other publications in an attempt to make the site look extremely proactive in uncovering news.|
I Look At a Lot of Articles to find just the right mix for each weekly This is True column. Naturally, the vast majority are discarded, and I have to tell you about one that didn’t make the cut. It has a lot to do with “cognitive processes” …aka thinking.
I Am Guilty of posting “Hate Speech” on social media …according to Facebook’s algorithms and whoever (or whatever) reviewed that declaration when I appealed.
The First-Ever Viral Video (which, naturally, was of the “weird news” variety!) was shot a half century ago today. This is its story, with a higher resolution video than most have ever seen.
Two recent This is True stories demonstrate the “Streisand effect,” and this page brings those two stories together (plus a third from 5 years ago), and then leads to more commentary on the “effect.”
Let’s start with the first of the two recent stories, from True’s 8 December 2019 issue:
The Degradation of Education continues. Last night, after slapping my forehead when reading a news story, I Tweeted (and “Facebooked”), “Rolling my eyes at inept news reporters: It’s ‘strong-arm robbery,’ not ‘strong armed robbery,’ which means the armed robbery was strong. Example: [link removed: no longer online].”
In This Episode: There’s a lot of talk about accuracy in the media these days, up to and including frequent accusations that the mainstream press publishes “fake news.” The real “fake news” isn’t what you may think — and it starts even before you click.
Sometimes I Smile, Sometimes I Roll My Eyes: About the news business, that is. As a news commentary column, news is, of course, the road this publication drives on. Here’s what I mean.
I have a little bit to say about a story this week, so let me start with that story — from the 26 November 2017 issue:
There is some great additional detail on a story from True’s 16 August 2015 issue. To start with, you need the story:
To answer the very important question of the title, you need a little background, which is illustrated by a question from reader Steve in Texas:
Some time ago, I “Liked” the This is True Facebook page, but almost never see any posts. I figured you weren’t active until I went back to the page, and saw a ton of stuff I thought was great! How come I’m not seeing it regularly? I see most posts from my friends.
Last week, my BS-o-Meter failed, and a fake story made it into This is True. It has happened a few times over the past 18 years of weekly columns, but luckily only a few times. Let’s start with the story, from True’s 5 August 2012 issue:
There were a couple of stories I found earlier in the month, but decided to hold until the Memorial Day issue. And they get to be in the blog, since one of them has illustrations you need to see for the complete effect.
I’m not sure if I’ve ever done a movie review in True before, and I won’t be doing them that often, but I went to see Avatar this weekend, and I was very impressed.
When I started True back in 1994, there weren’t too many people online — especially compared to now. Once I quit my Day Job to pursue online publishing full time, I was constantly looking for peers — people to talk with that would understand what it was I was doing.